Milling Damaged Wood

Life out in the woods is brutal, even for a tree. During its lifetime, a tree can sustain damage from fire, insects, lightning, drought, floods, freezing weather, wind and whatever else Mother Nature decides she wants to throw at it. Add man-made damage from careless logging, grazing and the consequences of recreational use (deer blinds, […]

Where and How Can I Sell the Lumber I Cut on My Sawmill?

The best part about running a portable sawmill is being out on a beautiful day with a light breeze at your back (blowing the sawdust away from you) and taking one perfect board at a time off each log you cut. However, after a while, it may occur to you (or, in my case, my […]

How to Use the Entire Tree When Salvaging Wood and Cutting Lumber

First of all, when it comes to using the entire tree, you can trust nature to waste nothing. Eons before the first axe took a bite out of a tree, the nutrients and organic material in dead trees returned to enrich and build up the soil. Along the way, the tree provided habitat to cavity […]

You Don’t Need a Woodlot to Find Valuable Wood

Those piles of lumber air drying out by the barn are a real source of pride for me, and I love it when someone looks at the wood and asks where I found the logs. The assumption is that wood with beauty and character must come from expensive logs, or imported from Africa or South […]

Band Sawmill Blade Performance Factors

The blade is at the heart of the portable band sawmill. Yet, to many, blade maintenance is almost as much art as it is science. There are nearly as many tricks and techniques for sharpening bandsaw blades as there are recipes for the perfect barbecue sauce. To make matters even more complex, there are many […]

Autumn Milling

Autumn has to be the best time to run a portable bandsaw mill here in the Missouri Ozarks.  After a summer of enduring 100-degree temperatures, fighting off ticks and chiggers, dealing with dehydration, and entertaining visitors (who usually show up when I am trying to patch up the hydraulics on my old 8N Ford tractor, […]

Custom Milling on Your Portable Sawmill

The simplest solution to marketing lumber is to sell the service instead of the wood.  A number of sawyers have built successful businesses on the basis of custom milling. The simplest custom milling job is for the customer to provide the logs and hire you to mill them on your bandsaw mill either at your […]

Profitably Market Lumber Cut on Your Own Portable Sawmill

You can only mill so much lumber with your portable bandsaw mill before you have enough stacked up in the shed, barn, garage and every other empty space. It’s time to face the fact you now have lumber to sell. But, selling lumber can be tricky. For one thing, as soon as you have a […]

Sawing Imperfect Logs

When I first started running a portable sawmill, I was confident every board was going to be free of defects; I would have a nearly unlimited supply of straight, clear lumber for building projects and to sell to expectant customers. But nature designed trees to survive long enough to reproduce and in surviving their lives […]

Wood Variety is the Spice of a Sawyer’s Life

When it comes to using a portable bandsaw mill the question should be not “What can you cut?” but rather “What can’t you cut?”, as you’ll clearly see from some of the photos below. In fact, some of the best and most interesting lumber will come from perhaps the unlikeliest of sources, from hedgewood or […]