Makita 5402na into a small circular sawmill ?

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Forum topic by mmlaing posted 03-05-2010 08:13 PM 4002 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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14 posts in 3545 days

03-05-2010 08:13 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jig question

Hello All,
I have been wondering for awhile if anyone has come up with a design for a carriage for the Makita 5402na the 16” circular saw. With a depth of cut of about 6” I would think that with the right carriage it could saw some small logs for hobby use. I have (2) 7 foot I beam door clamps that I could use for the rails and the problem is that I am not really sure how to proceed with designing the carriage to hold the saw and how to make the depth adjustment device.

I had an idea of using heavy duty drawer slides (from lee valley) to have and table that would move from left to right and with indexed holes.

Has anyone else given this some thought or would be able to offer some insight as to how I might go about building a small mill like this?


1 reply so far

View lainemech's profile


5 posts in 3247 days

#1 posted 03-06-2010 05:44 PM

Hey Mike,

I have no clue as to what the Makita saw you are referring to is or looks like, but if you look at a portable circle saw mill like the Lucas ( you may get some ideas. You also have the option of moving the log through the blade on some type of carriage like the big circle mills. The biggest problem I think you’re going to run into is the 6” depth of cut limitation. If you have a band saw (if it’s big enough) with a resaw blade you can saw small logs into lumber using a rip fence along with some kind of a sled type fixture to hold the log steady until you get it squared on a few sides.

I don’t blame you for trying. I have tried just about everything to saw logs into lumber (home made chain saw mills, 14” delta band saw, table saw and freehand sawing with a chain saw). They all worked, and I made use of every bit of the lumber sawed, but some wasted about as much (if not more) wood than they yielded, and with the chain, it took lots of planing to get a flat board. I got tired of getting only a few short, narrow boards after working half the day. I finally broke down and got a band saw mill, and I love it! If I want lumber, I just find the right log(s) and saw them up. I have to actually find things to do with the extra lumber some times. It hasn’t yet, but I feel in time it will more than pay for itself in just the the cost of lumber saved alone!

-- Bob, Upstate SC

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