Making A VERTICAL Chainsaw Mill Homemade Machines & Jigs
This started as an idea after making my homemade band saw mill and comparing the apparent inefficiency of that to the simple chainsaw mills that most use. I got to thinking about how I could rig one up to cut my short lengths of hard maple, and came up with the idea of making the saw run on a post that is set in the ground. The saw would be mounted on a simple wooden carriage that fits around the post. The square shape of the post would keep the saw straight as it cuts down. Definitely worth a try, so I decided to rig it up to run a test cut.
To get started, I dug a hole in a good location to plant the post. The post is an eight foot long 4×4 that has about three feet buried in the ground to solidly anchor it:
It’s a good idea to make the post plumb (straight up and down), but it doesn’t have to be perfect. For a more permanent “installation” I’d use a longer post and set that in concrete inside a sonotube form, but just backfilling with the soil and packing that down will do for this test.
I used the big block of maple left over from my cutting operations on the band saw mill for the base, and that’s just sitting on the ground. I set the log in place and made that plumb with wedges:
I drove a couple of screws through the bottom edge of the log into the base to keep it from moving, and made sure they were well away from where the saw would be cutting.
To keep the top from moving, I ran braces down to heavy logs. A more permanent solution would be to sink another post offset from where the log is to run shorter braces, but I think driving screws through wooden braces would still be the fastest, most efficient way to get that done:
The first cut was a complete success. The saw powered down through the log without hesitation and left a very clean (for a chainsaw) straight cut:
I could then rotate the log 90 degrees and make another cut through the centre:
The idea is to only use this to flatten a face or square up a larger one, then do the remainder of the cutting on my big homemade band saw.
Some action shots:
The carriage is very simple, basically an “L” bracket and a box that fits loosely on the post. More details on how I made that and attached the saw in the video below.
The saw cut through the hardwood impressively fast. Granted, it’s a brand new chain that’s factory sharp, but after three such cuts it’s showing no signs of dulling. It wasn’t able to cut right to the bottom, so I used a ax to chip off what was left. A more permanent setup would fix that and let the saw cut all the way down:
Here’s a detailed video of the build, including the first cutting session at the end:
Here’s a shorter, action only video showing the cutting: