Video Series: Milling Your Own Lumber

If you are wondering what it takes to produce lumber here is a seven-part series which provides an excellent overview of the subject. These videos were produced by Popular Woodworking at Cassens Lumber in June 2018 with Dan Cassens and Logan Wells and sponsored by Wood-Mizer. This seven-part video series takes you through how to find logs, how to operate a sawmill, details on types of sawing methods, stickering and drying, and, ultimately, advice on using a mill as part of a business. Learn what you need to know to understand Milling Your Own Lumber. The video series is available for purchase at the Popular Woodworking website.

Why Own a Sawmill

Dan and Logan introduce sawmilling, the emergence of urban wood, where to find logs, setting up a portable sawmill, and loading a log.

Plain Sawing a Log

Logan walks through the process of plain sawing or live through-and-through sawing. Learn how to identify defects in the log, position the log on the bed, determine the opening face, how to operate the sawmill, and decide when to turn the log while sawing.

Edging Lumber

Logan demonstrates how to produce square-edge boards on a sawmill and on a twin blade board edger.

Sawing Techniques

Dan and Logan demonstrate how to quarter saw a log with a bandsaw mill, as well as how to produce rift-sawn lumber, dimensional lumber, and live-edged wood slabs.

Blades & Basic Maintenance

Logan discusses choosing sawmill blades based on sawing different types of material, sharpening blades, and how to change a sawmill blade. Logan also covers basic sawmill maintenance including checking drive belt tension, blade alignment, engine, side supports, bed sections, and common wear items.

Drying & Stacking Lumber

Dan walks through the most important part of the sawmilling process – drying lumber! Dan covers stacking, how to air dry lumber, measuring moisture content, and kiln drying lumber, in order to reduce stain or damage to the lumber after it’s been sawn.

Grading & Pricing

Dan discusses how to calculate board feet, a high-level overview of grading lumber, and resources to help price lumber competitively in the market.