I’ve always dreamed of a sawmill of my very own. Given the retail price of hardwoods these days I decided it was time to do something about that dream. A bit of reading, some research, a raid of the metal stock racks in the shop, and about 2 hrs later I had my very own Alaskan style mini sawmill. I have a few chainsaws, but the 450 Husqvarna is the one I decided to put this on for now. I based my design roughly off the Graberg International small log sawmill. I had considered buying one, but in this economy money is tight and the total cost to make mine was 6.95 (for the bolts). Everything else I had as scrap, scrounged from something or left over stock already payed for by some other project.
Side by side showing the commercial Alaskan Sawmill on the left and the Zac built sawmill on the right
Milling downed trees into lumber has become one of my favorite past times. Partially because I know I’ll use the wood for some project down the road, and partially because I feel happy knowing I’m turning trees grown on the property into valuable and useful material. My first few boards were not great as you can see below.
The number one thing I learned early on is that it’s all about sealing the end grain on the log as soon as you cut them. Some of the maple I cut up checked faster then I could put down the saw and brush on the sealant. More on my end grain sealant of choice in a future post.