Homemade Bandsaw Mill

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Blog entry by bryguy22 posted 10-20-2012 01:43 AM 341247 reads 22 times favorited 28 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi All, Just though I would post some pics of a bandsaw mill my dad and I built out of scrap parts from the junkyard and a few yardsale tires. There was a lot of trial and error and disigning ideas until we settled on this one and it is always a work in progress, but I think we are close as we are getting great results. The motor is a HF 12 or 13 horse (the biggest expendature) and we also use their trailer winch for raising and lowering as well as pullies. The mill is very heavy (prob around 500) but rolls efortlessly on 3 inch angle iron track. There are three heavy duty v wheels on each side so that makes any small dip in the track negligble. Overall it works great, we are using a lenox 1.5inch blade that is 201” long. They run about 42 bucks and we get a lot of sawing out of them. I am anxious to try a timberwolf on it as that is what I use in my shop with great sucess. The guide bearings are bulk lawn mower ones (i think) and are holding up great. The drip kit is just water in a gas tank that gravity feeds with a shutoff valve. We can cut up to about 38-40’’ wide. We have a couple logs that we will put that to the test. The motor has plenty of power, we are working on making the drive belt a better setup. The wheel pulley is a welded car rotor that the pulley run in. Some of the pics were taken before we painted it.
in the pic there are some walnut slabs.

Hope you enjoy…thanks

-- Bryan, york pa

28 comments so far

View Milo's profile


869 posts in 4293 days

#1 posted 10-20-2012 01:58 AM

A picture of the rollers would be cool. Or a video! :)

-- Beer, Beer, Thank God for Beer. It's my way of keeping my mind fresh and clear...

View rance's profile


4275 posts in 4134 days

#2 posted 10-20-2012 02:09 AM

Very cool. Lots of ingenuity.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 4211 days

#3 posted 10-20-2012 02:39 AM

Great job on the sawmill. I’m impressed. Opening a log is like digging for treasure. What are you going to make with the lumber?

-- Hal, Tennessee

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30585 posts in 3312 days

#4 posted 10-20-2012 02:51 AM

Just building mine. Love yours.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View bryguy22's profile


38 posts in 3188 days

#5 posted 10-20-2012 02:55 AM

I like building small end tables or small projects for family, im learning a lot and having fun too. thanks for the comments. The mill was fun to build, we used to have a small portable mill we bought, it was to small for what we wanted and we could not afford a commercial unit so we built one because we really wanted to saw some logs we had gotten.

-- Bryan, york pa

View lanwater's profile


3113 posts in 3908 days

#6 posted 10-20-2012 03:43 AM

A lot of good engineering went into it.

It looks cool and it work!

Great job.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View derosa's profile


1597 posts in 3810 days

#7 posted 10-20-2012 03:54 AM

Very cool, I keep wanting to build one of these and the wife keeps giving me dirty looks over it. Maybe one day if we buy a couple acres of forest and need a house.

-- A posse ad esse

View yrob's profile


340 posts in 4626 days

#8 posted 10-20-2012 04:00 AM

Amazing ! This reminds me of a show I watched recently. Hillbillies Gypsies where those guys from the mountains of North Carolina eek out a living in cold mountain. They had an episode where they go get their lumber milled at a neighbor’s mill. The mill was homemade in the 1930’s and it was using an old truck engine..

I am intrigued at the fact that your blade does not slip off the tires. On a bandsaw, there is a crown on the tires to force the blade to stay centered once it has the right tension. On car tires there is no crown. How does that work ?

-- Yves

View shipwright's profile


8651 posts in 3772 days

#9 posted 10-20-2012 05:41 AM

My kind of rig.
I love it and the down to earth original thought that went into it.
You and your Dad must get a lot of satisfaction from this.
You have my admiration.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View bryguy22's profile


38 posts in 3188 days

#10 posted 10-20-2012 12:17 PM

The tires are towed to keep the presure against the back bearings at all times even when it is not in a cutting action. The bearings are holdiong up great and havent hat any problems pulling out of cut either, it feels safe and I wouldn’t operate it if I didn’t feel that way, I do have only 9 and 3/4 fingers though. ha

-- Bryan, york pa

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 3028 days

#11 posted 10-20-2012 12:27 PM


-- Joel

View camps764's profile


867 posts in 3334 days

#12 posted 10-20-2012 12:38 PM

I am always astounded when people do things like this…gives me hope for the world. Human ingenuity is an incredible thing when pointed in the right direction.

-- Steve

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 3461 days

#13 posted 10-20-2012 01:01 PM

Hee Hee! I had to share that one on Face book!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Bluepine38's profile


3388 posts in 4059 days

#14 posted 10-20-2012 03:52 PM

Great looking mill. Do you use the air pressure in the tires to tension the blade? I did not see any adjustments
in the wheel mounts. The only thing I would add, would be a blade guard over the top section of the blade,
but then, I have been described as an accident looking for a place to happen. Thank you for sharing.

-- As ever, Gus-the 80 yr young apprentice carpenter

View NormG's profile


6508 posts in 3978 days

#15 posted 10-21-2012 12:56 AM

I really like the way you completed this mill. What a great idea and well executed. Keep us posted on how it works out.

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

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