Bandsaws are one tool that can actually pay for it'self my cutting your own lumber, and cutting smaller logs on even smaller bandsaws is often quite possible. Even my 14-inch bandsaw will quite handily cut longer and short logs in perfect size pieces of lumber suitable for smaller projects.
Watch it on Youtube: https://youtu.be/fK7JrIAzMps
This jig is easy to make and I made mine from used plywood I picked up a few months ago that was... at one time, someone's kitchen cabinet doors, now I am reusing them for all sorts of new things, and this bandsaw jig is perfect for this old 3/4 thick plywood ...
There really isn't any point in giving dimensions because everyone has a different size bandsaw, so the best I can do is guide you on how to make the choices in size.
First of all, you bandsaw needs to have a miter slot, some don't and these are more difficult to adapt this jig to, but still possible, you will have to sort that out yourself depending on your bandsaw.
The base of the jig needs to be about half the width of your bandsaw top, to this, you will need to install a miter blank, which you can cut yourself or pick one up from Amazon HERE.
This plastic material will need to be pre-drilled before you attach it to the base of your jig.
Next, you will need to cut the 2 bases, the 2 uprights and front parts of the jig that will be holding the log. Again you will need to use your best judgment according to the size of your bandsaw and how much it can cut. Usually, the bases of this jig are about the same dimensions, and even the upright can probably be the same dimension.
Now that you have all the wood you will need the next thing will be to cut the slots in the upper base. We do this first so it is easier to locate where the bolts will go in the lower base. When figuring out where the slots need to go, make sure you leave enough space on the sides that you can comfortably get your finger in to tighten and loosen the wingnut when they are installed. The easiest way to cut these slots is on the router table, but hey can also be drilled and cut by hand too.
Next, you will need to find the placement of where the bolts will need to be installed in the base or the jig, that is, the part that also has the miter blank installed. Install the bolts through the base of the jig, and whatever bolts you use, will need to be countersunk, so you may need to to do the countersinking first. The location of the bolts will be governed by where you cut the slots. Simply find the center point at an outer edge and use an awl to mark where to drill the holes.
Drill a pilot hole first, that way you can flip over your lower base and use a Forstner bit to drill the holes for whatever bolts you will be using. When the countersink holes are drilled you can drill the through holes for the bolts to go through, then the add the bolds and epoxy the heads or use Super Glue with a bit of an accelerator to lock the bolt heads to the base.
While you are still working on he bolts, depending oh what type you are using, now would be a good time to "lock the heads: to the base of your jig. If you are using hex head bolts, or something similar you could either use 2 part epoxy or one of the cyanoacrylate glues, like Super Glue and some accelerator, to firmly glue the bolt head to the wood.
Next, it's time to assemble the log carrier part. If your wood has been cut accurately, the whole carriage part should come together easily and even fit on the base with the 2 bolts sticking through the slots you just cut.
Using this jig is easy. It's best to work with half logs, which you can split with an ax wood splitter. Whole logs will work but are harder to handle.
I split my logs with an axe, and at the same time, I also hack a flat spot where the log will be attached to the jig. This flat spot really makes a difference in getting nice flat cuts across the log, and makes for better lumber for you. I normally only use 2 or 3 screws to attach through the jig and into the log. Depending on the species I will use longer or shorter screws. Hardwood shorter, softwood longer. I also mark on the edge of the log ... where my screws will be embedded in the log so that I don't inadvertently cut them off with my bandsaw ... which is generally not a problem except that it dulls the bandsaw blade instantly. I am normally well away from any screws, and, if you want more wood from a log, in many cases you can even change to shorter screws to drive into the log ... but normally this part of the log is scrap anyway, so it's really not much waste at all.
You should be quite happy with the results from this jig, and your bandsaw. There will be lots of good usable wood for you to make endless projects with ... and, you likely got the wood for free which make woodworking even more fun !!
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Copyright Colin Knecht