WOOD ROTS, Will this sawmill rise again for the second time, PROJECTS AND VIDEO

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Project by bushmaster posted 01-29-2017 07:24 PM 4821 views 3 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

In this post I want to share one of the bigger projects of my life that has provided me with wood for my home and buildings and wood for the projects I enjoy building.

The projects.. Three pictures of a Hope Chest I built for my daughter for graduation, I think High School but it didn’t get done till after university graduation. Next project a toy box for a Christmas for a friend, The boy claimed it right away. Last picture, a chair that folds to a step latter, made a number of these. All made from birch I cut on my sawmill.

It all started in the 70’s when I bought this property. Back pre 60’s there were allot of small mill like this cutting railroad ties and lumber all through the north. Then came the big mills and you know the story. Now here, they tore the commercial mill down and the timber is trucked hundreds of miles away to even bigger mills. Resulting in unemployment and a down graded vibrant communities.
The first mill I made was from parts I scrounged up from back yards, old sawmill sites etc etc. some that could not find I made. Example the carriage was rotting away in a friends backyard, years later when he was helping I said the carriage use to belong to your Dad, he said I had wondered what happened to that. It brought him joy and memories to see it in use

Looks like the first attempt, see if it works before I finished everything, I was a bit younger then. Those where the days. Lots of ambition, plans and dreams galore.

Then over the years, house built and nature took its course.

I was about retired and thought of building a metal mill, but then I thought, why spend all that money, I had all the metal parts there somewhere, just haul them up to the house and start again.

And before long it was looking sharp again.

Clear the site again, and this time I built it out of salvaged railroad ties and mill trim ends. Free construction materials. The first one I had used a cottonwood log.

Then install the components and fire it up. Not the sawdust chute, its an old fender from a 40’s truck, the speed of the chips from the saw shoots the sawdust away, the faster you cut the farther it goes. you will see it in the video

If you have time I made a video explaining allot more about sawmilling, sharpening and replacing teeth etc., in action. This type of sawmill is part of history, How it use to be done, muscle and brawn. Still works for me and supplys me with more wood than I can use. I give wood away too.

The link to the video is: There is included a number of still pictures too, The last picture illustrates what you don’t want to do.. The video is 20 minutes long, I may do another one just cutting for fun in the future.

Thanks for looking, comments are appreciated, on the video all so. Just sharing my life with you.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

24 comments so far

View tyvekboy's profile


1967 posts in 3647 days

#1 posted 01-29-2017 08:00 PM

Thanks for sharing an interesting story. Nice saw mill.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View ptofimpact's profile


389 posts in 2951 days

#2 posted 01-29-2017 08:40 PM

Thank you for sharing this I very much enjoyed watching the process, hope there are more

-- Pete in NC

View John's profile


1626 posts in 1904 days

#3 posted 01-29-2017 08:47 PM

Good video Brian, really enjoyed it. Sure reminds me how the years are flying by.

-- John, Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada.

View crowie's profile


3426 posts in 2585 days

#4 posted 01-29-2017 09:13 PM

You’d certainly make a good Aussie Bushy with that practical ability & knowhow, along with good old hard work.

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View Kelster58's profile


759 posts in 1174 days

#5 posted 01-29-2017 09:47 PM

That is really amazing. GREAT job !!

-- K. Stone “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin

View Redoak49's profile


4410 posts in 2623 days

#6 posted 01-29-2017 10:04 PM

Amazing story and video…thanks

View farmerdude's profile


672 posts in 2674 days

#7 posted 01-29-2017 10:28 PM

Fantastic!! I really enjoyed this post. You’ve built quite a rig. I have a homemade band mill, it’s nice to learn more about the circular mills. They are quite different. The video was terrific, lots of details. Not sure what I like more, the mill or the Allis. You were not kidding about the way she blows out the sawdust hahaha. My mill is all manual so I know what you mean about rolling the logs around by hand. Well, I think I will go and watch the video again in case I missed something the first time. Thank you for sharing this great project, and take care of that thumb.

-- Jeff in central Me.

View chrisstef's profile


18041 posts in 3641 days

#8 posted 01-29-2017 11:57 PM

Flat out awesome.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Druid's profile


2187 posts in 3430 days

#9 posted 01-30-2017 12:05 AM

Interesting restoration, and the actual cutting rate is amazing compared to some of the currently available portable mills. Nice job, and I found the video was also very informative. I was not aware that the teeth could be replaced on site the way that you showed. Can you still get new teeth anywhere?
Great project.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View bushmaster's profile


3794 posts in 2917 days

#10 posted 01-30-2017 12:19 AM

DRUID, The teeth are standard, and should be easily available, I have never bought any, as everything about this mill has been scrounged, I did originally buy new bearing races for the main saw shaft, |I need to replace the one next to the saw, but to do that you have to take the feed works pulleys off and that did not look too easy when I rebuilt it the second time. I have enough teeth now to last two life times now. One advantage of this type of saw, one can saw through dirt that wood stop a band mill, doesn’t do too well on steel though, nails are ok , once I tried to cut through a center punch, a couple inserts where never found. But a hammer and a few inserts and teeth was ready to go in a half and hour.
P.S. The original motor was a chrysler straight flat head 8 cylinder. I scrounged it from a winch unit.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View Druid's profile


2187 posts in 3430 days

#11 posted 01-30-2017 12:39 AM

Brian, thanks for the clarification. Going back to the video, I could see it being of interest to quite a number of museums dealing with “old ways”, and more “traditional” methods, as part of their historical teaching materials.
Have a great day.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30512 posts in 2972 days

#12 posted 01-30-2017 12:49 AM

Great projects. Lots of work.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View OSU22's profile


41 posts in 3665 days

#13 posted 01-30-2017 01:44 AM

Thanks for sharing, Brian. I really enjoyed the video and would love to see one of these working in person sometime. It’s also really neat to see the old photos of you working on it originally.

View doubleDD's profile


9039 posts in 2677 days

#14 posted 01-30-2017 02:01 AM

Sure looks like a lot of work but the enjoyment in the vintage mill must be priceless. Well done.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23850 posts in 3740 days

#15 posted 01-30-2017 02:06 AM

Great work, Brian!!


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

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