Using Your Bandsaw as a Sawmill to Cut Logs Into Boards

On my recent “Secret Surveilance Garden Birdhouse” project, I used some resawn lumber from a felled tree as an overlay for a rustic look. Making planks on a bandsaw isn’t too hard, but there are a few considerations to keep in mind when doing so–the most important being the propensity for round logs to roll during cutting, which can result in blade binding or worse.

This video from George Vondriska shows some useful tips on how to use your bandsaw as a sawmill. One of the smart things done right at the start of the project is connecting the log to a right-angle jig, holding the pieces in place. After two cuts are made (one for the face, one to keep the bottom steady), the fence is put in place, and planks of your desired thickness can be cut. A great way to reuse the wood from cut trees that would otherwise be discarded.

Some helpful notes from the comments on the video page: The logs should be cut while still green (freshly cut, not dried); the planks should be allowed to dry for one year. A resawing blade at least 1/2″ thick wide with 3-4 teeth per inch is recommended. Standing the planks on end helps keep the ends from splitting during the drying phase–otherwise, the ends should be coated or painted.

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