Bandsaw Chainsaw Chopsaw

By Ronn Hann (reprinted from spring 2010 newsletter)

My sawmill adaptation makes a “bandsaw chainsaw chopsaw.” I bolted a chainsaw guide onto the cube frame of my sawmill to enable me to cut the ends of a post perfectly parallel to one another. It is also used to cut post pockets on the bottom side of a ridgepole.

Ronn Hann's Bandsaw Chainsaw Chopsaw

I started by bolting two pieces of ¼” x 2” x 36” stainless steel plates to the cube frame of my sawmill with ¾” spacers between. I drilled and tapped the frame to receive these bolts. Then drilled holes in the stainless steel guides every 2” to be able to prevent the saw bar from going too deep. I used the longest stock bar available of 42”. This enabled me to drill the bar and mount two UVH plastic guides 36” apart to match the cube frame. I machined the plastic guides in the shape of the letter “H” so they would slide over the stainless steel smoothly on either side and be captured there. This plastic can be drilled and machined with normal woodworking equipment. Whenever possible use 13mm or 19 mm nuts and bolts so your “scrench” will fit them.

When cutting multiple posts the same length, I use clamps on the mill track to position the carriage in the same spot for different posts. I welded up some brackets to make the clamps work better.

What does it do????

1. The saw cuts exactly perpendicular to the center axis of the log or timber. I mark the centerline of the mill bed for easier alignment.

2. This makes both ends cut parallel.

3. Cut to tape measure length.

4. Cut ridgepole flat. Then roll the log 180º to cut post pockets on bottom side. Make vertical cuts down to selected depth to clean out a spot to bring the sawmill band blade to the proper depth to cut the 12 – 16 – ? length to receive the top of the post. The holes drilled every 2” on the stainless steel guides can be used to prevent the saw from going too deep.

5. I use “V”-block jigs clamped to the sawmill bed to set the logs in and they mostly lay parallel to the mill centerline. These jigs also can raise or lower one end for elevation adjustment.

When not in use, I cock the chainsaw bar in the guides about 5º and it wedges there and does not fall. This keeps it out of the way for normal sawmill operation.

If you have a band sawmill this little modification may pay off for you “Big Time.”

If you have any questions on my “Bandsaw Chainsaw Chopsaw,” please give me a call or e-mail me.


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The Great Lakes Log Crafters Association is chartered as a non-profit organization in the State of Wisconsin, USA. The Board President, Board Members, and Officers are elected by the general membership and serve as stewards for running the association
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