Should I mill these logs on the BS or buy an Alaska Mill?

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Forum topic by JohnMcClure posted 11-28-2017 09:22 PM 698 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1021 posts in 1418 days

11-28-2017 09:22 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw milling alaska granberg chainsaw mill cherry found

I was fortunate to acquire a cherry tree trunk! Roughly 12” diameter, 4 logs about 3.5-4ft each.
I have a 17” Grizzly BS (cast iron wheels) and a new 1” by 2-3TPI blade; I also have a chainsaw.

The logs are heavy (feel like 100lbs each). I would like to mill them on the BS to minimize waste and maximize precision, but I’ve never done anything over 18” long before.

What do you say? Do I get a couple rolling stands, maybe build a jig, and do it on the bandsaw, or do I spend $160+ on the Granberg G777 (Small Log Mill) and use the chainsaw to slab it up, wasting a ton of wood in the kerf?
Can the bandsaw be used safely?

Feel free to also offer tips to make either method go more smoothly while you’re at it.


-- I'd rather be a hammer than a nail

2 replies so far

View Ripper70's profile


1377 posts in 1687 days

#1 posted 11-28-2017 09:41 PM

Are you sure that band saw has the height capacity? Twelve inch diameter logs may be just on the edge of capacity for your saw. Either way, you’ve got your work cut out for you but a nice prize in the end.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

View sawdustdad's profile


379 posts in 1663 days

#2 posted 11-29-2017 02:20 AM

Take the logs and run them over the jointer to get a flat surface first. That will give you some stability to cut them on the bandsaw. Many years ago I actually built a carriage assembly to mill logs on my Hitachi resaw. It has a 3 inch wide blade with stellite teeth and 3hp motor and 12 inch cut height.

Here’s a you tube video (not mine) of the resaw.

I gave up pretty quickly as the logs were heavier than I could manage and even 3hp was not enough (IMO) to do it efficiently. Local sawmills became my source after that…

With a few cherry logs, you can do it if you are careful. The biggest risk is that you’ll roll the log due to blade forces and damage your blade and/or ego.

-- Murphy's Carpentry Corollary #3: Half of all boards cut to a specific length will be too short.

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