Making Lumber

thumb-sm
Slabbing the Smaller Maple Crotch (Big Logs #1)
Last spring, I saw a firewood posting on craigslist for some really large logs.  The trees were removed as part of a street widening project.  I was able to get 5 of them starting from the smallest.  The biggest logs I was unable to get due to their size.  The crotch section was just one part of a much larger tree.
thumb-sm
Fixing the Guides & Side by Side Milling
When I added the guides to the mill, they ended up in not quite the right position so up until now, the blade was guiding itself through the cut.  The placement of the guides also prevented me from tracking the blade back far enough onto the wheels.  I modify the mounting posts (1:15), track the blade (8:28), set the guides (12:13), and test the set up by milling a pair of logs (spruce and elm)(16:24).
thumb-sm
Working Through My Small Log Pile
Just having some fun, enjoying the outdoors, and getting some exercise. Still plenty of things to add to the mill but for now, it's just nice to get some use out of it. I'm working through my small log pile to free up space in my driveway. In this video I'm cutting elm, spruce, and box elder.
thumb-sm
Initial Bandsaw Mill Set Up
After months of building this saw it is finally time to get the saw head calibrated to start cutting.  The majority of the work involved is aligning the wheels and getting a blade tensioned and tracking correctly.
thumb-sm
The Tensioner
The last piece that needs to be added before the mill can be tested is the tensioner.  The tensioner will move the idle wheel out and away from the drive wheel putting tension on the blade.  There are many ways to accomplish this.  I will be using a simple hydraulic ram and hand pump so I need some way of holding the ram and I need something for the ram to push against.
thumb-sm
Blade Guards
A bandsaw mill is pretty dangerous. Not only do you want to protect from body parts coming in contact with the wheels and blade but you also need to contain the the blade if it breaks.  
02279-00_03_00_02-still001
First Cuts with the Bandsaw Mill
There's still plenty to do still to complete the first iteration of my homemade bandsaw mill however I had enough done to do some test cuts to make sure it would actually work.  Here I'm cutting a 12" diameter spruce log around 5'6" long.  The guides are not set, the saw is at a fixed height, and the lube system isn't installed. 
thumb-sm
Log Holding
The bed of the bandsaw mill still needs some mechanisms to hold the logs in position as they are being cut.  Since I do plan on converting these functions to more robust hydraulic mechanisms in the future, I want the side support and log clamps to be simple to build but still very functional.
guides-thumb-sm
The Blade Guides
Up next are the blade guides.  These will control the blade through the cut to keep it cutting straight.  I made these guides adjustable on both sides of the saw so I'll have more flexibility in the future.