How to Make a Portable Saw Mill

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How to Make a Portable Saw Mill
Milled lumber (lumber 1 image by jimcox40 from

Escaping to the serenity of the woods is a dream for some people. Being able to build your own home can give you a chance to be one with nature. If trees are in abundance and milling those trees into lumber is a viable option, you should consider setting up your own portable saw mill. The mill can be constructed with a circular saw, a band saw or a chainsaw. The wood needs to be secure and the saw needs to cut it straight.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Ladder
  • Carriage pulley
  • 3/8 inch steel cable
  • Circular saw blade
  • 60 horsepower engine
  • Rubber belting
  • Pulleys
  • Screws
  • Drill
  • Track wheels
  • Metal rods
  • Bolts
  • Nuts
  • Metal Sheeting

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  1. 1

    Construct a raised stand for the ladder to be set on and fastened to. The ladder will be used to slide the wood. Tables could work. Several sawhorses could work. Place the ladder on an even, flat and secure surface.

  2. 2

    Attach the track wheels to a board that can be used to set onto the rails of the ladder. This will serve as the wood carriage.

  3. 3

    Construct a 4 by 10 foot frame that can house the pulleys needed to operate the saw. This frame should also be tall enough to rest logs against while sliding along the blade.

  4. 4

    Drill holes into the constructed the saw housing and insert rods that will spin the shafts that will turn the saw. The holes must be directly straight across from each other.

  5. 5

    Insert metal rods, with pulleys in place, through the holes in the wood housing and attach rubber belting to the pulleys and primary rod that will turn the saw blade.

  6. 6

    Drill holes into the ladder that will allow the saw pulley housing to bolt to the side of the ladder.

  7. 7

    Drill holes and insert rods with pulleys into both far-ends of the ladder and run the 3/8-inch cable through the pulleys and attach it to the wood carriage.

  8. 8

    Attach metal sheeting to the raised saw and pulley housing so that wood can slide easily against it.

  9. 9

    Attach the primary rod to the saw blade and secure the saw blade.

  10. 10

    Attach the primary saw blade rod to the 60 horsepower engine.

Tips and warnings

  • Check with the governmental department that regulates forestry in your location to be sure what trees can be harvested and what permits, if any, may be needed.
  • All attachments need to be secure. Shimmying and shaking will rattle the unit apart.

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