Shop-made Firewood Bandsaw Mill.

Last year I discovered the local guy selling me firewood had some interesting logs included in the bundle I got. I’ve had good luck slicing up the logs. In particular, last autumn I used some logs to make Serving Trays, which sold out at Maker Faire NYC. So time to repeat. But the hard part was getting the cuts started on the irregularly shaped logs. Then I saw the Carter Products Log Mill. And my second thought was as an alleged woodworker, why buy what I can make. Besides, the shop is supposed to be self-supporting. And thus was born my shop-made firewood mill.

As the photos show, mounted on a 3/4” MDF base are two vertical supports, each with a grid of pointy screws to grab the ends of the log. The back support is movable, into whose bottom I have routed 1/4” grooves. These mate with the corresponding grooves I’ve cut into the top of the base. A 1/4” screw is used to secure the back support to the base but due to the interlocking grooves, the screw doesn’t have to carry the tension created by clamping a log. No slipping and losing control of a log in the middle of a bandsaw cut.

To clamp a log in place, the back screw plate is pushed into the log via a pair of knobbed screws. I still need to perfect this arrangement. For now I need an extra clamp to keep the back screw plate from levering out and not biting into the log. As whole, the grid of screws front and back work well for allowing me to carefully position the log for the first cut. Once a log is mounted, the whole affair is hoisted onto the bandsaw table and a runner fits into the bandsaw’s miter slot to keep the whole thing cutting straight.

After the first cut to the log, I remove it and now have flat face to rest on the bandsaw table and from here it is straightforward the cut another flat face normal to the first. And from there the process of resawing the log into usable pieces is easy.

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What do you do when your horizontal bandsaw doesn’t come with an auto stop? You #macguyber one! #shopmade #metalfabrication (at StormsDesign)