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poor mans bandsaw mill using 14" bandsaw

Started by steveh2112, April 12, 2021, 05:45:45 PM

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i don't have the cash for a real bandsaw mill and even if i did the lead time on ordering is 3 months minimum.
what do you think about buying an older 14" bandsaw like a jet or a delta which has max 13" cut, then mounting it on a sliding system.

i can precut my logs to 13" or less with an Alaskan saw mill then make my 1x12 or whatever on the bandsaw.

i realize it will be slow but maybe i upgrade the standard 1HP electric motor

anyone every try that?



Sure, when I was 16, an old walker turner that delta bought out. I also rigged up a rip blade on a buzz saw and tried that. On the band saw you need the widest band with the least amount of teeth and plenty of bands.


I tried that. Realized I didn't want to carry logs into my shop, deal with that much sawdust inside, ang it would probably ruin my saw for finer work. I built a low table for it and slid logs on a sliding board. Nuts. 

I think one main factor against it is that the saw can't tension wide bands and narrow ones won't stay sharp that long, cant resharpen them and they cost as much as Woodmizer size bands. 

Great for small logs maybe to 6" or so though. And vines.
DJ Hoover, Terrific Timbers LLC,  Mystic CT Woodmizer Million Board Foot Club member. 2019 LT70 Super Wide 55 Yanmar,  LogRite fetching arch, WM BMS250 sharpener/BMT250 setter.  2001 F350 7.3L PSD 6 spd manual ZF 4x4 Crew Cab Long Bed


Ive started doing it already.  I had a rigid brand vertical bandsaw for wood at my dads that broke a cast aluminum piece for adjusting the driven bandwheel's tracking and tension a few times with very low use.  I gave up on it and it sat for years up there. I have an enco vertical i hardly use and sure dont need 2.

 Last trip up i made a steel replacement part for the Rigid and the plates for a bolt together spreader to make the throat big enough for logs. will be laying it on a track frame pretty soon. 110v electric.  All manual.
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Why limit yourself to 14 inch. Go bigger, like 36 inch. 8)


A 14" Delta or clone bandsaw won't work for what you want to do.  The reason is the maximum blade size is 1/2" wide.  And it really can't tension a 1/2" right.  The bearings and shafts are too small to go to a bigger band and tension it proper.  Than a 1/2" band will be to fine for green wood.  You would also need around a 5 hp motor for any kind of production.

I've re-sawn lumber to make veneer on a 14" Delta.  More than few slices is frustration.

The idea will work will bigger bandsaws.  There are even production bandsaws that have been made with a vertical bandsaw.

This is a picture of a sawmill a neighbor built that works well.  Think he told me it would handle max size logs in the 14" range or maybe a little larger.  He has sawed out a lot for a house build.  When he first built the saw he used a 20" Delta but it just didn't have the beans and its a lot bigger than the 14" Delta.

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