Bandsaw Log Milling Table

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Project by vrice posted 04-16-2021 02:28 AM 797 views 4 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

It’s been 5 years since my last post. Some new career demands made continuing my woodworking hobby not practical…until I retired 1.5 years ago. I retired where my last career move took me, northern Illinois. My wife and I have a place out in the country on several acres that are heavily wooded. I’m surrounded by ash, walnut, black cherry, maple and hickory. It’s taken me a year but I’ve created a new basement wood shop from all my old equipment that was in storage. This includes my Laguna 14/12 bandsaw. I’ve created a log milling setup for this bandsaw. Now I’m milling my own lumber. This is a really exciting new dimension to my hobby. This was a bit of an extemporaneous design. Several design changes as I began using the setup. Anyway, works like a charm now. I was inspired by several YouTube videos showing various approaches. The key elements of this thing, IMHO, are: the embedded roller balls on the top, the miter slot the length of the table for obvious reasons, the wheel/track setup on the front edge (pic above) to add stability to the moving sled AND prevent the sled from tipping when cutting a thick (8/4 plus) board that hangs over the inside edge of the table, the reinforced leg assemblies with extended length feet for table stability.
I’m a complete novice at this right now. My stash of logs I’ve accumulated over the last 4 years is 60% ash logs, around 12-20 inches in diameter. The rest is hickory, cherry and a little walnut. I’ve got a large box elder that blew over 2 years ago, about 30” diameter at chest height. I’ll be cutting that trunk up later this year. My bandsaw can handle up to a 12 inch wide resaw. I splurged and bought the Laguna Resaw King blade. It ain’t cheap!
All the ash logs I have came from felled trees that had been dead since 2009. Most ash trees succumbed to the Emerald Ash Bore beetle infestation at that time. So these logs are SOMEWHAT seasoned. However, as one of the pics shows, the freshly sliced up boards show 27% moisture. I have noticed that for 4/4 or 5/4 boards the moisture content has dropped to less than 10% in a manner of a few weeks. I’ll have to research drying strategies for this new part of my hobby…..
The Sketchup model for this log milling table can be found here.

-- Vic Rice

20 comments so far

View therealSteveN's profile


7678 posts in 1655 days

#1 posted 04-16-2021 03:34 AM

Go for it. My problem is I run out of ass to lift the log before I run out of resaw size.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Mike_190930's profile


31 posts in 589 days

#2 posted 04-16-2021 07:50 AM

Nice set up, and a way for me to begin clearing out the logs I’ve been collecting in the backyard shed over the last 10 years. Wondering why you went with the roller balls instead of cylindrical rollers?

-- Huh? Whadaya mean it ain't "measure once cut twice"?

View vrice's profile


110 posts in 3773 days

#3 posted 04-16-2021 11:12 AM

The roller balls just seemed easier than rollers. Simply needed to drill a hole and drop the rollerball in. No glue used as I managed to get a tight fit in the hole. I did see one design on YouTube that used a wooden roller system.

-- Vic Rice

View vrice's profile


110 posts in 3773 days

#4 posted 04-16-2021 11:16 AM

LOL. You’re absolutely right about hefting the log up on the table. I’m already looking at an electric hoist setup to address that issue. I’ve got a very large, steel I-beam above the table I can mount the hoist to. Found a fairly inexpensive one at Harbor Freight.

-- Vic Rice

View pottz's profile


16841 posts in 2066 days

#5 posted 04-16-2021 03:09 PM

thats a real nice setup wish i had it when i cut up that log last week,i just dont do enough though to justify something like that.

-- 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 Knockonit's profile


820 posts in 1283 days

#6 posted 04-16-2021 04:00 PM

i went with roller balls on all the outfal stands, the longated rollers, tended to pull the material one way or another if you didn’t have it just right .
nice looking set up, for sure, might have to copy some of it, as i have a gaggle of olive logs to slice
happy friday
rj in az

-- Living the dream

View vrice's profile


110 posts in 3773 days

#7 posted 04-16-2021 04:49 PM

Yeah Pottz, I understand. I’ve been a woodworker for 20+ years. However, I never lusted after a log milling setup until very recently. Because I know have access to FREE logs of ash, cherry, hickory, etc.

-- Vic Rice

View Brodan's profile


266 posts in 2384 days

#8 posted 04-16-2021 04:50 PM

Nice set up . I need something as I begin sawing logs. This gives me some idea of how to handle the job.

-- Dan, TN

View vrice's profile


110 posts in 3773 days

#9 posted 04-16-2021 04:53 PM

Thanks Knockonit. It’s worthy of note the leg assemblies are bolted on, no glue. So it’s fairly easy to disassemble this thing and store when not in use or when one needs the normal bandsaw setup.

-- Vic Rice

View splintergroup's profile


5122 posts in 2304 days

#10 posted 04-16-2021 05:19 PM

Some really nice features Vic!

One problem I have with home lumber milling is taking a cylinder and trying to make a straight cut while keeping track of the log being balanced and not rolling while the cut is in progress.
The way you guide the sled solves many of these issues and it looks like you can cut some fine planks from your “yard”.

Interesting description of your roller balls, I certainly agree with your assessment of the advantages over rollers.

View vrice's profile


110 posts in 3773 days

#11 posted 04-16-2021 07:07 PM

Splintergroup, you’re spot on re: the log rolling. I simply put in a short-ish screw thru the fence into the log, maybe two, to keep the log secure for that first cut. Following that I have a flat bottom to keep the log from rolling on future cuts. Yeah it’s not always desirable to create that screw hole, but creating some sort of log clamping feature just didn’t seem worth it.

-- Vic Rice

View HowardAppel's profile


75 posts in 4115 days

#12 posted 04-16-2021 08:40 PM

Could you link to the youtube videos you found useful. Thanks in advance.

View vrice's profile


110 posts in 3773 days

#13 posted 04-16-2021 09:17 PM

Howard, here are the only links I saved:

-- Vic Rice

View Kelly's profile


3548 posts in 4025 days

#14 posted 04-16-2021 09:57 PM

I like this set up, but had to opt for something that was easier to put away.

I have the roller [ball type], but thought I’d test drive just plywood on plywood, because a bunch of roller balls just seemed like that much more weight I didn’t want to fight setting the sled up and putting it away. On the other hand, if I could leave it up, I’d have gone with them, since I scored a bunch on the cheap side of cheap at a garage sale.

For me, it was a coat of poly on both the bed and the sled, then a bunch of floor wax. I haven’t had any fight moving 10”x 4’ logs down the bed, other than the grunt of getting them up on to the sled.

My different needs aside, nice job!

View vrice's profile


110 posts in 3773 days

#15 posted 04-16-2021 10:12 PM

Thanks Kelly. I considered something similar. That’s the reason I used melamine. Thought that might provide less friction than ply. HOWEVER, I’m a retired engineer. So I took the opportunity to over engineer this puppy. ;-)

-- Vic Rice

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