Old fashioned sawmill look on new lumber

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Project by Nwdesigns posted 03-02-2016 03:46 PM 1708 views 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve always liked the look of reclaimed lumber. It started in my wood flooring days where I would seek out flooring that had a past life as beams or siding on old barns to complete that special project for a customer.

I have purchased my fair share of reclaimed lumber and I am a proponent of companies that “harvest” lumber and re purpose it. I don’t however always have the time to wait for just the right product to be in stock, or don’t always have the money in the project budget for “the real thing”. So, since necessity is the mother of invention, I came up with my own way of achieving the look that I wanted.

Before going much further, I want to say that this process works for me and to my knowledge its a new process. I’m not here to take credit for someone else’s idea, so if someone has presented something like this before then the credit is certainly theirs. Also, I want to say that if you decide to try this on your own, then do so at your own risk as it could be potentially dangerous and cause harm. Now that all that is out of the way, here’s what I did:

I gathered up a few things from my shop and garage to include an old Makita 7” sander/polisher, an abrasive grinding wheel (that fits the 7” machine), an old cheap circular saw blade, and some Titebond Hipurformer hot melt adhesive.

First, I took the old blade and slightly bent one tooth. Non carbide blades will probably work better as the carbide tooth will likely fall off in the process. If that is the case, no worries just make sure that tooth is bent just slightly higher than the rest of them. Next I took the blade and glued it to the grinding wheel making sure that it was centered as close as possible. I used the Hi Purformer adhesive and if you’ve never used it, you will be amazed with its holding power. After the glue set, I installed the wheel and blade assembly to the tool and gave it a shot.

I found that the slower RPM, the better at least for me. I also ended up filing that tooth down just a bit so it didn’t have such a sharp point. I haven’t mastered this yet but used with other distressing techniques, it produces a nice look.

9 comments so far

View bigblockyeti's profile


6646 posts in 2531 days

#1 posted 03-02-2016 04:27 PM

That method generates pretty authentic looking circular mill marks. The blade sans guard does look like a pretty dicey proposition, be safe and keep up the good work!

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View pottz's profile


10430 posts in 1794 days

#2 posted 03-02-2016 06:01 PM

i like the result you achieved but dont think id be willing to put my hands and arms that close to a spinning blade,just not worth it to me,be careful.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View Nwdesigns's profile


28 posts in 1648 days

#3 posted 03-02-2016 06:20 PM

I guess I didn’t include a photo with the guard re-installed! Looks pretty rough without it. I don’t use the blade as its intended. The face of the blade just rides along the face of the wood just slightly. This particular sander is variable speed turned down to 1 and the brushes are worn out too. I’d be surprised if it goes more than 100 rpm. Certainly not 3000 – 4000 rpm like a saw. Really, this was more of a proof of concept and a guy could grind or remove all the unnecessary teeth or even just come up with another way other than an old saw blade to achieve the same thing.

View pottz's profile


10430 posts in 1794 days

#4 posted 03-02-2016 07:40 PM

ok thats better you were scaring me.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View recycle1943's profile


4595 posts in 2432 days

#5 posted 03-02-2016 07:56 PM

great idea – there are many times that the “used” look makes all the difference

-- 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 Grumpymike's profile


2443 posts in 3125 days

#6 posted 03-02-2016 10:50 PM

Wow! what a concept … Your tool scares me though, even if it did have a guard and ran slower that normal, I would have night mares of the blade coming lose from the glue and spinning across the shop and out the door, chasing the neighbor hood kids down the sidewalk …
But I do like the look.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View BrokenArrow's profile


41 posts in 2253 days

#7 posted 03-03-2016 03:32 AM

I have achieved something close to this by doing almost the same process but did it on my table saw with the board on end. Then by the stain package I used brought the saw marks out. Used it on a project I’m doing at the moment. Will post pics when completed.

-- To each his own.......

View Nwdesigns's profile


28 posts in 1648 days

#8 posted 03-03-2016 02:34 PM

BrokenArrow, I’d like to see that when you get it finished. I considered trying something like that too. Just felt that this gives me more control.



View Billy E's profile

Billy E

162 posts in 2890 days

#9 posted 03-03-2016 04:03 PM

Looks like a weapon from the walking dead

-- Billy, Florence SC

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