UPDATE: I have been working on drawing up some plans for this homemade sawmill due to the large volume of requests that I have been receiving.
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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
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 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)