Band Saw Milling Sled

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Project by LelandStone posted 11-19-2011 10:50 PM 5365 views 6 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Inspired by, among other things, info I’ve found here at Lumberjocks, I finally broke down and built a sled for milling lumber on my band saw. It is dirt cheap, mud simple, and yields results that, while unlikely to earn me a cover shot on Fine Woodworking, mean I can turn firewood into turning- and carving blanks.

The sled is made of 3/4” ply with a runner on the bottom which fits my band saw’s table slot. In use, the sled merely holds the log while the sled is slid past the blade, thus imposing a plane on the log’s end or side. From there, an adjacent plane, at more or less 90 degrees, may be cut and the log turned into small planks or turning blanks.

In the third pic you see some nice olive and lemon wood slabs, their ends shellacked and waiting to dry. Curiously, while the logs I’d milled had been in my garage for +/- a year or so, they were still quite moist inside. I don’t know what the moisture content was as a percent, but a paper napkin laid on the freshly-sawn blanks would have shown a wet spot.

-- Leland, OC California

10 comments so far

View Byron's profile


92 posts in 3347 days

#1 posted 11-19-2011 10:59 PM

Fruit wood holds moisture incredibly well it might take a while for them to dry properly glass blowers actually only use fruit wood soaked in water for their wooden tools to work glass due to this property. Some people prefer to turn wood while its wet though, wetting the wood while they turn allowing them to get extremely thin walls. I don’t know much about this process or your turning experience but it might be fun to try if you have not already. These have a tendency to crack while they dry though so try with a sample first.

-- Byron Conn, Woodworking/Furniture Design at Rochester Institute of Technology,

View SteveW's profile


397 posts in 3825 days

#2 posted 11-19-2011 10:59 PM

That’s cool… I’m thinking of doing something like that also…nice work on the sled.
What size blade is that on your bandsaw? It sure looks like a big one…

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! SteveW

View TomFran's profile


2964 posts in 4961 days

#3 posted 11-20-2011 12:55 AM

Nice build! Should prove to be a very useful item for you bandsawing needs.

Question: Does it make your blades and saw table rust when you mill green wood?

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View LelandStone's profile


90 posts in 3479 days

#4 posted 11-20-2011 09:50 AM

Thanks for commenting, guys, it’s greatly appreciated!

Byron, cool tidbits, thanks! I can believe that after finding the lemon log still so moist inside.

Steve, it’s the ShopFox G9970 14” saw.

Tom, I haven’t cut much green wood yet, so experience is a bit lacking. But the wet dust I have cut has been brushed/vacuumed away without causing rust anywhere.

-- Leland, OC California

View clieb91's profile


4154 posts in 4901 days

#5 posted 11-20-2011 03:34 PM

Leland, A very neat looking sled. Is it that you screw the log to the back end to hold in place or are you just using the high back to support the log as you push?


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View jimleigh1313's profile


65 posts in 3376 days

#6 posted 11-20-2011 05:22 PM

Cool. I have a table saw sled, but never thought of a bandsaw sled. It would be much more versatile. Thanks for sharing!

View Hawaiilad's profile


3375 posts in 3987 days

#7 posted 11-20-2011 08:51 PM

LeLand, do you have other pictures of your band saw sled? From the look of what you have posted, it seems that you can not see the cut very well when sliding the log into the blade. I see allot of holes drilled into the back board…is that so you can screw the log to the sled so it doesn’t move around? I am getting ready to make a sled as well, but was thinking of making it so I would attach the side of the log…I like your design better.

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View LelandStone's profile


90 posts in 3479 days

#8 posted 11-21-2011 08:12 AM

Hey, guys!

Thanks again for your interest—this little gizmo seems far too simple to have gotten so much attention, but please, copy it as you like and enjoy!

Chris: I had intended the back support to be used as a base to which the flat-cut end of a log would be screwed, thus the grid of holes you see on it. In practice, this is unnecessary. I simply brace the cut portion of the log against the support, holding the forward end with right hand (held far back from the blade, of course) and push the sled through the saw with my left hand.

Larry: In fact, I don’t need to see the cut! The sled ‘keys’ off my band saw table’s miter slot, thus moving in a line that is theoretically parallel to blade’s plane of cut.

As mentioned above, I had thought of securing the log in place. I had also thought of a complex system of threaded rods that could both securely hold the log and move it incrementally along X-, Y-, and Z- axes!
Turns out, it’s not needed. The log is simply eyeballed onto the cradle to cut the first slice off the butt end, which is then braced against the support. The log is rotated until it is most stable and presents a good cut to the blade, then the sled is pushed forward. 10 seconds later, my first slab falls off the log, and I now have a plane (perpendicular to the butt cut) on which the log can be stabilized for subsequent cuts.

Total outlay, about 5 bucks. Total time spent building: Coupla hours. Payoff: Way better than anticipated, and totally disproportionate to the input required.

-- Leland, OC California

View Hawaiilad's profile


3375 posts in 3987 days

#9 posted 11-22-2011 04:09 AM

Hey Leland, and chance you might have draw up of what you made?

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View LelandStone's profile


90 posts in 3479 days

#10 posted 12-04-2011 09:20 PM

Hi, Larry!

Sorry to be so long getting back to you on this. I don’t have a drawing at this time, but I’ll see what I can do at a later date. Until then, it really is just a long piece of ply with a perpendicular piece of ply on one face and a runner on the other. :)

-- Leland, OC California

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