Building a Chainsaw Mill to Make Planks

Here’s a chainsaw hack that makes a lot more sense than the last one we shared…  It’s a setup you can build to help cut down logs into usable planks for your own projects!

Our guide on this tool hack is [BongoDrummer], who is the co-founder of a group in Wales called the Flowering Elbow, dedicated to imagining and making better futures by helping inspire people with inventions, encouraging project collaborations, and contributing to the community. We think he’s just a wee bit more knowledgeable than our previous grinder-chainsaw inventor…

[BongoDrummer] starts out with a proper note on safety, explaining accident statistics and offering up a refresher guide on proper chainsaw use. From there he gets right into the design and build of the mill. He’s chosen to use aluminum extrusion because it’s strong, light, and easy to work with—not to mention easy to assemble! Videos and more info after the jump.

The build log is very detailed and easy to follow. [BongoDrummer] presents a few clever features, like using bicycle inner tube as grip covers, making an auxiliary oiler to keep the blade running smooth, and using a skateboard wheel and bearing as a guide roller.

And of course, a demonstration:

20 thoughts on “Building a Chainsaw Mill to Make Planks

  1. Just the thing to make a txalaparta, a board drum. It’s signals can be copied at a distance of many miles.

  2. That’s quite a nice setup for a hobbyist, I’d say. Makes me want one. My uncle has cut up many beautiful oak trees (fallen or damaged, of course) for firewood, when the wood could have been salvaged. T.T

    1. Oak? You’re not going to get long boards out of most oak trees — if they were the typical large sprawling types — but if you got some nice straight boards hidden inside that tree, then it’s worth a *lot* more as those boards than as firewood.

  3. That’s called an Alaska mill. Not a hack, you just buy them. The ones where they build gasoline-powered bandsaws on rails are even cooler.

  4. Regular chainsaw chains run like ass ripping wood. I just figured I’d throw that out there. Rip chains do not have raker teeth. Or if they do they do not have nearly as many as regular crosscut chains do. You can convert a regular chain into a ripper by removing the rakers with a cut off disc. Or you can buy ripping chains. Go ahead and look it up.

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