January 4, 2023
Several years ago, I challenged myself to fashion out a project out of a fallen maple tree branch in my backyard. So, I started figuring out how to reduce the raw log into usable dimensional wood. I also inquired from my expert woodworking friend about what to do, and he advised me to use my bandsaw, which according to him, is my best option when it comes to reducing logs into manageable wood pieces.
According to him, the most significant pro of having a bandsaw is it can cut thick wood. Of course, he also said that it is risky to use the band saw to cut round logs. But if I use a bandsaw jig for cutting a log, the cutting process becomes a breeze. “Using your hands,” he said, “as the only support of the stock, you might get you injured in the cutting process.” “But with the right bandsaw jig for cutting logs, you can make the log highly stable and firmly affixed while you let it pass through the bandsaw blade.”
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Most Recommended Bandsaw Jigs for Cutting Wood Logs in Workshop
As you search for the best bandsaw jig for cutting logs, you will soon find yourself looking at an array of jig products, making the choosing process a bit confusing. It will help to narrow down your options to the following most recommended bandsaw jigs for cutting logs:
1) Carter Accuright Log Mill
You can quickly transition your bandsaw into a veritable sawmill using the Carter Accuright Log Mill. With this jig, you can save money by producing your lumber. Moreover, this easy-to-use bandsaw jig is easy to set up. You can use the miter slot of your bandsaw to set up this jig. Once set up, you can cut raw wood and square those round logs.
Its right-angle fence is made of sturdy steel. This fence prevents the logs from sliding or rolling during the cutting process. Its locking jaw at the back and its clamp in front secure the logs to the bandsaw table.
With this adjustable fence, you can make repetitive cuts of the same thickness. With this jig, you can transform raw logs into excellent and beautiful lumber that you can use for your wood projects.
2) Carter AccuRight Miter Mill
Another excellent jig from Carter is the AccuRight Miter Mill. With this jig, you can safely and effortlessly cut and square round logs, transforming these logs into usable dimensional lumber. This one is a sled system that allows you to end-cut raw logs using the bandsaw. It is easy to use and set up. You only need to place the log onto the miter mill and set the log in the proper position to get the desired width.
So, with this jig, you don’t need to engage in an elaborate setup. The jig holds the log in place. Additionally, it is made of steel and features v-jaws. You can adjust the front to handle up to nine inches of logs in diameter. Moreover, its contoured handle allows for tighter control and grip. You can also adjust its miter guide bar to suit the standard 3/4 inches by 3/4 inches miter slots.
3) CARTER MAGFENCE II
Another excellent offering from Carter is the CARTER MAGFENCE II. this fence is a magnetic fence that attaches itself to the cast-iron or steel tables of the bandsaw. Regardless of the table size, you can quickly set up this jig and use it afterward.
It comes with no mounts or brackets. You can likewise use this jig with a drill press and spindle sander. You can also utilize this with any tool that comes with a ferrous metal table or surface.
The CARTER MAGFENCE II is around fifteen inches long. The distance between the magnets’ outer edges is approximately twelve inches. So, you need not worry about this jig not fitting your bandsaw as long as your bandsaw table is 12″ deep. Its ends usually hang by 1.5″ on each side.
Alternative Options: Making Your Own DIY Bandsaw Jigs for Log Cutting
Any creative woodworker will surely think of a better way to do things without relying on aftermarket products. In the case of bandsaw jigs for cutting logs, you can create your jigs to allow you to mill round logs into dimensional lumber safely. You can make any jigs for cutting logs, but the most uncomplicated design would be two-section plywood connected and forming a right angle.
You can clamp or screw this jig to the log you would like to cut. This makeshift jig can stabilize the round log, allowing you to cut it with ease. Using this jig, you can prevent the logs from rocking or rolling as you feed the log onto the bandsaw blade.
With its right-angle design, you got one surface running along the table surface and another surface running along the fence of your bandsaw. Your best option for this improvised jig is plywood with its many plies. Once you form two flat sides of the log, you can quickly fashion out the other sides to make usable lumber.
Tips on Cutting Logs Using a Bandsaw
You will indeed find more pleasure in producing your lumber than buying ready-made lumber. Besides, you will find it economical to make your lumber for your projects. However, if you decide to fashion out your lumber from raw logs, it will help if you are cognizant of the following tips:
If you’re not well versed in using your bandsaw, you should first learn the rudiments of its use before you explore the cutting of raw logs into lumber. Ensure that you have gotten the basics of using the bandsaw. Practice cutting using the bandsaw to get the hang of it. Then, once you’ve learned how to use the bandsaw, you can then transition to cutting logs.
When cutting logs, you must get a firm grip on the log. The log, having a curved surface, will tend to slide or rock while you cut. This rocking or sliding could put you at risk of injuries. With the use of a jig for cutting logs, you can affix the tree limb to the bandsaw table while you cut it.
When choosing tree limbs, refrain from using tree limbs with nuts. It would be dangerous and challenging to cut through those knots. You would find it hard to make a clean cut out of it. It will be best to work around those knots to avoid resistance as you cut through the log.
When cutting raw logs, you should follow the safety tips necessary to keep the cutting process safe for you. Wear your safety glasses and gloves. You should also wear your mask to keep you from inhaling dust particles. By wearing your safety gear, you can lessen or reduce the risks involved when cutting raw logs.
Cutting raw logs using your bandsaw becomes easy if you have the right jig for use with your bandsaw. For example, you can use a cross-cutting jig and a longitudinal cutting jig, depending on the kind of cuts. With these two jigs, you can fashion out raw logs into excellent and usable lumber.
The use of a bandsaw to cut raw logs is always risky. The bandsaw blade might bite into the raw log, causing enough torque to make the log slide or roll. Such rolling or sliding of the log can crush or injure your hands. So, it will help if you are always on the safe side. Use the best bandsaw jigs for cutting logs as recommended above.
Jason is a 40-year-old woodworker, carpenter and author who have been involved in the woodworking and woodcraft industry with 17 years of experience. He is expertise in technical aspects, woodcraft and furniture building projects.