Using a Shop Bandsaw to Mill Small Logs

Woodworker considers using an 18" electric bandsaw for milling small amounts of lumber, then gives up the idea as impractical. December 15, 2005

Im curious if a single phase bandsaw, lets say in the neighborhood of 18"-20" with a 2 to 3 hp motor and a 3/4" blade will effectively rip an 8" soft wood log for dimension. I would occasionally want to put a hardwood chunk about the same size through it. Any of the small logs could be either green or down for a while. I'm trying to avoid the bandmill purchase for a little while until I start getting more large trees ready to thin. But I still need to slice and/or make some planks from some of the small stock on hand.

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor K:
It sounds reasonable to me or at least worth a try. On the band saw mills the teeth are set as left cut, mid cut and right cut as seen from "above". The "middle" cut is for removing the sawdust (keeping the path clear). Perhaps there is a bandsaw blade with this feature.

Otherwise, put a couple logs on the trailer and establish a good relationship with another sawyer in your area. I had a guy stop and say he wanted to make furniture and own a saw mill (I started out with the same wish). I have found that keeping the mill busy is plenty rewarding and plenty of work.

From contributor S:
You would need to make some kind of carriage to slide the log back and forth and hold the log steady. It also cuts slowly. I'd hire a portable mill to come in and cut.

From the original questioner:
I am thinking more along the lines of what Contributor S has to say. It seems like it would be a bit slow. There is also the "log issue" of keeping it constant and true. I think I am back to the bandmill purchase for starters.