Thursday, August 26, 2010

Homemade Log Milling Tutorial

Due to popular demand I have videoed my process of how I go about turning a small log into lumber.  In this sequence I am using a 6" diameter sycamore log, which is smaller than I usually do, but honestly it was the best log that was at the dump.  First I drive two screws into the side of the log to hold the log to the sled.  Note that I am using a scrap piece of wood as a spacer to lift the log up above the clamps that are holding the jig to the bandsaw table. 

When I build a new and improved version I will build the auxiliary fence wide enough so the clamps will not interfere.  This jig is made from old particleboard drawer, and the frame of a old screen door.  The sled (which also doubles as a resaw fence) slides along a track. The base can be adjusted for drift and the log's size.

The blade I am using is Highland Woodworking's Woodturner's 3/8" Bandsaw Blade (105" length).  The jig is aligned with the blade to cut where I want it to and is squared to the fence bar which has been adjusted for drift. 
I have a video of the first cut, I apoligize about the quality, I was having problems uploading the non-condensed version.  It's not the most scintillating, so I understand if you skip to the end. 
After a flat face has been established I reference the newly cut face off a fence, in this case my regular bandsaw fence because this log isn't wide enough to need a tall resaw fence.  Note how in the beginning the log bucks a little.  This is caused by the log not resting securely on the table.  I should have flipped it around to cut from the other side, which would've been more stable.

With the lumber cut I paint the ends with latex paint and sticker them for drying.  Also I was sure to clean most of the sawdust out of my saw because the wet sawdust will cause rust on unprotected parts.  Even from this small of a log quite a bit of sawdust was made.


Trevor Walsh said...

Nice log, thanks for the tutorial.


YouthHealth said...

Wow thanks for the tutorial. I'm gonna try it to do this for this weekend :) Gotta get ready for the winter.

Roscoe said...

I always wanted to do this, it just moved higher up on my list!