Sawing Small Logs on a Shop Bandsaw

Ideas for jigs and rigs to adapt a small bandsaw for milling small logs. October 30, 2005

I am considering building a carriage with log dog to saw small logs (up to 2') into lumber using a 20" bandsaw. Once the first cut is made, the log can be turned to that side to re-saw the balance of the log. I have not seen this bandsaw accessory. Could it be similar to bandsaw mills for large logs? I am thinking of attaching plate and dogs to the miter gauge bar.

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor M:
You need a really good table with extensions, as most bandsaw tables are too small. The miter gauge slot is good, but also too small. To do 2' long logs, you need 4' of travel, plus a really good "dog" system to hold the log. You will also a way to advance the log in even increments, 1" - 2" whatever. Not sure what kind of lumber or blanks you are after, but maybe a chainsaw mill would be easier?

From contributor J:
I have cut several small "logs" on a small bandsaw. Before they will fit, I split them with a chainsaw. That typically gives them a fairly flat surface to slide across the band saw table. Then I use a fence to guide the rest of my cuts. I don't see why you can't use a chainsaw to create a cant that you then run through your band saw. Then again, your jig might speed up the whole process. Good luck and let me know how it works. I might like to try the same idea if it works for you.

From contributor D:
I've had pretty good results cutting boards from cants on a 14" bandsaw. I use an 8-foot piece of plywood with a strip attached to the bottom that runs in the miter slot of the bandsaw table. In front and back of the table are boards that support cheap cabinet wheels. The sled runs on the wheels with almost no friction, so my effort goes into controlling the cut rather than fighting the cant against friction.

So I split or quarter a log and then load the cant on the sled. The sled gives me a good straight cut. For every new board I just slide the cant over. On a good day, board thickness doesn't vary more than 1/16th of an inch.