We’re going to need a sawmill. Pricing out the cost of lumber for the flooring and the interior of the roof shows me that the lumber alone would cost about $11,000 by itself. If I can get a sawmill for $3-4,000, that saves me about $7,000. Plus, if I get the logs for free or nearly free, it’s quite an investment. Besides, what man out there does not want a sawmill? Even if you don’t know anything about carpentry or woodwork (or, like me, have never even used a sawmill before), having a sawmill just sitting in your garage says, “A man lives here.”  On the other hand, sawmills can quickly get expensive. It’s common to see an advertisement on Craigslist for a $42,000 sawmill, so let’s not go crazy here. I narrowed it down to three:

Woodland Mills HM126

The Woodland Mills HM126 has a 9.5 HP engine, can cut a 26″x10′ log, plus longer logs as well. $2,800 is a pretty good deal.

Timbery M100

For the same price, the Timbery M100 is another good looking portable sawmill with the same basic features.

Burg Sawmill

And then there’s this one: 36″ capacity for $3700. Made by some company called Burg Sawmills out in Oregon or somewhere 16 HP Honda engine, and two 10′ sections of track.

I like certain things about each of them, so I’ll have to narrow it down.

Some of the logistical problems:

Portability: so, I get this sawmill, haul it down to the property, set it up (which could take a while because it’s heavy – maybe 1,000 lbs, and it has to be absolutely level to use), start sawing wood, and then at the end of each day, pack it back up so it doesn’t get stolen? Or do I build a shed to keep it in temporarily? Maybe I get a trailer to put it on (more expense)?

Timing: Looks like it takes about a year to get usable lumber out of logs because of the drying time – something like 9 months. Since I’ll be using some of the lumber I saw for the roof, getting my first board cut using the sawmill kind of sets up the timeline for when I’ll be able to use that board 9 months later.

I’ll also need a tractor to load the logs on the rail (and then what do I do with the tractor when not in use?), but that’s a post for another day…


Update (4/27/17):

I ended up buying an HudSon Oscar 121 mill from a LHBA member up in TN. I’ve made a few cuts on a scrap 400 lb+ maple log someone left in their front yard. You can see a photo of the sawmill here.

5 thoughts on “Sawmills

  1. Hey Brian,

    I’ve been looking at saw mills preemptively (land isn’t even cleared yet) and I’m wondering if a chainsaw mill will be sufficient for an LHBA log home. Been a few years since your post, have you found it worth it and/or absolutely necessary?



    1. I bought a chainsaw mill too- they are not very accurate, and use a lot of gas. It’s hard to keep the chain sharp enough. I got a really good deal on the sawmill, and then welded a 30′ track to use it for rafters. Here’s a video of it: . I guess you could go with log rafters and a chainsaw mill, but I have really crooked logs, so I need something a lot more “square” than what a chainsaw can do. I’m also a woodworker, so I will use the sawmill after I’m done. Mostly, though, I need a minimum of 26′ rafters- I called around- they are about $300 each, and I need 28 of them (40×40). I think they came in around $8000. The sawmill was less than $3000, so it was pure economics for me. The 30′ track cost me $150 to make. Good luck with your build!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Not yet. I’m concerned about twisting and warping in the wood if I choose to use it for flooring. I have no idea how to properly dry wood, and at this point, I don’t have a place to dry it. Also, I may not have enough trees on my property to do flooring. I did buy a chainsaw mill, and I plan to use it to make my rafters and joists. Thanks for your comment.


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