If you’re thinking about getting your hands on your first portable sawmill, it can get confusing about how and where to start. It can get exciting to start cutting logs with it and start making usable lumbers out of it. If you’ve never seen the process and bought ready boards from the store, there are many steps behind that piece of board. As you have your own portable sawmill now, you can start cutting fresh boards from a log.
However, if you don’t have your sawmill yet, make sure they get the right one; you can get suggestions from experts according to toolassociate.com. If you have your hands on your new sawmill, let’s dive into it and get you through the steps you must learn. I’ll help you understand the whole process from preparing the machine to get your first boards off the log.
6 Tips for Using a Portable Sawmill
If you have your first sawmill on hand, it’s time to start cutting your first piece of lumber with it. Here are 6 tips and tricks that you must know and follow to start the blade and get it through the log:
1. Preparing the environment
As you’re going to use a portable sawmill, chances are you’re going to work alone, single-handedly. It’s important to have the right setup and environment to efficiently get the job done, especially when it’s only you. Put your sawmill in a space where you have enough moving space on both sides. It will help you move around the machine and move your logs without bumping or cringing. Get your loading truck near the mill to cut the lumbers and put them right on the truck. It’s a smart way to offload some extra work after the job is complete. If you’re using a log loader, make two parallel piles put your boards on them to pick them up quickly.
2. Prepare the sawmill and load the log
First of all, inspect the mill, get familiar with the components that go into the process, and learn to handle them. Start with the log stoppers; pull them up to keep the log from rolling off the mill. Lift the log and roll it onto the mill from the opposite side of the side the log stoppers are. Once the log rolls to the stoppers, the log will be there, and, here comes the work of the clamps. The clamps are on the opposite side of the stopper along with a sliding rail for manually wedging it. Another thing you must not skip is the blade tension adjustment, or you may end up destroying the blade with a kink.
3. Preparing the log and plan for the lumbers
Once the log on the mill, you should measure the right length and width of the boards you’re going to make. However, before you start the measuring process, be sure to set the log on an optimal lying position. Use a cane hook to move, rotate, or balance the log on the mill, if you don’t have a cane hook, get one. Once the log is in its place, take a measuring tape, a pencil, and mark the edge side where you’ll start the cut. Use both the wedge and the clamps to hold the log on its place; you can make a wedge with a block of scrap wood.
4. Safety measurements
Once you have everything in place, put your safety gear on before you start making the lumbers. As you’re working with heavy objects, noisy motors, and sharp blades, you must not skip safety! Start with putting your safety glasses on to protect your eyes from the sawdust because it will get messy. Put on your hearing aid to protect your ears from the immense sound from the motor. A pair of steel-toed shoes are also important to protect your legs. Lumbers may fall off the mill while moving them around; the shoes will have a guard for the heavy falls. There are other safety tips and tricks to maintain, too; be sure to get educated according to toolassociate.com from the experts.
5. Start making the cuts
You can now start cutting the log; however, be sure to have the bowed side on the top for a nice start! With the first cut or even the second or third cut, you will get 2-3 sobbing cuts before you get the first solid lumber. Once you have an even surface on the log, turn it 90° towards the log stoppers and expose a new side on top. Run the blade again on the new side and run it once or twice until this side also has a solid surface. Turn the log and make another cut to have an even surface to the third side and the fourth side. Eventually, you will have four perfect angels on the log that you can turn into solid boards.
6. Finishing off and storing the lumbers
With every cut, you’ll get lumber, whether it’s scrap or solid, useful board. Store the scrap cuts on the side and don’t throw them away. Pile the solid boards on the back of the truck or the parallel pile I’ve discussed earlier. After every cut or two, you must not forget to adjust the log stoppers and push them down. IF you don’t do it and accidentally run your blades towards them, you may damage it. Before ending, take the scrap lumbers and cut the solid, core part from them to have extra boards. Count the lumbers, measure them on size and see if you have the right overall size you wanted to get out of the log.
7. Final words
Cutting your own lumbers can be a great deal whether you’re doing it for a personal DIY project or to sell them upfront. The portable sawmill will be a great investment if you’re going to make money with it, especially if you practice a while. Remember to put on your safety gear and be sure to use the sawmill with the proper procedure to keep it safe as well.
After cutting the lumbers, you can do your calculations about your profit out of work. If you’re not familiar with the log calculation, be sure to get through some help, according to toolassociate.com. It’s a great resource to educate yourself for the best output from your log cutting journey.