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Forum topic by Cole McFarland posted 12-09-2012 05:42 AM 1861 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Cole McFarland

25 posts in 2363 days

12-09-2012 05:42 AM

Topic tags/keywords: milling

So, I live on a farm. With 100 acres of timber. We have a lot of red oak, white oak, maple, walnut, cedar, most common woods. My problem is i can’t figure out how to mill it. I have a running chainsaw. But i’m 15. So my budget is very small. And i just got a truck, so most of my money has gone towards it. But i would love to mill my own lumber so i could continue to do my work. I love the “natural” style pieces. I was wondering if anybody had an idea of how I could mill my own lumber. I’m trying to get myself a bandsaw. I don’t know exactly which i should get, because i have seen others mill lumber with their bandsaws. But i don’t know if they have something other than a common bandsaw found at Home Depot. Any ideas? Suggestions? I’m open to all ideas. Thanks!

12 replies so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30126 posts in 2572 days

#1 posted 12-09-2012 05:53 AM

I have cut 6500 board feet of lumber this year with an Alaskan Chainsaw mill. You can Google it. Something to look at.

If I was close I’d come do it for you :-)

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Tomj's profile


204 posts in 2615 days

#2 posted 12-09-2012 05:58 AM

For bandsaws check out As for milling your own lumber first you want to learn how to dry it correctly. You would also need a planer. I’m sure others will be along soon with more suggestions. Good luck.

View WDHLT15's profile


1797 posts in 2710 days

#3 posted 12-09-2012 12:46 PM

My advice would be to buy a small portable band sawmill like the Woodmizer LT10. You can go to and look it up. It will cost you about $3600. There is another good small manual mill called the EZboardwalk JR. Go to to see it. It will mill a 30” diameter log 12 feet long. It is about $4000. The reason that I recommend this option is that you can sink a lot of money in a chainsaw mill and chainsaw big enough to run it. However, chainsaw milling is slow and very labor intensive. Plus, the chain cuts a large kerf at least 1/4” and is not as yield efficient as a bandsaw sawmill where the blade only takes 1/8” of kerf. Make a significant difference if you mill a lot of logs.

Investing your money towards the small manual bandsaw sawmill is a smart way to go because of the added value. I bought a Woodmizer LT15 in last Fall 2001. Sold it in late summer 2012. I sold it for 70% of the initial purchase price. The small bandsaw sawmills have excellent re-sale value if you decide to sell down the road and upgrade to a larger mill. I have sold thousands of BF of lumber and paid for the mill about 15 times over. There is a good market for good hardwood lumber to local woodworkers if you have the space to dry and store the lumber.

I have nothing against chainsaw mills. They are good tools and have a place. If you plan to cut much lumber, the small manual bandsaw sawmill will be more efficient and worth the additional money.

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

View Kenny Dunn's profile

Kenny Dunn

44 posts in 2560 days

#4 posted 12-09-2012 01:03 PM

See if you can find someone close by that has a small mill, they may help unless you just want to DIY. You could fall smaller trees and take them to their mill. I used to have a Woodmizer mill and I think they keep a log of where their mills are and can put you in touch with someone

-- I saw an angel in the marble and I carved until I set him free-Michelangelo

View Cole McFarland's profile

Cole McFarland

25 posts in 2363 days

#5 posted 12-09-2012 03:51 PM

After a VERY generous donation by my grandfather, i think i’m going to buy an Alaskan Chainsaw Mill. Thanks for all your help! I didn’t even know there was such a thing. Haha. Lj’s help once again :-)

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30126 posts in 2572 days

#6 posted 12-10-2012 12:04 AM

When you get going with it, if you have any questions give me a holler. It’s kind of a slow process. But I enjoyed taking wood from tree to finished product. Good luck.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Don W's profile

Don W

19034 posts in 2801 days

#7 posted 12-10-2012 01:18 AM

Here’s a little more help with the Alaskan.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Cole McFarland's profile

Cole McFarland

25 posts in 2363 days

#8 posted 12-10-2012 01:27 AM

I will make sure to ask all questions I have. Thank you! And thank you for that link, it’s very, very helpful! You did a great job on that writeup!

View mattsrand's profile


4 posts in 2227 days

#9 posted 12-10-2012 04:14 PM

Alaskan is the way to go for $$$ reasons. Spent time in Alaska and the guys up there that mill on the spot use it with great results. It’s basically an attachment to your chainsaw that gives you an even cutting surface.

View sprucegum's profile


324 posts in 2231 days

#10 posted 12-10-2012 08:28 PM

Personally I think you would be happier with a bandmill but if you want a chainsaw mill check there are always chainsaw mills for sale used. Since there is not much to wear out on them except the chainsaw a used one should be almost as good as new provided you buy one without the saw or at least don’t pay too much for a used saw. If you buy a used one at a fair price you save some money and if you want to upgrade in a year or two you should be able to get most of your money back.

-- A tube of calk and a gallon of paint will make a carpenter what he ain't

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3100 days

#11 posted 12-10-2012 08:32 PM

I’ve seen small chainsaw mills on IRS Auctions a number of times.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2422 days

#12 posted 12-12-2012 05:55 AM

An Alaskan mill or similar will require a serious chainsaw, not a toy from the likes of Home Depot. I think you would be much better off getting time on a bandsaw mill. Chainsaw mills are a crude impersonation thereof, not to mention that they are pretty hard on the saw too.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

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