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TLuker 11-17-2012 01:01 AM

Saw Mill?
At some point in the future I know I'm going to have to start sawing my own wood. The price of lumber is getting crazy and the wood you get from the store is horrible. I can get wood cut by an individual for a great price, but carrying logs to the mill is a pain and gets expensive after a few trips. So sawing up my own lumber is definitely in the future. Now I'm wondering what would be the best setup for a small saw mill at home? Any ideas out there on the best type of blade, power source, and so on? :confused:

Axxe55 11-17-2012 01:05 AM

check out some of the portable sawmills available from Northern Tool Supply. they even have some that use a chainsaw as the cutting tool.

dsheppard 11-17-2012 01:16 AM

Yes they have some called an Alaskan mill. Its an attachment that fits on the chansaw to cut boards with. I used to use one making bridges in the middle of bfe for the forrest service

trip286 11-17-2012 01:28 AM

My grandfather and I built two houses and three barns with wood cut with a mizer towable saw mill.

Then we traveled around during the summers, keeping me occupied and out of trouble, and paying off the saw mill by cutting for other people. f&dm_redirected=true

They're a one stop shop, selling everything you need but the gas. May have to get the hydraulic fluid else where too. And can hooks.

hmh 11-17-2012 01:51 AM

The woodmizer is a good brand. You want a band saw mill with hydraulics because loading and flipping logs will quickly wear you out and opens you up more for injury. Stay away from a lambardini engine.

clr8ter 11-17-2012 02:39 AM

Yeah, I have thought about this extensively. Be aware that the mill is only 1/2 of it. How are you going to move logs weighing up to several tons to, and onto the mill? Gonna need some big diesel power. Big $$$.
Now, I have a lot of pine trees on my property I'd LOVE to turn into lumber. I came to the conclusion that it'd be too much effort and money for the return. Trees wold cost nothing, but I'd have to drop them, and move them, ect.
If you must, a small mill easily transported in the back of a pickup would be best. Acknowledge that you might be limited to smaller logs that 1-3 people can move by hand, and in shorter lengths. THAT might be doable......

Check out Cook's sawmills. Subscribe to their catalog. They have interesting articles in there, and it's free, they come a couple times a year. Also check out homebuilt sawmills on You-Tube. And, join the sawmill forum. Great place to ask questions, better than here.....

tigerbeetle 11-17-2012 01:50 PM

Getting the wood sawn is only half of it. It still needs drying out. Either it goes to a kiln, or it is air dried for a year or 3 or 4 so it doesn't buckle and twist. Some species of hardwood are not suitable for lumber. You need to know your species and wood characteristics. A portable mill is taken to the timber, but as said tractors, (mules) and skidders are still needed. After drying, it needs to be planed and edged. More tools... The lumber yard is probably still your cheapest "out" regardless of what you pay per board foot.

clr8ter 11-17-2012 05:11 PM


It still needs drying out.
Maybe. Around here people use green hemlock to build barns, sheds, ect. Not making a judgement as to whether it's a good idea or not, just saying. Also, to air dry lumber isn't hard. If you do it carefully, and provide adequate conditions. Each layer of boards has to be stickered, stack should be in an appropriate place, top cover only would be nice......


After drying, it needs to be planed and edged.
Not if you need/want rough lumber. Houses were built out of it for a long time, in some places, they still are.

scottmac 11-17-2012 11:40 PM

A friend has a Logasol ( and it works well. It's designed for one-man manipulation of the logs & lumber, and uses a chainsaw (they provide a long chain and guide for the saw).

As mentioned, cutting is only the half of it. Drying and curing takes a while, but it's not that big of a deal.

TLuker 11-18-2012 12:34 AM

I know I'll probably never recoup my expenses, but I'm ok with that. My personal financial philosophy is I don't mind spending money up front for something so long as it doesn't keep costing me, and that's my biggest concern with choosing a saw mill. I'm wondering what's the best way to go as far as maintenance, replacement blades (resharpening), and so on. Thanks for the suggestions. :)

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