Turning out the lumbers into boards demand the implementation of skillful sizing, cutting, and finishing. Therefore, many carpenters choose bandsaw mills for the said purpose. There are other methods for cutting the lumbers, including hybrid table saws and simple chainsaws.

Nevertheless, bandsaw milling is accountable for being a productive and effective alternative. 


How To Saw Lumber With A Bandsaw Mill

Bandsaw milling saves a lot of time. In fact, lumbers usually come in various shapes and sizes. They are either square or round in shape that contributes towards making the cutting process more difficult.

But, most woodworkers often deal with round lumbers. And this makes the use of the portable band saw a feasible option for cutting them.

There are different sawmill techniques that woodworkers use for changing the size of lumbers into a square log. This helps them to carry out diverse applications. So, if you are willing to learn how to saw lumber with a bandsaw mill, this is the right guide for you.

Carpenter adjusts the bandsaw mill

Step 1: Prepare The Log For Sawing

  1. Trim the middle area of the log.
  2. Ensure that the lumber end is close to the log diameter.
  3. Then, trim it with a simple chainsaw.
  4. In this way, you will be able to adjust the lumber before it enters the milling stage.
  5. Look for any obstructions within the lumber, such as nails or metal particles. Use metal detectors for searching the log.
  6. It ensures that the blade doesn’t hit the metal, as it would cause damage to the tool.
  7. Clean the lumber log before setting it onto the mill. Dirty lumber will ruin the effectiveness of the blades.
  8. Use power washing measures for the purpose, for added effectiveness in the cleaning of the lumber.

Step 2: Choose The Right Cutting Pattern

There are few types of cutting patterns available with the application of bandsaw milling. They include:

  1. Live Sawing- With this pattern, the bandsaw mill will cut the lumber to one-half at its opening face and continue cutting from the opposite end.
  2. Cant Sawing- With this pattern, the bandsaw mill will cut the opening face & sides of the lumber. The top part is cut first, and then it is flipped to 180 degrees for further cutting.
  3. Grade Sawing- With this pattern, you will have to turn the lumber around five times to get the appropriate slides.
  4. Plain Sawing- Plain sawing is similar to that of cant sawing, where you will be cutting the square-shaped lumber for getting the desirable board.
  5. Quarter Sawing- This cutting pattern follows the method of quartering the wood and then breaking down the quarters into lumber for further applications. It is an expensive cutting pattern.

Your choice of cutting pattern decides the targets and needs that you intend to achieve.

Step 3: Setting Of The Miter Bar

  1. You need to adjust the miter bar in accordance with the size of the log.
  2. Miter bars are often 2 Ft. long and 10 in. Wide.
  3. Measure the ideal size of the lumber logs, and then consider marking the miter bar with that size.
  4. Go ahead and attach that miter bar with MDF (medium-density fiberboard)
  5. Consider making certain holes on the bar for the sake of attaching it to MDF. It will allow you to execute the right cutting pattern.

Step 4: Start The Cutting Or Bandsaw Milling Process

  1. Place the lumber or log within the bar.
  2. Go ahead and make the first slide. Then, it will be easy for you to get that slide.
  3. After the first cut, you need to check the output to ensure that the cut is accurate, as per the chosen pattern or not.
  4. If all seems good, then you can proceed to the following step.
  5. Attempt for the 2nd cut to determine the proficient quality of the cuts.
  6. Keep track of the miter bar to ensure that you follow the line for each cut. It would be best if you did it every time before putting the lumber into a bandsaw mill.

Step 5: Produce And Process The Boards

After you have cut the sides, you need to proceed with further sawing of the log to get the fine boards. Measure the logs before you intend to make the boards out of them. Now, cut the boards slowly to get cleaner and smoother edges upon them.

After that, you need to go ahead and process the boards that can later be used in other works. Also, you need to make use of the plains for sharpening the board surfaces. Now, place the boards under the sun to let them dry naturally. After few days of drying, you will notice certain changes within those boards.

Check out this YouTube video to get a step-by-step demonstration of using a band saw for sawing the lumbers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Safety Rules That I Should Follow While Using Band Saws?

Safety is the prime concern when you are working with woodworking tools. And portable band saws are power tools that demand utmost safety consideration before commencing with the work. In fact, you should ensure that you are not running the band saw blades at maximum speed as it might cause accidents.

Instead, use only the recommended speed for the woodworking application. There is more to the safety rules for band saws that you will get to know over this article.

How To Know If I Am Putting Excessive Pressure On The Band Saw Blade?

If you are putting a heavy load upon the blade or applying more pressure, you will notice the saw slowing down on its own. And, this is a sign that you should lower down the pressure. If you don’t lower it, this can lead to the breakage of the saw blade.

How To Use a Bandsaw for Resawing, Cutting Thick Wood, and Cutting Circles for Woodworking


If you are a woodworker who intends to use bandsaw milling for cutting lumber, then possessing the right skills is truly important. Therefore, you need to keep in mind that safety and precision should be your utmost concern when working. Therefore, take the necessary precautions and follow the above steps to carry out the sawing process efficiently.

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