I recently promised to blog a jig free method for bandsawing logs into lumber. I might have called it a simple jig rather than jig free. It all depends on how you define it. Can a flat board qualify as a jig? Anyway, here is a very safe and simple method to convert your logs to lumber on your bandsaw.
Keep in mind that while I’ve only shown the slicing of short logs, you can cut much longer logs with this method, but then you will probably need an infeed and outfeed table to support them.
Here is the demonstration log we’ll be slicing.
The first thing I’ll do is make some wedges from a 2”X3”. The series of pics below show how I do it.
Next is the board I use as a carriage for the log. One side is jointed, so it can run straight against the BS fence.
Then I place the log on carriage board with the cut side hanging out over the edge of the board just enough to get a nice flat surface. I position the wedges dry where they fit snuggly while the hot glue gun heats up, then I glue them on. It doesn’t require a lot of glue, about as shown on the following pics. If you are worried you can add a little glue at the top as shown. (probably not needed)
Ok, now it’s ready for the bandsaw.
These pics show first the cut side with the log hanging out over the edge, and the next photo the fence side.
Here is the first cut.
The 2nd cut with the first cut now face down on the table and the bottom of the carriage board running against the fence.
Now to remove the log from the carriage. I just bang the wedges loose with a hammer. The wedges can be used again by trimming off the glued edges. Some glue stays on the board too, but I only remove that after cutting several logs.
Now you have a log with adjacent flat side forming a 90 degree angle and you can run one side against your fence with the other side flat on the table to finish slicing your log as shown.
And finally you have some nice boards to sticker.
I didn’t finish the slicing job because yesterday I cut up another “urban” log. It had 3 nails in it and it ruined my blade. I used the ruined blade for this blog because I was worried about the possiblity of more nails. So I will have to change my blade to finish the job on this log.
This method is really easy, accurate and safe. The idea of just using a flat board and then turning it 90 degrees for the 2nd cut is not mine. I got it from the tips section of one of the wood mags. (sorry, I can’t remember which one). My idea for this method was to attach the log with the hot glued wedges instead of using screws. I’ve cut quite a few logs so far and the glue never loosened even once.
My reason for wanting to use this method was that I have no space left in my shop to store a large jig for this purpose. I can use any board that is wide/long enough for the log and has one jointed edge. I hope you will give it a try!
-- Mike, an American living in Norway.