How to Cut Logs With a Band Saw

Written by philippa jones
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How to Cut Logs With a Band Saw
Cut up logs with a band saw to make firewood. (Log image by Stanisa Martinovic from

A band saw has a vertical blade that is in a fixed position on a workbench. You can use the band saw to cut logs and create a store of wood for use with a wood-burning fireplace. Before cutting logs using a band saw, it is important to prepare the wood; otherwise, loose debris will fly from the saw and may break the blade or cause injuries.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Jointer
  • Chisel or sandpaper
  • Ruler
  • Chalk

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  1. 1

    Use a jointer to shave a length of wood down the length of each log. This gives the logs a flat base that holds it steadily on the workbench surface.

  2. 2

    Take off excess bark and loose debris from the outer surface of the log using a chisel, sandpaper or your hands. This prevents splinters and fragments from flying into your eyes while you are cutting, and it prevents damage to the band saw blade.

  3. 3

    Use a ruler and chalk to draw a line on top of the log. This marks the cutting point so that you know where to position the band saw against the log.

  4. 4

    Select the correct-sized blade for the log and attach it to the band saw. A 1/2-inch blade is suitable for a large log with a 12-inch diameter, as it will not snap easily, compared to a thinner blade that can be used for smaller logs.

  5. 5

    Stand opposite the band saw and place the log on the workbench in front of you, so that it rests on the surface between you and the blade. Make sure the flattened surface is face down on the bench.

  6. 6

    Turn the band saw's power on.

  7. 7

    Line up the band saw with the chalk line, so that you cut the log in the right place, and then hold the log between your hands. Firmly push the log toward the blade. The amount of force required will depend on the size of the log.

  8. 8

    Keep pushing the log through using the necessary pressure, until it is divided in two. Stopping halfway through the job might cause difficultly as the blade will lose its momentum during the process.

Tips and warnings

  • Always wear eye protection and gloves when using woodworking equipment like a band saw.
  • Only use a saw if you have experience operating the machine to avoid injuring yourself.
  • When you first cut the log, it may create a lot of dust. However, keep pushing the log through to prevent the blade from stalling and getting stuck in the log.

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