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Simple Lumber Maker


I've turned my bandsaw into a mini sawmill with the help of one dirt-simple jig and a pair of extension tables. The jig is nothing more than a piece of plywood screwed to the log. It steadies the log when I cut the first slab and provides additional support when I rotate the log to saw boards (see photos).

My bandsaw is equipped with a fence to guide the jig and a riser block to accommodate the additional height of a log. I use a very coarse 3/4-in. 2-tpi blade for sawing thick, green wood (see Source, below). My jig is a piece of 3/4-in. plywood 12 in. wide and 6 ft. long. (The largest log the saw and my back can handle is 11 in. dia. and 4 ft. long.)

Attaching the plywood to the log is easy. I just lay the plywood on top of the log and drive 2-in.-long deck screws at three or four points where the board touches the log. (The screws should penetrate at least 1/2-in. below the bark.) I lift the log onto the extension table and pound some carpenter's shims under both sides of the log to keep it from rocking. The first cut goes through both log and plywood. This creates a flat surface to support the log on its side for the following cuts.

I flip the plywood jig on its side and ride it against the fence to saw boards. The jig automatically holds the log at a right angle to the first cut I made.

Suffolk Machinery, (800) 234-7297
2-tpi PC Series 3/4-in. x 105-in. blade, $24.


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Andy Andrews wrote re: Simple Lumber Maker
on 03-21-2009 11:22 AM

this is a very ingenious way to aquire lumber stock. those length of lumber that ive seen thrown away can know be put to good use

Michael Cooper wrote re: Simple Lumber Maker
on 05-10-2009 1:15 PM

Outstanding post, thanks for sharing your idea!

I was blessed with the gift of a bunch of sections of a cedar tree that I would love to cut into boards! I never would have thought it possible on a shop size bandsaw.

Buzzard107 wrote re: Simple Lumber Maker
on 06-19-2009 4:57 AM


navy1 wrote re: Simple Lumber Maker
on 07-11-2009 10:29 AM

I have been purchasing bandsaw blades from Suffolk, and they are the very best.

3Frog wrote re: Simple Lumber Maker
on 08-14-2009 6:43 PM

I have a bunch of fallen trees that I am going now be able to make my own lumber to make Christmas, birthday and all kinds of presents for my family!  Finally the fallen trees will not be burnt for fun!

Steve Metcalf wrote re: Simple Lumber Maker
on 11-08-2009 10:52 PM

Obviosly a large bandsaw as the log in this article seems to be at least 8" which of course would require at least that much clearance. What size motor is on your bandsaw? I attempted to re-saw using my Craftsman 14 in band saw but couldn't successfully saw anything more than about 4".