How to Saw Lumber with a Bandsaw Mill with 4 Easy Approaches

Sawing lumber is one of the main chores of a woodworker. So, you can’t just rely on one method of processing lumber. Some will prefer a simple chainsaw while others want to try a more modernized hybrid table saw.

Bandsaw milling is a productive method to try it out. However, some users do complain of finding the technique of using bandsaw mill a quite frustrating one. The truth is, it all depends on what approach you follow. So, I am here to deal with that!

Using A Bandsaw Mill for Lumber

Save your time well and curb out any frustration by learning the right way on bandsaw using. It’s going to be easier in the process than trying without any knowledge. So, let me get into it without further delay.

Starting Up with Log Preparation

  • It saves time and effort if you start by giving some moments to prepare the log. The butt log needs to be close to diameter. So, trim the bell thoroughly for that. Make sure lumber butt is closer to rest of the log’s diameter.
  • You should also handle the numbs or limbs by trimming them and producing flush as well. Use your simple chainsaw for the process. This way you’ll be able to compensate any adjustment needed for milling.
  • There’s a good chance of finding at least one nail or similar metal particle residing in the yard. This is more important if you are in someone else’s yard. Make sure you use the metal detector in these cases. You really don’t want to mess up by hitting these nails with your blade.
  • Your logs need to be clean. Wash them beforehand. If you use a dirty log for your bandsaw mill, it’s sure to ruin the blades. Take the extra effort of power washing them if necessary. This will really save you a lot of hassle later.

Choose Your Right Approach & Proceed

There are a handful of techniques that woodworkers use for processing lumber with a bandsaw mill. You need to pick an approach that suits your skill and bandsaw model well.

I’m sure you’ll be able to find the appropriate method once reading about each of them. I’ll make that happen in the next paras. So, keep on reading!

Slab Sawing for Low-Quality Lumber

This method is more commonly referred to as line sawing. You have to saw the log at opening face almost half path. Then simply proceed with turning it in the opposite direction and sawing remaining parts.

This method is known to be quite a time saving and comparatively easier than others. However, you will have to make sure the pieces of lumber are all edged before this sawing process. This way you’ll be able to get a more prominent look.

Line sawn lumbers are usually quite wide and heavy in weight. They tend to be lower grade. When they start to dry out, these pieces also warp quite a lot. Because of this drawbacks, it’s recommended that you use the method for only low-quality lumbers.

2. Cant Sawing for Medium Quality Lumber

This method is started by sawing the top end side of a log. You then simply need to turn it 180 degrees. Now with the opposite face, you’ll saw following set of cuts.

After that, simply spin it at a 90-degree angle and get the third side sawn. Finally, the remaining side in 180 degree needs to be sawn and finish this chore.

This way you’ll get a cant or centerpiece with log squared. These pieces are usually processed with another different machine next. Sometimes, it’s sold this way as a weighty and huge timber.

This approach is basically good for a large number of board feet. It’s possible to maximize the quantity per day using cant sawing. However, dealing with low or medium quality logs are ideal for such a method.

3. Grade Sawing for High quality Logs but Low Production

Grade sawing is a method where you need to turn out to five times while cutting. You simply saw and turn continuously. This is a great approach to try for high and medium quality timber processing.

However, the production rate is quite low with grade sawing. The volume of making is reduced since you need to frequently turn a particular piece.

4. Plain Sawing for High-quality Logs and High Production

Plain sawing is similar to the cant process mentioned above. You start with rotation and simply going over outer side of a log. This turns it into a four-sided squared cant center.

However, in plain sawing, you’ll further continue instead of leaving it in a cant position. You’ll keep on rotating and sawing for better lumber production.

This process also included edging boards. This way a better finish without rough edge is possible. There are quite a few techniques for suitable yielding. However, for best quality logs, this method is more popular to try.

5. Keep It Slow & Safe

I’ve seen a lot of cases where a very unfortunate mishap takes place in such processes just because of rising too much. Don’t freak out and hurry where the matter is about dealing with blades. This will only result negative sooner or later.

Don’t push the tool more than it can survive to go. This is totally wrong approach for cutting corners. Never force the tool, instead have some control over it.

Wear all your safety gear and be well prepared. Don’t think a face mask is unnecessary, because it is not. This thing literally saves your lung from those harmful chips and particles flying all over the place.


So that’s some basic techniques and approaches to safely use a bandsaw mill for lumber production. Make sure you pick a suitable method and work gradually.

You should be well aware of these approach in the long run of becoming a qualified and expert woodworker someday. So dear beginners, good luck on your learning journey. I’ll be signing off now, Bye!

About Sam Maxi

Hi, this is Sam Maxi. I love talking about woodwork tools and my reviews are mostly based on the experience I have from my work. Apart from reviewing, I am a huge fan of surfing. Also, I love watching horror genre movies.

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