Homemade Bandsaw Mill Build Homemade Bandsaw Mill Build
Homemade Bandsaw Mill Build

UPDATE:  A PDF version of the bandsaw mill plans are ready for free download


To download the plans for the Bandsaw Mill, click the button below:


Required Parts to build this project:

The main reason I built this homemade sawmill is because I had some hardwood trees that I wanted get sawn into lumber for a few woodworking projects that I had planned. I had seen a couple videos where people had used the spare tires from cars as the band wheels and this really got my interest.

With most of the homemade sawmills that I had seen they had used conventional bearings to mount the wheels and this required fabricating hubs to fit the wheel. (All extra work and money)

The idea I had was to use the existing hubs and drive train from the vehicle that the tires came from. This proved to be a very quick and cost effective approach. I will definitely use this method for all future builds. Once I had gathered some scrap pieces I started the home made sawmill build.

My intent is to show you how to build a saw mill from start to finish

If you have any questions, just submit a comment below….

the build will be broken down into the following sections  each section will have it’s own page

Step 1 Source your materials

Step 2 Build the bed

Step 3 Build The carriage

Step 4 Mounting The Wheel Bearings

Step 5 Drive Shaft Modifications

Step 6 Blade Tensioner build 


Below is a  video of the final project.  Have a look to get a goo overview of the mill and the features.

My DIY Sawmill Mill Video

After sawing up the lumber that I needed to, and sawing some for a friend I decided to sell it as I had no place to store it and it was exposed to the elements.

I will be making another mill in the near future that has more automatic features. You can see my post and the ideas that I have for the automatic bandsaw mill plans here.


Important considerations before you build your own sawmill

What Type of Sawmill should I make?

Before you dig in and start trying to learn how to make a sawmill, you first need to decide on what type of sawmill it is that you want to build.  You have basically 3 types to choose from.  1) circular sawmill 2) bandsaw Mill and 3) a chainsaw mill (or alaskan mill)

Each type has it’s benefits and drawbacks.  For me in this particular application the bandsaw mill was by far the best choice for me.

What size should I make it?

Now is the time to decide how big you want to make the mill.  Don’t handcuff yourself later on because you made it too small.  There’s nothing worse than having a great log come along but your mill is just too small to handle it.

What is my budget?

This important factor will play a big part in the above decisions that you will make.  Your budget will determine 1) The materials that you use, 2) The type of mill you can build, 3) The size of your mill, 4) what you use to power your mill and 5) what features will be manual and which ones will be automatic.

Manual or Automatic?

In this mill everything was manual, and I am perfectly fine with that decision.   For low use, non production type applications I would recommend manual everything as it makes the build much simpler and cheaper.  Having said that my next mill will have automatic features.

The first will be log clamping and turning capabilities.  I spent most of my time turning and flipping logs (This really eats up the time and energy)

Next on my list is auto raise and lowering features for the head.  Going from the bottom of a log up to the top of a new log can really break a sweat!

The last feature I would add would be automatic feed, but I am really not sure if this one would save much time.  It would save work of me walking beside the mill though…

Gas or electric?

This decision may come down to if you already have access to either a gas or electric engine.  It may also depend on where you are using the mill and if it has access to the required electricity or not.  For me I think that a gas or diesel solution is a good one.  They are flexible and deliver more than enough power.  You can also use them anywhere and are not restricted to the access to electricity.

I will try to explain some important points in detail, but if there is something in particular that you would like to know, just add comment at the bottom of the page and I will reply for all to see.


I have also had many requests asking if this will also be portable sawmill plans as well.  My answer to this is that the only thing you would need to do to make this home made sawmill into a portable one is to add an axle under it and add a hitch to it.  Having said that I do eventually intend to put together a set of saw mill plans that include the gear to make it portable.  (I just have a lot of other projects to finish first)





**Disclaimer – I accept no responsibility or liability for any injuries that may result from building or using this information. In no way am I teaching you how to use power tools etc.


  • Gary Roberts

    May 9, 2015 #1 Author

    Good website …..Punch plate for background is nice but I am getting old and eyesite pretty bad and can not see black links. I do write websites for people and white might be a good choice…Good design for band mill,,I have a Timber King 1220..Looking to add a auto feed to it…Gary Roberts Southern Illinois


  • david brown

    July 9, 2015 #2 Author

    plan to build sawmill


  • search

    July 14, 2015 #3 Author

    Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thank you, However I am going through troubles with your RSS.

    I don’t understand the reason why I can’t join it. Is there anyone else getting the same RSS issues?
    Anyone who knows the answer will you kindly respond?


  • Scott Rowlings

    July 16, 2015 #4 Author

    Love to get a complete copy of these plans when they become available!


  • Chandrashekar B H

    July 18, 2015 #5 Author

    You hv the best machine plans which is cheap & fesible.


  • Agustin

    August 1, 2015 #6 Author

    Hi! Just saw your video of your homemade sawmill and I was wondering if you could send me the plans that you mentioned.
    I know it’s been a few years since your post, but if you have them I will appreciate that you send them to me :)

    Best regards!


  • Cliff

    August 2, 2015 #7 Author

    Would like to build a log band saw and need ideas of plans.


  • Eldridge Chowhan

    August 5, 2015 #8 Author

    Excellent work, thanks for this


  • ray

    March 2, 2016 #10 Author

    I have the two wheels, wheel bearings, CV shaft and motor… getting excited… just wish I could find a place to give me free metal!


  • Dale

    January 26, 2017 #12 Author

    Do you use donut spares or regular tires?


    • jrush331

      July 17, 2017 #13 Author

      I use the donut spares.


  • tom

    January 14, 2019 #14 Author

    Nice clean design. Ok my plan is to build a larger machine powered by an an auto engine auto tranny and I can use the cruise control set at 60 or so for speed of wheel. Enough power to run a hyd pump also. It will be a three post design . Enough good iron around this old farmers yard to where all I will need to buy is the saw band . Should I go 1 1/2 or 1 1/4 My first try at this so any advice is welcome


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