Homesteading Today – Simple sawmill setup

By , August 6, 2007 10:02 pm

Homesteading Today – Simple sawmill setup

The pix below are from the 4th post down and are owned by the poster. Reproduced here for my use only. This is the simplest setup I have seen for a stable, easy to operate, sawmill. I have bits and pieces of a sawmill and a chainsaw with Alaskan mill (actually seems to be based on the Alaskan mill design rather than actually using one) that I may use to build something similar. Cool!

sawmill pix sawmill pix 2 sawmill pix 3 milled wood from sawmill

Update Dec 31, 2008 – Here’s a link to fluidp’s post on his site about the sawmill. Thanks for commenting and helping folks with it. Have been somewhat (quite) lax about doing stuff on the site for a long time now. Will try to do better… πŸ˜‰

5 Responses to “Homesteading Today – Simple sawmill setup”

  1. fluidp says:

    Hello all, I was just searching around on Google to find out what happened the Homesteadingtoday web site and I clicked on a link that said “simple sawmill setup”
    Well, to my suprise, my pics came up, of my sawmill.
    I am very happy to see that someone else likes the simplicity of it. I was just using it yesterday and it works great. If anyone wants more pics or has any ??? about it, just let me know

  2. bootdoctor says:

    G’Day from down under in Australia, a friend put me on too your blog as he stumbled on it while looking for small saw mills on the web. The photos really got me going as I have also been looking for a mill like the one pictured. Would it be possible to get in touch with the person who built it as I would like some more photos and I have a few questions I would like to ask him. I am a real newbie to the internett so bear with me if I happen to make any mistakes while driving this machine.

  3. fluidp says:

    Hi Boot dr.
    The mill is my setup and I would be happy to yac with you about it. My name is Graham and my wife is just starting a BLOG for us. Pics , contact info will be posted soon. If you want to get a hold of me sooner, my email is

  4. dennisjp says:

    Your saw mill looks a lot simpler than mine to build. I haven’t finished mine yet but might do so the way you did yours.
    The only reason I am posting to you is to give you a tip I have learned this year. I cut a lot of big oak trees this year for firewood and a lot of it I had to rip with a chain saw before I could even think of getting it to split.
    While doing so I realized that if you hold the bar at about a 30 degree angle to the wood instead of straight across the grain as about all mills are designed to cut, they cut a lot easier, faster, and smoother.
    It takes a longer bar to get the same cut but you gain what I said plus you have more teeth and they last longer between sharpening.
    Just turn it so the cutting head leads the tip of the bar about 30 degrees and you will see what I mean in a hurry.
    For a test run to prove it to yourself before you go changing the mill you have, take a log that you can waste and cut you two 2′ lengths from it. Stand one on the end and rip it in halve at a 90 degree angle down the grain.
    Then set one on top of the two halves and rip it with the saw tilted and the engine leading the bar tip as I said.
    You’ll see real fast that I am right. I think the 30 degrees takes about 30% of the work out of ripping a log. That is work that it takes away from the chainsaw, it takes away from the man pushing it, and also the amount of gas it uses.
    Actually, I ripped some large limbs that had knots in them and didn’t want to split by laying them down on two others and holding the saw at as much of an angle as I could and still cut all the way through it and that works even better. The more angle you can get on it, the better it cuts.
    Hope this little info helps.

  5. fluidp says:

    Hi Dennis, I have done some ripping the way you described and for myself is works ok to slit tough logs for firewood etc.
    The trick to the traditional Alaskan Mill or my set up, which is just a Alaskan on wheels, is all in the sharpening of the chain.
    While a regular chain for bucking logs is filed at about a 30 deg. angle, I file my chain straight accross the bar. Thae I take a straight edge and lay it accross the high point on two teeth and make sure I have between 0.020″ to 0.030″ clearance on the rakers.
    Filing the chain like this improves the speed and makes a nice finish on the board. Once the saw is clamped in the Alskan jig, it dosn’t matter if the saw is 90 deg to the log or has a 45 deg lead to the log, because noave the ability to rock or pivit the saw on the dog teeth.
    I will take some detailed pics and post them on our Blog. I thank you for the comments and your interest and if I can in any way help, please let me know.


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