lumber lumber and more lumber

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Project by Arthouse posted 05-24-2014 01:52 AM 4214 views 2 times favorited 31 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is a backwoods Texas sawmill I use for all my logs I get off Texas ranches in the Hill country. The saw is a n old feed mill engine with a hydraulic governor connected to a 52’’ bad ass circular blade with carbide teeth. The hydraulic governor is the keys for it never lets the saw bog down. It is a handmade saw about thirty years old and still cutting straight. I have used many types of cutting , chainsaw mill , bandsaw mill but to have this old guy named Lamar operate the trundle and control the feed is a thing of beauty . I have found that the bandsaw mills always leave a wavy surface on both sides and when dry milling requires at least a 1/2 joined surface before the planer can do it’s work. The circular blade cuts a wide girth but the lumber is always straight and requires little to joint it straight. The other advantage is cost. The circular blade will cut the log shown in one pass in about third seconds. The trundle pull the log back and adjusts for another cut. Eight logs were cut this day in little over three hours at a cost of 350.00 Whereas the the bandsaw mill would have taken over eight hours estimated at a cost of 75.00 and hour it would be around 600.00 dollars . This is my experience with cutting over thirty years of woodworking experience . The only advantage I have seen in a bandsaw mill is it is portable. These are the reasons I use my old buddy Lamar to cut all my Texas hardwoods of black walnut , pecan , elm,black cherry, post oak, and mesquite because I need lumber lumber and more lumber for my craft. All this and Heaven too.

-- "The hand is the cutting edge of the mind but the wind and sun are the healing factors of the heart

31 comments so far

View johnstoneb's profile


3145 posts in 2953 days

#1 posted 05-24-2014 02:03 AM

Those old circular saw mills were dangerous as hell. That open blade maimed or killed most of the sawyers operating them.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View OldWrangler's profile


731 posts in 2375 days

#2 posted 05-24-2014 02:26 AM

I saw one of these circular saw mills when the blade hit an old piece of embedded chain. The saw shattered or more like exploded. Two helpers got serious cut from the shrapnel. Operator was behind a roof timber where a large 20” piece of blade buried itself. That 12×12 probably saved the operator’s life. I was about 50’ from the mill looking at some previously cut wood and pieces of blade flew past me like bullets. It scared me so bad, I never went back to that mill again.

Bruce is right, this kind of mill is extremely dangerous but still it cuts pretty lumber.

-- I am going to go stand outside so if anyone asks about me, tell them I'M OUTSTANDING!

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 3268 days

#3 posted 05-24-2014 03:17 AM

Bruce, we operated one around West Yellowstone. It didn’t kill my brother or me or my step dad or his partner or the guys that worked with us. 42”, carbide tips, powered by a McCormick Deereing Stationary engine.

Nothing would slow it down and it would probably cut through the hull of the USS Enterprise if you gave it room. It was over 100 years old when we got it so I know it had no safety features.
Funny thing, OSHA never said a thing about the saw but we had to install a spark arrestor on the engine.

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

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10923 posts in 4833 days

#4 posted 05-24-2014 03:36 AM


I would think a band saw mill would be a lot more efficient… but…

Good Luck…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View jasonallen's profile


202 posts in 2401 days

#5 posted 05-24-2014 04:31 AM

Now you just need a steam engine to run it!

-- Skill and confidence are an unconquered army.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


16729 posts in 3399 days

#6 posted 05-24-2014 04:33 AM

Great pics, thanks for sharing!

Safety Moms have to do their thing…

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View wyowill's profile


1 post in 2707 days

#7 posted 05-24-2014 06:54 AM

I don’t post much around here, but where I live (AK) circular blade mills are still fairly common. Common =/= safe, so take it with a grain of salt. Plenty of mills like this still in service . . .

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30552 posts in 3119 days

#8 posted 05-24-2014 10:49 AM

I admire the mill. I think safety has a lot to do with the operator. Just like in your shop. By the way, I will say that on my bandsaw mill, with someone stacking for me, I can cut your 8 logs in 3-4 hours with virtually no waves.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Rockbuster's profile


499 posts in 3389 days

#9 posted 05-24-2014 11:56 AM

Nice to see some things from the past still in operation, and doing a great job,. There are a few of these still in my home state of Pennsylvania, and yes, some of them are run by steam Lets face it guy’s, anything that has anything to do with lumber or woodworking, is dangerous, safety is what you make it. Here is something, that for some reason, makes me very relaxed, every time that I watch it, but some parts of it are dangerous.

-- Rockbuster,Ft. Wayne,In It is far better to remain silent, and appear the fool, than it is to open ones mouth, and remove all doubt.

View squaretree's profile


160 posts in 2352 days

#10 posted 05-24-2014 12:11 PM

Great set up. Reminds me of back home.

And +1 for smitty.

-- if you can't find me, just follow the extension cord

View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

1107 posts in 4588 days

#11 posted 05-24-2014 12:32 PM

Great post!

-- Max the "night janitor" at

View summerfi's profile


4379 posts in 2468 days

#12 posted 05-24-2014 01:02 PM

Great old mill that has obviously done a good job for you over the years. There have been many millions of feet of lumber cut on similar mills. Don’t knock the bandmills though. With a sharp blade, properly set up, and properly fed, they can cut just as fast, with no waviness in the cut, and do it safer, with a smaller engine at less operating cost. I can cut 1/16” veneer consistently on my bandmill if I choose to. All mills, including bandmills, have their safety issues though. An advantage of bandmills not mentioned is thinner kerf. On high valued timber, this adds up quickly.

-- Bob, Missoula, MT -- Rocky Mountain Saw Works -- ~Non multa sed multum~

View recycle1943's profile


4517 posts in 2403 days

#13 posted 05-24-2014 01:58 PM

I wonder how many logs were cut prior to the band saw ?

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

24819 posts in 3886 days

#14 posted 05-24-2014 02:00 PM

That’s really neat old saw mill. I better not show this to my mill guy. He has a band mill and charges $40 an hour.

They have two of these old mills in Jerome, Az and use them all the time. There is one operation at the Buckley Old Engine show every year and runs off steam power.
Nice to see they are kept in working order and still useful!!.........Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4084 days

#15 posted 05-24-2014 04:27 PM

that sure is a sweet saw, i love watching them in action, wish i had one for myself, one thing i must say is that the prices for getting wood off of it is sure high, i had some walnut just done for me and it being around 400BF i paid 100 dollars for it, and it was off a band saw…and i didnt get the wavy parts on the boards..i have had some of that in the past but this load was great….enjoy the saw work, its a work that is so enjoyable, oh the smell of freshly cut wood….

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

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