Milling Your Own Lumber Video Series

Finding affordable lumber has always been a mainstay for woodworkers, and when you tie our dwindling natural resources into the conversation the time is right to look at milling your own lumber. This seven-part weekly video series takes you through how to find logs, how to operate a portable sawmill, details on types of sawing methods, stickering and drying lumber and advice on using a mill as part of a business. Learn what you need to know to understand Milling Your Own Lumber.

Hosted by Popular Woodworking Editor Andrew Zoellner, former Purdue University Forestry Professor and Cassens Lumber Owner Dan Cassens, and Smock Valley Timber Owner Logan Wells, the Milling Your Own Lumber Video Series is brought to you by successful sawmill business owners and experienced woodworkers so you can learn how to find, mill, and prepare lumber for your wood shop with complete confidence.

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A Conversation with Dan Cassens

Cassens Lumber Owner and Former Purdue University Forestry Professor Dan Cassens talks about why he owns a sawmill and the many benefits of milling your own lumber.

A Conversation with Logan Wells

Smock Valley Timber Owner Logan Wells talks about his background in forestry and why he started milling his own lumber.

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.  

Sawing Logs - Plain Sawing or Live Sawing

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 Logs - Quarter Sawing & Other 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 edge wood slabs. 

Sawmill Blades & Basic Sawmill Maintenance - COMING 10/17

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 Lumber - Air Drying & Kiln Drying - COMING 10/24

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 its been sawn.

Grading & Pricing Lumber - COMING 10/31

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

Woodworking starts in the forest, not in the shop

With access to timber or logs, you can hand-select the perfect wood species and material for your dream woodworking project. With a Wood-Mizer portable sawmill, woodworkers saw logs into any custom sized lumber with any grain pattern that big box stores charge dearly for or simply don’t offer. Leave the live edge, work with the natural curves, and gain full creative control of your project from start to finish. From forest to final form. Download the Woods to Woodshop Guide for more information.