Whether you’re using your lumber mill for a hobby, a side-line project or even a small business venture, if you can find a designated space in your backyard for such equipment, you’re fortunate indeed!
However, once you’ve got your working area into shape, you’ll need to consider the appropriate tools and materials to use for your lumber mill, including that of which best chainsaw mill to buy, for example.
Here’s a guide to getting the best tools to help you manage your very own backyard lumber mill, thus turning your logs into lumber.
What Essential Tools Are Needed to Operate a Successful Lumber Mill?
Firstly, before you head out to purchase copious amounts of equipment, you need to make sure you have a list to hand of what tools you will need to run your lumber mill successfully. This is especially important if you are new to lumbering as it can be quite easy to get carried away with purchasing many products to get you started on your new and exciting venture!
As a starting point, this list should include here:
- A Chainsaw – First and foremost, this is the tool worth spending as much as you possibly can on for the most effective cut.
- A Chainsaw Mill – A good quality and high-end chainsaw mill will work with you to help you get your lumbering job done safely and securely.
- A Jointer – A vital tool if you’re looking to flatten and shape your lumber to use in a specific way once you’ve cut it up.
- Protective Clothing – Something not always considered by many people, the advantages of wearing such protective clothing when working on a lumber mill can’t be stressed enough.
- Additional Logging Tools – These items make it easier to transport the logs to your lumber mill and help you to hold them and keep them in place as you prepare to begin work.
- Extra Chainsaw Blades – It’s always advisable to have spares of these to hand.
To get the best experience from your lumber mill set up and to push your woodworking skills to their farthest capabilities, you need to be prepared to spend more when buying your primary tools. But, long-term, such an investment should pay off substantially.
Now you know what essential tools you need to be looking out for, here’s more of a breakdown as to what each device can do for your lumber mill.
Selecting the Best Chainsaw
As cutting through lumber isn’t an easy task, you do need to ensure that you spend as much as you can and get the best type of chainsaw which you can possibly afford for this job type.
Your chainsaw should ideally be able to cope with some tough jobs as it will most likely be sawing through some very tough logs. For general tasks, such as occasional garden pruning, an electric chainsaw usually suffices, as does a cordless chainsaw. However, for this more substantial type of job, it’s thoroughly recommended that you look at petrol chainsaws.[amazonjs asin=”B0177VULZI” locale=”US” title=”Remington RM4216 Rebel 42cc 16-inch Gas Chainsaw”]
Though more expensive than their electric and cordless counterparts, petrol chainsaws are powerful, easier to maintain but ultimately offer a quick and clean cut, with many featuring some additional benefits such as anti-vibration, which makes them less tiring for the operator when using.
Make Sure You Don’t Forget Your Protective Clothing
It goes without saying that as well as purchasing a chainsaw, at the same time you should also remember to buy your protective clothing. Though this uniform doesn’t have to be overly expensive, safety should be your number one priority when purchasing this most essential of kits:
- Safety Helmet: Absolutely crucial, a safety helmet is designed to safeguard your head when using a chainsaw, predominantly protecting you from any forced impact should kick back occur. Some helmets will also include visors that work to protect the eyes from any flying dust and woodchips.
- Safety Boots: These types of boots always include a steel cap toe and offer a much firmer grip than standard boots, which works to prevent you from slipping with a chainsaw in hand.
- Ear Protectors/Defenders: Many safety helmets will already have ear defenders built into them, but if not, you can obtain a pair for a relatively low Prolonged use of a chainsaw can damage your hearing if your ears aren’t protected throughout, so always wear a pair of these when working at your lumber mill.
- Chainsaw Gloves: Made with a heavy padded fabric, these gloves have the comfort and flexibility, allowing you to grip the chainsaw easily and practically, but also work at protecting your hands in the process.
- Chainsaw Trousers: Designed using a material similar to that of chainsaw gloves, these trousers will not stop a chainsaw in its tracks but will slow the progress of it should it hit your legs, making any potential injuries less severe than what they would have been had you not been wearing a pair of these.
Selecting the Best Chainsaw Mill
A chainsaw mill is a powerful and useful piece of equipment, which does the job of holding your chainsaw by attaching a pair of rails to it, helping you guide the chainsaw through the lumber as you operate it. A chainsaw mill also ensures that your chainsaw cuts straight each time.
There are so many chainsaw mills on the market and all ranging greatly in price, so the key here is to select the product which works to your needs. Most of them are almost the same, shape wise and design wise, but the actual size of them will differ depending on what size lumber you want to cut. The solution is to find a chainsaw mill that works to cover the general width of the lumber that you wish to work on predominantly.[amazonjs asin=”B000AMFY90″ locale=”US” title=”Granberg Chain Saw Mill, Model# G777″]
The larger chainsaw mills may be able to handle a higher proportion of lumber, including those wider of pieces, but they can’t be transported or carried around as easily. If you don’t plan on moving it around that much, then this could be a better option for you. However, you will need to ensure that you have the area to work and maneuverer in your backyard if you’re to take on such large-scale projects.
Alternatively, smaller chainsaw mills may be the more accessible and portable of tools, with the ability to be placed away conveniently when you’ve finished using them, but they will not be able to cut as well as their larger counterparts. Yet, if you can’t afford the space and would prefer to work on something which is lightweight, the smaller chainsaw mill could be your best solution.
Selecting the Best Jointer
A jointer is a machine set up which allows you to pass your lumber through it to be flattened. This then means that your lumber is more natural to work with and not in as rough a condition as you initially found it in. Many people prefer to do this with their lumber to ensure it doesn’t wobble when they do begin to work on it.
However, the main aspect of a jointer, when used alongside your lumber mill, is to smooth out your pieces of wood. If you spend much of your time cutting up logs for lumber, you may want to get them prepared and ready for the next woodwork project you have in mind. Not to be confused with a planer, which works on creating a more extensive scaled area of wood, a jointer works at straightening and squaring off edges and is used more to concentrate on those smaller of areas.[amazonjs asin=”B004Q0I8YU” locale=”US” title=”PORTER-CABLE PC160JT Variable Speed 6″ Jointer”]
Once again, there are many types of jointers to select from, and your final choice will depend much on the effects and results you want from the final product. You can find jointers as a sizeable standalone model, but for some people using them alongside their lumber mill set up in their backyard, such a type is not practical. This means that the more sought-after jointer type is that of a benchtop jointer.
The idea here is to look ahead at what you are planning on doing with your lumber once you’ve got it cut to size and then working on selecting a jointer to fit your specific needs here. However, most jointers will vary in their motor size, bed width, cutting depth, fence and even their dust collection capacity.
Additional Tools You Can Consider Using to Help Your Lumbering Work
As well as the big and powerful tools, there are those old-fashioned hand tools that, although smaller in size, offer a great help as you work through the lumbering process. These are three of the best tools to add to your set up:
- A Log Jack – These tools, also known by some as timber jacks, are used to lift any felled trees off the ground with ease.
- A Pickeroon – Once again, though smaller than the log jack, a pickeroon is an excellent tool for moving wood and can also be used to split some logs as well.
- A Peavy – Though significantly shorter and smaller of all the additional tools, a peavey can manipulate logs with its metal hook.