Load Testing the Bandsaw Mill

Load Testing the Bandsaw Mill

Using a few elm cants I can simulate making a wide cut without jeopardizing one of my big logs. This load test will test

  1. The motor and transmission.  Does the motor have the power to pull the blade through the cut and are the belts able to transfer the power from the motor to the drive shaft without slipping?
  2. The blade.  Will the blade be able to cut straight across the entire cut width and can it withstand the cut forces?
  3. The saw frame.  Is the sawhead stiff enough and strong enough to withstand the cutting forces?



1 - trailer load'

My friend, Donavan, had a massive elm tree removed from his yard and he had asked me to mill it into lumber for him.  The base of the tree is in his back yard and is inaccessible so it will need to be milled onsite.  The upper canopy was removed with a crane and stacked in his front yard.  Donavan cut these logs into cants so they could be moved.  I’ve had them loaded on my trailer for a few months now waiting for the mill to be ready.  These cants will make it really easy to try a progressively wider cut without risking a big log.  They can be set next to each other on the bed and cut all at once to simulate cutting one wide log.

2 - cants loaded

I stacked 5 cants on the mill which would give a cut width of 61″; not quite the maximum of the mill but still a ridiculously wide cut.  To establish a baseline for these cuts, I put a new blade on the mill.

3 - first cuts

The first few cuts were made at 4/4 to start getting the larger cants down to the same size so the blade would pass through them all.

4 - 3 logs

Cutting through the first 3 cants for a cut width of approximately 39″. Cut duration – 1:50

5 - 4 logs

Moving up to 4 cant for a cut width of 53″.  Cut duration – 3:01

6 - 5 logs

All 5 cants for a cut width of 61″.  Cut duration – 3:20

7 - cutting the rest

Donavan and I kept cutting the rest of his cants.  We cut more lumber than his truck could carry 🙂

8 - maple

The tests went way better than I imagined they would.  The blade tracked perfectly and the saw frame had no issues. The motor never really bogged down and the belts kept turning the pulleys.  The cut speed was also at least twice as fast as I was expecting and probably 6 times faster than doing the same cut with a chainsaw mill.  With that test behind me, I am confidant to start sawing my big logs.  They are the reason I built this mill in the first place.


  • Tom Fink
    Posted at 23:03h, 01 March Reply

    Mark, I have to ask: How did your neighbors react to the creation of a band saw mill right next door?

    • Matt Cremona
      Posted at 23:12h, 01 March Reply

      Something along the lines of “That’s cool”

  • Osvane Faria
    Posted at 13:09h, 16 January Reply

    Hello Matt, congratulation for the performance of your machine! I would like to know, if you could share, the blade speeds that you use in this and other cuts, and if you have any experience like have to change the speed through the inverter frequency, in order to achieve better performance in the cut. Thanks for your content!

    • Matt Cremona
      Posted at 00:34h, 17 January Reply

      Blade speed is approx 4600ft/min. I haven’t adjusted the speed at all. This is probably the fastest speed that the motor could maintain without bogging down. Thanks!

  • Scott Trezona
    Posted at 13:53h, 14 March Reply

    Do you have any idea when you will have plans and material list and where you purchased materials for this great mill. I would love to build this mill nothing more fun than seeing the first cut on a log. I have a wood Mizer mill that only allows me to cut 20 inch diameter log. Look forward to hearing from you

    • Matt Cremona
      Posted at 16:45h, 10 April Reply

      I’m getting close. Started working on the plans again last week. A bit of detail work and verifying is all thats left. thanks!

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