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Any easy DIY sawmill plans?

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Forum topic by craftedbyadam posted 10-11-2016 10:02 PM 381 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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craftedbyadam

17 posts in 359 days


10-11-2016 10:02 PM

I’m in South Carolina and just had a hurricane knock down A LOT of oak trees around me. I’m a little experienced with a chainsaw but have never made an Alaskan mill or cut my own rough lumber. I have a prime opportunity to get some beautiful lumber before others get to it or just haul it to a dump.

I’m no metal fabricator and all the mills I’m finding really need more skill to make that what the tools I have will allow. I don’t have logging tools to haul stuff through the woods so setting up a sawmill/jig on site would allow me to easily haul off the lumber for drying.

Any tips guys? I really appreciate it and I am not messing with any trees that are stuck hanging on another tree or anyone’s home. I’m only slicing up lumber from fallen trees that isn’t rotted. Safety is my number one concern.


10 replies so far

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Rick M

7920 posts in 1844 days


#1 posted 10-12-2016 12:16 AM

Woodgears.com
Wooden bandsaw mill

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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BobAnderton

219 posts in 2254 days


#2 posted 10-12-2016 01:50 AM

Just buy an alaskan mill from Granberg. It’s less than $200. The problem is that after the first time or two you use it you realize that you really want a $500-$1000 high cc/ high horsepower chainsaw. Gnawing on endgrain for 8-10 feet on a 2 foot wide cut is hard work for a chainsaw. Much harder than crosscutting. It’s the nice saw that is the expensive part, not the chainsaw mill. Get the mill with the 30 or 36 inch rails and something like a 36” bar. Figure you’re going to get a few hundred board feet from each tree and you can’t afford not to do it. :)

-- Bob Anderton - Austin, TX - Nova 3000 lathe, Alaskan Mark III mill, Husqavarna Saw

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craftedbyadam

17 posts in 359 days


#3 posted 10-12-2016 03:08 PM

Woodgears is down. But I see the wooden bandsaw. Still not easy.

Your exactly right Bob, I see it would be crazy not to cut up as much board feet as I can right now. I just noticed a novice out there like me getting his lumber but I don’t have a trailer and truck. Just an SUV, which means the sawmill for the chainsaw is my only option for now. Try to bu on a budget.

The saw is only a 55cc so I’ve already read that you want more power. I’m young and strong so I fit bred I could be ok but I get it. Being limited on funds hurts my idea but maybe I’ll go cut logs I can handle into something I can still move around and then cut up later once I have a better way to mill them. I won’t have 6’ boards but can still make plenty of smaller furniture out of it….

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craftedbyadam

17 posts in 359 days


#4 posted 10-12-2016 03:10 PM

Btw, a lot of the trees down here are live oak and I read that species isn’t a good one for furniture makers. I make a lot of rustic stuff so maybe I will be ok if not used for something with a fine finish?
Anyone have any live oak furniture? But there’s plenty of white and red oak around here too just not behind my home.

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gargey

474 posts in 240 days


#5 posted 10-12-2016 04:54 PM

Live oak is super duper hard and heavy. So its difficult to work.

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Rick M

7920 posts in 1844 days


#6 posted 10-12-2016 06:46 PM



Woodgears is down. But I see the wooden bandsaw. Still not easy.
- craftedbyadam

Woodgears.ca, (not .com) my bad.
http://woodgears.ca/bandmill/plans/

If you want really easy…
http://www.ibuildit.ca/Workshop%20Projects/chainsaw-mill.html

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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WDHLT15

1572 posts in 1940 days


#7 posted 10-12-2016 07:50 PM

Sorry, nothing easy about building a sawmill.

-- Danny Located in Perry, GA. Forester. Wood-Mizer LT40HD35 Sawmill. Nyle L53 Dehumidification Kiln. hamsleyhardwood.com

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BobAnderton

219 posts in 2254 days


#8 posted 10-12-2016 08:07 PM

Adam, a 55cc saw is enough to get you going. I use a 60cc saw myself and it is fine for my needs. Keep the chain sharp and that makes up for a lot. Get a long bar for it and an Alaskan mil, and a box of chain files. Advantages are it’s portable and you can walk up to a log and mill it where it lays, easy to store, and low cost to get started. I’ve milled live oak and it is amazingly hard. Twice as hard as red or white oak. Get yourself a can or bucket of Anchorseal too, and seal the ends of any log before you mill it to prevent end checking.

I think milling with a chainsaw is safer than typical chainsaw activities like dropping trees or delimbing because when milling the bar is fixed in the mill and it’s held in a static orientation. The milling itself feels pretty safe. If you are used to dropping $100-$200 at a time at the fine lumber store just consider how many of those trips you’ll be able to skip.

-- Bob Anderton - Austin, TX - Nova 3000 lathe, Alaskan Mark III mill, Husqavarna Saw

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Rick M

7920 posts in 1844 days


#9 posted 10-12-2016 09:06 PM

I would definitely buy a ripping chain straight away.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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craftedbyadam

17 posts in 359 days


#10 posted 10-12-2016 09:17 PM

I’ve seen the metal bracket sawmill attachment and was thinking that would be the easiest to build with a few pieces of angle iron and some bolts etc. Was hoping someone had an easy plan for one of those as I’m not good with metal fab and planning.

Ok so a ripping chain is definitely a requirement haha. Just cross cutting some of this live oak is pretty tough. I see why people say you need a big engine and really good chain.

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