Easy Bandsaw Log Cutting Method

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by stefang posted 05-03-2011 07:11 PM 19779 reads 37 times favorited 32 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I recently promised to blog a jig free method for bandsawing logs into lumber. I might have called it a simple jig rather than jig free. It all depends on how you define it. Can a flat board qualify as a jig? Anyway, here is a very safe and simple method to convert your logs to lumber on your bandsaw.

Keep in mind that while I’ve only shown the slicing of short logs, you can cut much longer logs with this method, but then you will probably need an infeed and outfeed table to support them.

Here is the demonstration log we’ll be slicing.

The first thing I’ll do is make some wedges from a 2”X3”. The series of pics below show how I do it.

Next is the board I use as a carriage for the log. One side is jointed, so it can run straight against the BS fence.

Then I place the log on carriage board with the cut side hanging out over the edge of the board just enough to get a nice flat surface. I position the wedges dry where they fit snuggly while the hot glue gun heats up, then I glue them on. It doesn’t require a lot of glue, about as shown on the following pics. If you are worried you can add a little glue at the top as shown. (probably not needed)

Ok, now it’s ready for the bandsaw.

These pics show first the cut side with the log hanging out over the edge, and the next photo the fence side.

Here is the first cut.

The 2nd cut with the first cut now face down on the table and the bottom of the carriage board running against the fence.

Now to remove the log from the carriage. I just bang the wedges loose with a hammer. The wedges can be used again by trimming off the glued edges. Some glue stays on the board too, but I only remove that after cutting several logs.

Now you have a log with adjacent flat side forming a 90 degree angle and you can run one side against your fence with the other side flat on the table to finish slicing your log as shown.

And finally you have some nice boards to sticker.

I didn’t finish the slicing job because yesterday I cut up another “urban” log. It had 3 nails in it and it ruined my blade. I used the ruined blade for this blog because I was worried about the possiblity of more nails. So I will have to change my blade to finish the job on this log.

This method is really easy, accurate and safe. The idea of just using a flat board and then turning it 90 degrees for the 2nd cut is not mine. I got it from the tips section of one of the wood mags. (sorry, I can’t remember which one). My idea for this method was to attach the log with the hot glued wedges instead of using screws. I’ve cut quite a few logs so far and the glue never loosened even once.

My reason for wanting to use this method was that I have no space left in my shop to store a large jig for this purpose. I can use any board that is wide/long enough for the log and has one jointed edge. I hope you will give it a try!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

32 comments so far

View patron's profile


13649 posts in 3790 days

#1 posted 05-03-2011 07:25 PM

now that is just great mike

something we can all do on the occasional time scale

i knew you were up to something good
from your last blog

but this is really user friendly

thanks so much
don’t even need to ‘favorite’ it

i got it in my head now

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 4363 days

#2 posted 05-03-2011 07:38 PM

Mike, thanks for taking the time to post this. It’s brilliant.
While it’s a variation on other methods I’ve seen, it seems like the simplest one and one that I know I will use.

At least I know that my logs could have no nails in them since they come from my own forest but I still have managed to ruin at least one blade accidentally cutting into some nails on some recycled lumber. I’ve since bought a handheld metal detector if I have any reason to be suspicious.

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View Dale J Struhar Sr's profile

Dale J Struhar Sr

503 posts in 3579 days

#3 posted 05-03-2011 07:48 PM

What a great idea Mike, nice job.

-- Dale, Ohio

View stefang's profile


16711 posts in 3783 days

#4 posted 05-03-2011 07:49 PM

Hi David. Good to hear from you. I’m glad you like it. The tip I read about this used a plywood board with the log screwed to it, and for some reason they also sliced the board along with the log. Basically a fantastic idea which just needed to be tweeked a little.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Bertha's profile


13567 posts in 3142 days

#5 posted 05-03-2011 07:52 PM

I’m going to give it a try this weekend and will post pics!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View superstretch's profile


1531 posts in 3142 days

#6 posted 05-03-2011 08:08 PM

Slick setup.. Seems perfectly reasonable that even if someone had the room, they’d employ this method..

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View dbhost's profile


5772 posts in 3681 days

#7 posted 05-03-2011 09:13 PM

That’s brilliant! And that “jig” is certainly a lot more space conscious than any other I have seen to boot!

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View stefang's profile


16711 posts in 3783 days

#8 posted 05-03-2011 09:34 PM

Thanks all for the positive comments.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3564 days

#9 posted 05-03-2011 10:31 PM

thankĀ“s for sharing this with us Mike
and taking the time to make a well written picturebook toturial

take care

View littlecope's profile


3072 posts in 3951 days

#10 posted 05-03-2011 11:07 PM

Great Idea Mike, and timely…
Some old friends of mine had a huge old Ash taken down…
If I can get there, I can have some…
The wheels were already turning, wondering exactly how I was going to break it down…
Thanks for showing the Way!! :)

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3305 days

#11 posted 05-03-2011 11:35 PM

Mike that is a wonderful idea

I’ve a pink ivory log sitting awaiting a try

I’ll let you know how I go


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Hoakie's profile


306 posts in 4485 days

#12 posted 05-04-2011 12:03 AM

Very clever indeed. If space becomes too much of an issue with the one I built, this sees to be a pretty good way to go.

Thanks for the tip

-- John H. [To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk. ~Edison]

View a1Jim's profile


117688 posts in 4026 days

#13 posted 05-04-2011 12:19 AM

You always find a great way to do things Mike good job.

View pumpkin's profile


1 post in 3123 days

#14 posted 05-04-2011 01:47 AM

Thanks Mike for a well presented blog for cutting good boards from logs. I have fallen foul of trying to free -hand such cutting near wrecking my 14 in bandsaw. I look forward to doing it your way on my 19 in saw. Much obliged.

View Dave's profile


11432 posts in 3289 days

#15 posted 05-04-2011 03:48 AM

Simple, efficient, and well done. I might even be able to try this one. Thanks for posting Mike. See the honey dew’s are at least producing some materials.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

showing 1 through 15 of 32 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics