As long as I am involved with woodworking, I dream about milling wood at home from a trunk.
I can’t stop thinking that it must be awesome to take a piece of rough wood and turn it into a finished end product.
The idea of taking each intermediate step myself has fascinated me for years.
But since I only have a small workshop, that dream will have to be postponed for a while … at least I thought.
With this wood table saw mill, it is now possible to mill wood on a small scale. This table saw jig allows me to mill wood at home even in my small workshop.
So, if you also want to start milling wood at home, but you have a small workshop just like me, this jig is an absolute must-have for you.
Al you need is a table saw and a few hours to build this wood table saw mill.
In this blog, I’ll show you how I designed and made my table saw mill, and how you can make your own milling table.
To help you to build yours, you can download my free table saw mill plans to build this amazing jig yourself.
Let’s make sawdust!
What do you need to make a table saw mill
To prepare you for building this table saw mill, I have made a few handy lists.
In addition to a few personal protective equipments that I use*, I also list the materials as well as the (power) tools you will need to build this table saw mill.
* Safety is always your own responsibility!
Safety first! Protect yourself!
Materials I used for this table saw mill
(power)Tools I used for this table saw mill
Watch the video & learn how to make a table saw mill
Before you check the step-by-step instructions to make the table saw mill, you can check this video. In this video, I show you how I have built my jig for milling wood at home.
After watching this video, you can continue reading these step-by-step instructions with all details you need to build this DIY milling table.
How to make a table saw mill?
Step 1 | Preparation
The first thing I did to make this table saw jig was making the clamps and the stop block of this table saw mill.
These are the parts that ensure that the complete jig can be held together.
The stop block was the first part I made.
This stop block consists of two wooden planks that are connected at right angles to each other. To make this part stronger, I added two small triangles at the back.
This connection and all other joints in this table saw mill jig has been made with wood glue and brad nails.
The brad nails hold the pieces in place while allowing the wood glue to dry.
This allows me to continue working on my projects without having to wait for the wood glue to dry.
Don’t just use any wood glue for your projects!
To find out which different types exist and for which applications wood glue serve, check out my blog Understanding Wood Glue + 8 awesome tricks you should know.
Here you will discover everything you need to know about wood glue.
At the front of this block, I applied screws with a distance of 2 cm.
The tip of these screws will go into the wood and hold it in place while milling.
The screws have been added in a way so that only a few millimeters of the tip pass through the stop block.
However, the screws are long enough, so there is still a possibility to screw in the screws deeper.
I did this intentionally because I want the tips of the screws to have enough grip on the log when milling wood, but leave as little damage as possible.
If the wood is uneven, I can set each screw individually to have maximum grip on the wood.
The block that stands opposite, and thus intervenes on the other side of the log, has a similar structure as the stop block.
The only difference between these two parts is in the back of the block.
In this block, the back consists out of 4 layers of laminated plywood.
I have made it this way because there is a clamping system built in here.
To make this clamping system, I drilled a hole at the back of the laminated block. In this hole, which was drilled with a 14 mm Forstner drill bit, the head of the M8 bolt could fit and also could rotate.
At the bottom of that hole, I placed a washer.
This washer will take away friction and let the jig work smoother.
On top of the washer, I placed the bolt.
But before placing the bolt in the hole, it was lubricated with grease, to remove friction even more and to make the table saw jig easier to use.
To clamp the bolt in the block, it was closed with a washer that was tightened onto the block with small screws.
You may have seen it in the video that I made 2 notches in the washer to lock the bolt in place. That is where I could place the screws to secure this washer in place and being sure the bolt will never come loose.
OK, now I had finished making the clamping blocks, I could move on to make the clamping part of this wood milling jig.
The block in front of this table saw jig, which ensures that the clamp can be tightened, is also made up of different layers of plywood.
At the same height of the bolt that was just placed in the clamping block, there was a 10 mm hole drilled in this block.
The next step was to place a T-nut into this hole. That T-nut was placed on the side of the clamp block in which the bolt could be attached.
At the bottom of this block, I made two holes with which this block can later be placed on the base.
These holes are slightly larger than the diameter of the bolts. Like that, these blocks can be moved up and down more easily if the wood milling jig needs to be adjusted during use.
Now that both blocks for the clamping system are ready, they could be connected together by screwing the bolt into the T-nut.
Once the bolt was through the block, I placed two nuts at the end of the bolt and tightened them against each other.
These nuts allow the table saw jig to be operated and the log to be tensioned. Later in this blog post, you will discover more about this.
Step 2 | The base of the table saw mill
The base of this jig consists of 3 long boards that in turn form two slots. These slots serve to adjust the jig and allow the clamp blocks to slide over the wood milling jig.
The base has been made by attaching the stop block to the 3 planks with wood glue and brad nails.
I have used a narrow piece of wood on the other side of the jig to keep the slots parallel.
If you consider buying a nail gun, be sure to watch my blog How to choose the right nail gun for your projects. A complete nail gun guide.
I have used my nail gun for almost every project since I bought it, so I can highly recommend buying one.
To be able to keep enough distance from the fence so that the head of the bolts can move up and down freely, I applied 6 mm thick MDF strips at the bottom of the jig.
Step 3 | Making the knobs
The milling jig can be adjusted to the size of the log you want to mill. To firmly fix the sliding clamps in place on the base of this saw milling jig, I used homemade star knobs.
Be sure to check out this video in which I show you how to make these star knob buttons yourself.
I also have free plans available for this jig. You can find those plans here.
Step 4 | Placing the clamps on the base
Now I had made the star knob buttons, the clamp could be secured in place to the base of this wood table saw mill.
Bolts and washers has been placed in the slots of the base through the bottom.
At the top, the clamp has been slid over the bolts with the two holes provided and secured with the knobs.
Before I place these buttons, I always add a washer.
This washer ensures a good pressure distribution, but also protects the wood against damage.
Because I made the slots slightly wider than the thickness of the bolt, the clamp that can slide up and down can move a little sideways.
To hold the clamp in place, I attached small blocks to the bottom of the clamp through the slots.
To attach these little blocks to the clamps, I used CA glue. CA glue dries faster than wood glue, so I could continue working immediately.
Be sure to apply these blocks! They not only ensure that the clamp stays in the right place while setting the table saw jig, but will also support the jig during clamping.
In addition to these blocks, I also applied wood bolts.
Together with the washer, these ensure that the clamps cannot lift during clamping.
Step 5 | The last step before you can start milling wood
The last part I made to this table saw milling jig is the hook that fits over my fence.
This milling jig can be flipped over to double the milling height. The hook I made for this table saw jig has been built so that no matter what position the table saw jig is in, it will always hook onto my fence.
This hook ensures that it is more comfortable to work, and you do not always have to take into account whether everything is still in the right position during cutting.
This part has been placed on the back of the jig with wood glue and brad nails. As a template to make this hook, I have used my fence for this, so I was sure that I had mounted everything at the correct height.
Due to the thickness of the hook, I switched to brad nails with a length of 50 mm.
How to use a table saw mill?
If you want to start milling wood at home with this table saw jig, place the piece of wood you want to cut between the two clamps.
Now bring the clamps closer together until the tips of the screws touch the wood.
Next, fix the adjustable clamp by tightening the knobs.
Now you can tighten the clamp by tightening the bolt so that the clamp expands and the screws can be pressed into the wood.
Move the fence to the place where you want to make an incision.
Pull the jig back and raise the blade for the first cut.
Repeat the cutting in several steps, each time setting the saw blade higher.
This is to guarantee your own safety, but you also get cleaner cuts, and it is better for your table saw.
With this wood table sawmill, you can mill wood with a thickness of twice the height of your saw blade.
When milling wood with this table saw jig, first cut one side until you have reached the highest position of the saw blade.
Then you can flip over the table saw jig, and repeat all steps.
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Christophe, founder of Christofix.com
Woodworking | DIY | Home decoration
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