As a woodworker, sawing lumber must be one of the main chores that you handle in your workshop. You should also know that you can’t just apply any method to saw lumber.
Some people prefer a simple chainsaw, while others tend to go for an advanced option with a hybrid table saw.
In this article, we will be exploring the ways you can saw lumber using a bandsaw mill.
Preparing the Log
Before you start sawing the lumber, it is important to prepare the log accordingly. Here are some tips to help you out;
- The butt log should be close to diameter. Trim the bell very carefully and ensure that the lumber butt is near the rest of the diameter of your log.
- Trim the limbs and numbs to keep the log clean enough. A chainsaw should help you with that. This helps to save you the need for making any milling adjustments.
- Use a metal detector to find any nail or metal particle around the working area or even in the log.
- Before you start sawing the lumber, wash the log properly. Normally, dirty logs can ruin the blade of your bandsaw mill. You can opt to power wash the log if need be. It might be time-consuming, but it will save you some hassle later.
Approaches of How to Saw Lumber with a Bandsaw Mill
There are multiple approaches to sawing lumber with a bandsaw mill, and here is a look at them;
1. Slaw Sawing
This option is the perfect choice for low-quality lumber. It is also known as line sawing, and it requires you to saw the log at open face. Preferably, do it almost half path.
After that, you can turn it in the opposite direction and saw the other parts. Most woodworkers prefer slaw sawing since it is time-saving and generally easier than other methods.
Nevertheless, ensure that the lumber pieces are all edges before slaw sawing it. This helps to give it a prominent look.
Besides being low-grade, lumber pieces that are line sawn tend to be wide and heavy too. They will also warp a lot when they start to dry out.
2. Quarter Sawing
Here is how to quarter saw lumber with a bandsaw mill;
Normally, you will need to choose the right wood. Some people prefer oak, while others go for maple. However, oak is usually the best pick.
To quarter saw lumber, start by setting up the mill, and ensure that the side supports are up for use. From there, place the log on top of the log loader, and be accurate with the positioning. If the log is perfectly positioned, it will offer you an easy cut.
From there, track the X-Y plane parrel to the mill deck formula as you position the log axis. Generally, the X-Axis is the running length of the mill, while the Y-Axis is the length across the mill. The vertical length is the Z-axis.
You should then maintain the log in the X-Y plane for halving. After that, you can proceed to halve the half portion at the bottom. The bottom quarter should be used for the cutting board once it is clamped. From there, get the board off and place it on the stack to dry.
When it is fully dry, proceed to work on the X-axis.
3. Cant Sawing
This option is suitable for Medium-Quality Lumber, and you will start by sawing the top end side of the log. After that, all you have to do is rotate it at 180 degrees. You can then saw the following set of cuts with the other side of the log.
Once you’ve done that, you simply have to spin it at a 90-degree angle to saw the third side. To wrap it up, saw the remaining side at 180 degrees.
This helps you to get a centerpiece or cant with a log squared. You can process the pieces with a different machine. You can find it in the market as a large or weighty timber.
If you have a large number of board feet, cant sawing is usually the best option. You can maximize the quantity daily with this approach.
Still, you can use this method for low-quality logs as well.
4. Grade Sawing
If you need high-quality logs, but you don’t mind about low production, grade sawing should be the right pick for you.
With this method, you need to turn up to five times as you cut. All you have to do is a saw and turn continuously. That is why it is the right choice for high and medium-quality timber processing.
Since it takes a lot of time to turn and process the timber, it will reduce the overall volume.
5. Plain Sawing
If you want high-quality logs, but you also need high production, plain sawing should suit you perfectly.
Plain sawing is generally the same as cant sawing. You start the process by rotating and just going over the outer side of the log.
Nevertheless, the difference is that you will have to continue further instead of leaving it in a cant position. This also helps to better the lumber production.
Furthermore, board edging is also included in the process. This gives you a better finish without having any rough edge. Again, this is the best option for the best quality logs.
P/S: Keep it Slow and Safe
Whichever method you choose to saw lumber with a bandsaw mill, you must ensure that you keep it slow and safe. Do not freak out as you saw the lumber. Above all, avoid hurrying the process, especially whenever you are dealing with blades. Rushing things will only ruin the end result, and it can injure you in the process.
With the approaches of How to Saw Lumber with a Bandsaw Mill, we have given in this article, you can apply them when you need to learn how to saw cross-cut lumber with a bandsaw mill. Just remember to wear the necessary safety gear whenever you are working with your lumber and bandsaw mill.