Cutting Wood “Cookies” With a Sawmill

About: I make pictures and video about saw milling, guitar/ banjo playing and building and general interest content too. I love to build stuff!

This instruction will show how to secure smaller pieces of trunk wood to the sawmill to limit vibration and movement of the trunk. It will help keep the cut nice and flat.

Step 1: Attach Boards to Stump Piece

My biggest problem when cutting cookies with my sawmill is the stump moving around and binding the blade during the cut. I don’t have hydraulic clamps on my homemade mill so I had to find a solution to this problem. You don’t want your cuts to be wavy but smaller trunk pieces tend to “pull” to the blade direction side during cuts and that causes all sorts of trouble! You want the cookie to be flat when finished cutting. This will make the finishing process way easier. So the first thing I do is find 2 strong boards that I can attach to the bottom of the piece to be cut and then screw them right into the wood. Make sure you use big enough screws that they won’t pull out when the cut is in process. I would recommend the screws are at least 1 1/2 inches into your piece to be cut to ensure it holds tight.

Step 2: Attach to Sawmill

Once the boards are attached to the stump turn it over so the boards are on the bottom of the stump. Set it on the mill where you want it making sure the boards span at least two cross members of the sawmills bed. Then use hand clamps to clamp the boards to the steel frame of the sawmill bed. Make sure the clamps don’t interfere with the blades path! I don’t have clamps big enough to span the 8 inches of the cross-member of the saw and the inch of the board so use two L-shaped metal brackets and clamp the bracket to the cross-members narrower side and have the “L” part of the bracket holding the board down onto the cross-member. But to be sure, clamp the boards any way you want or can. You may have bigger clamps that will fit the whole assembly. Just ensure the boards are securely clamped to the sawmills bed frame.

Step 3: Cutting the Cookies

Now that everyone is secure you can cut the cookies without fear of blade wander and wavy cookies! Just remember to keep an eye out for any clamps or other hardware that may now be in the path of your blade when you get down to the bottom of the trunk piece. Hopefully this tutorial helps anyone who like me has smaller pieces of wood they want to cut up on the sawmill. Keeping the piece secure is 90 percent of the struggle!
A video of this process is on my YouTube channel at this link https://youtu.be/2_-I03ipKAo

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