Home built Monster Bandsaw Log Mill First Log Trial cut milestone with a few things we found to fix

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Project by Mark A. DeCou posted 05-09-2013 01:54 AM 9209 views 25 times favorited 54 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Not really a long posting tonight , I’m exhausted, and I need to get back to the shop and work on something that has to ship soon. But, this was too exciting of a day to not toot my horn a little. The rest of the week, and next week will be so busy, that if I don’t do it tonight, I may not get the posting done.

After about 30 years of dreaming, and going on about three years of building, today we ran the maiden voyage of our new home built band saw log mill. My goals with this project are to do large slabs with natural edges for Nakashima sized table tops and boards, bigger than the typical mill will allow, producing large slabs that are hard to find if a guy wants to buy one. I also wanted it to handle cutting the tops and bottoms off of large log stumps to be used for table bases, so that affected the sizing and design.

From the measurements we took today, the maximum width for the “Angry Beaver” log mill will be about 51”. There are a few things we could modify a little to go 3-4 inches wider if that were ever necessary.

The first log was Osage Orange that has been laying down for more than three years waiting for the log mill to get built. So, it wasn’t easy wood to mill.

The trial run showed a few things we need to modify a little, a couple of things to fix, for instance we think that we need a bigger engine, and have to chase down a leaking hydraulic fluid tank. We built the oil and diesel tanks in the framing of the trailer, and the diesel held fine, but a nagging drip in the oil tank means we need to work on that a little. It passed an air test somehow, but the oil found a pin hole in the welding today. The tank held just about a whole drum of oil, so we need to fix the hole before we need another oil drum. I used to have an old Shovel Head Harley that I kept a big pan with cat litter sitting under it, and without fixing this leak, the log mill will need the same sort of pan…..we’ll fix it.

The diesel engine drives a hydraulic pump, and all of the movements are provide by hydraulic power. We need to modify one gear ratio on the forward travel movement, which won’t be a big deal, just more money and another day or two welding and painting again.

We used Wood Mizer’s blade guides, which are awesome, and well suited to adjust and change all three axis of the blade guide rollers.

We used a Ripper 37 blade, but trying to back out of a cut (I counseled against it, but was overridden) we drug our new blade off the tires, and a few teeth were damaged on the fender guards around the wheels. So, blade number one is a little more dull now.

Once we get things dialed in and the modifications made, I’m hoping to spend some time this Summer and Fall cutting up Osage Orange large slab boards, some good sized walnut, a couple of oak logs, a big elm, and a few other things while I look for more logs.

All in all, it’s amazing to see a dream develop, find a partner, gather steam, and come to fruition….and a couple of good friends working together to build something from scratch, without any drawings.

That’s it, no videos tonight, the videos I took are too large to load-up using my slow satellite internet speed.

thanks for reading along, I know you are rooting for us,
Mark DeCou (yes I know the website has a virus right now, the guy is working on that problem)

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

54 comments so far

View DocSavage45's profile


6704 posts in 1933 days

#1 posted 05-09-2013 02:03 AM


congratulations on your sawmill. Hope you get a lot of lumber out of it. Now you have to build a place to put it? LOL!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

14413 posts in 2196 days

#2 posted 05-09-2013 02:03 AM

WHOAAAAAAAAAAAA…...................I’m droolling! I love it!!!!!!!! and I love Osage Orange.
what a beautiful machine you have built. If I ever get to Kansas, I must stop in and see The Angry Beaver. It will like going to see Mt Rushmore in S Dakota!!

Thanks for showing it!!......................Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View watermark's profile


470 posts in 1033 days

#3 posted 05-09-2013 02:08 AM

Great piece of equipment you built there and a cool name never hurts :)

-- "He who has no dog, hunts with a cat" Portuguese proverb

View BusterB's profile


1738 posts in 1098 days

#4 posted 05-09-2013 02:08 AM

That is awesome….. nice build

-- Buster, Ocoee TN (Critics are men who watch a battle from a high place then come down and shoot the survivors - Hemingway)

View mmh's profile


3649 posts in 2812 days

#5 posted 05-09-2013 02:08 AM

Boy, would I love to be a scavenger in your lumber yard! I look forward to seeing what the slabs look like, not to mention the finished projects!

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View ErikF's profile


463 posts in 1334 days

#6 posted 05-09-2013 02:09 AM

That thing is awesome

-- Power to the people.

View Buckethead's profile


3121 posts in 959 days

#7 posted 05-09-2013 02:11 AM

Fantastic! And yes, I am rooting for you!

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View savannah505's profile


1749 posts in 2676 days

#8 posted 05-09-2013 02:34 AM

Mark – Toooooo Coooool !!!!!! I love it, looks like it chews up wood no problem. Very nice looking machine.

-- Dan Wiggins

View grizzman's profile


7633 posts in 2394 days

#9 posted 05-09-2013 03:07 AM

oh yea mark, you know im rooting for you…and what a cool name…..somewhere a picture needs to be painted on it…cant wait to see some slabs..

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Woodwrecker's profile


3769 posts in 2666 days

#10 posted 05-09-2013 03:19 AM

Wow ! Go “Angry Beaver” !

-- Eric down in sunny Florida.

View hoss12992's profile


3330 posts in 983 days

#11 posted 05-09-2013 03:21 AM


-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View vonhagen's profile


538 posts in 1455 days

#12 posted 05-09-2013 03:57 AM

great job and a great name for it.

-- no matter what size job big or small do a job right or don't do it at all.

View BTKS's profile


1984 posts in 2554 days

#13 posted 05-09-2013 04:04 AM

WOW, You have made a dream of mine come true!!! Me and a buddy have discussed how to make a mill but have not made any progress toward getting it done. Heck, I still need to cut a large elm for him for another project. But I digress, this is incredible. Good luck on the fine tuning and leak plugging.

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View lightweightladylefty's profile


2978 posts in 2803 days

#14 posted 05-09-2013 04:31 AM


What a dream come true! I’ll just keep repeating Exodus 20:17 and I Timothy 6:6. Thanks for sharing.


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Obi's profile


2213 posts in 3327 days

#15 posted 05-09-2013 05:13 AM

As usual… I’m impressed.

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