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Simple Lumber Maker

By Jay McClellan

I’ve turned my bandsaw into a mini sawmill with the help of one
dirt-simple jig and a pair of extension tables. The jig is nothing
more than a piece of plywood screwed to the log. It steadies
the log when I cut the first slab and provides additional
support when I rotate the log to saw boards (see photo,

My bandsaw is equipped with a fence to guide the
jig and a riser block to accommodate the additional
height of a log. I use a very coarse 3/4-in. 2-tpi blade
for sawing thick, green wood (see Source, below).
My jig is a piece of 3/4-in. plywood 12 in. wide
and 6 ft. long. (The largest log the saw
and my back can handle is 11 in. dia.
and 4 ft. long.)

Attaching the plywood to the
log is easy. I just lay the plywood
on top of the log and drive 2-in.-
long deck screws at three or four
points where the board touches
the log. (The screws should penetrate
at least 1/2-in. below the
bark.) I lift the log onto the
extension table and pound
some carpenter’s shims
under both sides of the log
to keep it from rocking.
The first cut goes through
both log and plywood. This
creates a flat surface to support
the log on its side for
the following cuts.


(Note: Product availability and costs are subject to change since original publication date.)

Suffolk Machinery,, 800-234-7297,
2-tpi PC Series 3/4-in. x 105-in. blade.

This story originally appeared in American Woodworker September 2005, issue #116.

September 2005, issue #116

Purchase this back issue.

Click any image to view a larger version.

I flip the plywood jig on its side and ride it against
the fence to saw boards. The jig automatically holds
the log at a right angle to the first cut I made.

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