Sawing Long Beams on a Bandmill

How do you make a 30-foot beam with a sawmill that will only saw 21 feet? March 16, 2015

How’s the best way to cut a 30 ' beam on a B20 that will only cut 21'?

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor S:
The only way I know is to cut four sides down to 20' then turn end for end and level the cut side with the blade.

From Contributor B:
I think it is great your using maximum timber frame like members in your structure. It would seem to me that you could get some channel or angle iron and weld - even bolt together some extensions to get you out to the 30'. If you can't afford the iron check to see if there is any school districts in your area taken down a stadium or school. There is a lot of good structural iron that gets thrown out.

From Contributor P:
I have performed a similar task this way: (I have my sawmill bed in level.) I started the first cut so long the bed allowed. Then I cut away with a hand saw that slab. Then I moved the log back, adjusted it to level with a protractor and clamped it. You have in this moment to adjust the blade height to the last cut surface and then fulfil the first cut. I turned the log 90 degrees and repeated that procedure for that side. Now you have two flat surfaces in 90 degrees. Turn the log/cant again and it is now easy to cut boards and just slide the cant back and forth on the bunks/bed so you can cut the boards you want. If your saw mill has manual feed you can stop the blade and leave the saw in the cut and let it follow the cant when you slide it back. A good protractor and the saw bed in level is the way to go if you like this method.

From the original questioner:
We finished cutting the beams this past weekend. We did it the way Contributor S talked about. It was a little trouble but doable. Probably the biggest problems were turning the logs, these 30 foot logs were really heavy and we had to use a lot of care handling them so we didn't destroy the mill. It's not easy to find trees straight enough to cut 30' 12x12's without bark. I could have made an extension but just didn’t' have time. Timberking doesn’t make the extension anymore, which I was very disappointed in them because my mill is rather new and fewer than 200 hours.

From Contributor W:
I have a B20 with an extension to cut about 28 feet. A 30 foot span is a long span without any center support and with any heavy load it will sag or fail in my opinion. I also I do not understand your application and may be talking through my hat. I am building a great room 28'x32'. Here are some of my hemlock beams which are truly support beans and hold roofs up.

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From the original questioner:
Sagging won’t be a problem, they will be held up by laminated beams probably larger than they are. These beams are strictly looks.