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Anybody mil their own lumber from logs using their bandsaw?

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Prizen

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Does anyone saws their own planks from logs using a bandsaw? Even occasionally?

Wondering if you have much success with it?
 

D_W

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you mean like an upright bandsaw?

Bandmills are dead common here in the states now with capable chinese cheapies starting around $2k (you lay the log on the ground and push the mill part manually on those). As junky as those may be, milling lumber standing is not going to be remotely close to as good unless you're just looking to mill small pieces from what's essentially split firewood.

What you see as finished lumber in general is a fraction of a much larger tree and attempting to cut smaller wood through and through won't yield much. Anything big enough to trim off the bark/punk/sap will be so big that you'll push your bandsaw over with it.

You'll also need teeth on the order of 1 per inch with significant set to efficiently cut the wood.

But - if you're looking for small stuff, resawing firewood pieces - pith is already gone, etc - perfectly doable on a vertical saw.

so many people have horizontal bandmills here that they have difficulty making any money with them and it's common to see people leasing their mill and their time rather than trying to sell slab lumber.
 

MikeG.

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Erm......I'm guessing you don't mean 6" branches from a fallen fruit tree. :lol:

Lots of turners use their bandsaw for preparing stock for turning, but an orthodox vertical bandsaw isn't set up ideally for converting large trunks into usable planks for, say, furniture making. You can't really mill anything practically by pushing it across a table.
 

D_W

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i'm not kidding about tipping a band saw over pretty easily, either. I used to have a 420 pound cast trunnion and wheel bandsaw before going back to working mostly by hand.

At one point, I had a long cant on it to resaw into usable would and it bound a little bit and the front of the saw was off the ground very quickly.

I can be a bit of a fat bully in adjusting things (maybe that's why I like hand tools), but I wasn't that rough and I weigh less than half of what the saw did.

This is a video of a fellow who lives in the pine mill area of the US (the south where we used to have a lot of furniture factories).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rV-s6ACDUqg
(he's semi-retired - using an old frick mill in the case of this video)

Pay close attention to the starting size of the logs and then the boards coming off, and take note that most of those boards will lose a few more inches of width as they go through the trim saw to have the wane removed.

Short wood, like mike says, no problem - especially if you're turning and using a high resaw bandsaw, but lumber will start to seem cheap if you're looking to get 6, 8 or 12 foot boards out of a vertical saw.
 

Doug B

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I make a sled out of two planks either side of the bandsaw blade, join them either end with a couple of pieces of timber screwed to the planks & then wedge the trunk on the planks to stop it twisting, then push it through the saw.
I use a 2tpi blade once you have made the first cut towards one side of the trunk you can do away with the sled as you have a flat surface to reference off with no chance of twisting, I’m olny limited by how much I can lift & push as I work on my own, bigger trunks that I can handle I take to my local sawmill but they charge.
 

Trainee neophyte

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I found the bandsaw isn't big enough (I should have paid big bucks for a much bigger one).

So I am doing this:
Resizer_15868020446391.jpg


Today I produced this:
Resizer_15868024088780.jpg


I will have to wait a year to see if I have produced anything usable - current cost is a few bits of scrap wood, about 10 litres of fuel, and a lot of time. The planks shown above took about an hour to produce - cutting is the easy bit - all the handling, fiddling, reorganising etc takes the time.

Oh, and I blew up a Lidl electric chainsaw, but it was rubbish before I started.
 

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Prizen

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I can get my hands on a lot of poplar, roughly 10 to 12" diameter. I am assuming that poplar should be light enough to manage
 

MikeG.

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Trainee neophyte":221021ep said:
........Today I produced this:..........
Bloody hell, TN, that's gorgeous. Stack it nicely won't you. And don't let the sun get at it. Sun destroys timber quicker than anything else.
 

Trainee neophyte

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MikeG.":uh6m0n62 said:
Trainee neophyte":uh6m0n62 said:
........Today I produced this:..........
Bloody hell, TN, that's gorgeous. Stack it nicely won't you. And don't let the sun get at it. Sun destroys timber quicker than anything else.
I know! It's all like that. And its free! I keep photographing it because I can't not photograph it - I may even have been caught chortling and rubbing my hands together like Fagin. More than once.

I've run out of real wood for stickers, so I have raided the wood pile for the minute, but something sensible needs to be done otherwise it will all be twisted. I have plans to move everything from under a tree and cover it up properly, but I have another 10 days or so cutting before I have finished - do I need to move it sooner? Perhaps that should be tomorrow's work. I'm up to about 80 pieces, varying from 18" to 3 feet in length. Another four or five big lumps of olive, and then I start on the walnut... I will need advice on what to make with it all, but that is for next year.

So you see - insane chainsaw lunacy is worth it. Probably.
 

Blackswanwood

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Trainee neophyte":1fz3uhdm said:
I found the bandsaw isn't big enough (I should have paid big bucks for a much bigger one).

So I am doing this:


Today I produced this:

I will have to wait a year to see if I have produced anything usable - current cost is a few bits of scrap wood, about 10 litres of fuel, and a lot of time. The planks shown above took about an hour to produce - cutting is the easy bit - all the handling, fiddling, reorganising etc takes the time.

Oh, and I blew up a Lidl electric chainsaw, but it was rubbish before I started.
What sort of wood is that TN?
 

Trainee neophyte

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Blackswanwood":6s1z1na1 said:
Trainee neophyte":6s1z1na1 said:
I found the bandsaw isn't big enough (I should have paid big bucks for a much bigger one).

So I am doing this:


Today I produced this:

I will have to wait a year to see if I have produced anything usable - current cost is a few bits of scrap wood, about 10 litres of fuel, and a lot of time. The planks shown above took about an hour to produce - cutting is the easy bit - all the handling, fiddling, reorganising etc takes the time.

Oh, and I blew up a Lidl electric chainsaw, but it was rubbish before I started.
What sort of wood is that TN?
As mentioned above, it is olive wood. I have 400 trees that need pruning annually, and I have neighbours with even more. No one ever cuts down any trees (well, almost never), but the offcuts can occasionally be quite big.

Edit: I didn't mean to take over the thread - sorry.
 

MikeG.

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It's at its most vulnerable when newly felled, so I'd get it in the shade ASAP.

Have you not got xylella yet? I guess not, or all those trees would be burnt rather than pruned.
 

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MikeG.":1ft74ekh said:
It's at its most vulnerable when newly felled, so I'd get it in the shade ASAP.

Have you not got xylella yet? I guess not, or all those trees would be burnt rather than pruned.
That would be the Italian olive disease - current thinking is that it only affects trees that are irrigated, which we don't, and it hasn't jumped the Adriatic yet. Fingers crossed it won't get here, although it is transmitted by leaf hoppers, and it is only 200 miles from me to Sicily. 12 hours by ferry.
 

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MikeG.":2lq057xu said:
Well, that Italian disease has made it to Spain, France, Germany, Corsica.....
I can't hear you ."La la la la" <fingers in ears>

(That must be why the price of olive oil is lower than it was 15 years ago.)
 

woodbloke66

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MikeG.":vsdjodgi said:
... but an orthodox vertical bandsaw isn't set up ideally for converting large trunks into usable planks for, say, furniture making. You can't really mill anything practically by pushing it across a table.
I've tried this little trick just the once and gave up afterwards. I bought a bit of green holly about 300mm dia from Stourhead and decided to slice it up into 25mm boards. I made the appropriate sled and used a very coarse, wide blade on the bandsaw.
The big problem is that you produce wet sawdust which sticks to the wheels (and everything else) This then rapidly compresses as it forms a sticky, solid mass between the blade and the wheels, which means that after every cut the saw needed to be switched off, the door opened and the sticky mass scraped off each of the wheels with an old ruler of some sort.
After doing this for about an hour, I gave up the will to live and haven't done it again - Rob
 

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I have only cut small boards as even a short bit(2' of 10'' log) is quite a lift and I was also thinking about the weight on the trunnions. The sled weight adds to the total. I also used to cut green turning blanks but gave that up after getting all gunked up with resin like Rob described. I just knock out green turning blanks with the chainsaw now. You soon realise what a big job milling is with hobby grade equipment. I guess if you are serious there is plenty info online about building bandsaw and chainsaw mills.
Regards
John
 

Doug B

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Prizen":2vwelmug said:
I can get my hands on a lot of poplar, roughly 10 to 12" diameter. I am assuming that poplar should be light enough to manage
Sounds a workable size, if it’s only just been felled don’t be in a rush to plank it just seal the ends & leave it to season so it’s drier & also lighter to handle.
You also need more than just a hobbyist bandsaw my own takes an 1&1/4” blade & is fairly substantial.
 
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