As long as I am involved with woodworking, I dream about being able to mill my own wood from a trunk.
I can’t stop thinking that it must be awesome to turn a log 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 table saw mill it is now possible to mill wood on a small scale. This table saw jig allows me to mill wood even in my small workshop.
So, if you also want to start milling wood, but you have, just like me, a small workshop, this jig is an absolute must-have for you.
Al you need is a table saw and a few hours to build this 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 table saw mill. You can even download my free plans to build this amazing jig yourself.
Let’s make sawdust!
Before we start building
To prepare you for building this project, I have made a few handy lists.
In addition to a few personal protective equipment that I use*, I also list the materials as well as the (power) tools you will need to build this jig.
* 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 jig
- Makita MLT100 table saw Watch my Unboxing video and my review video if you want to see more about this tool.
- Makita AF505N Brad nailer. Watch my Unboxing video if you want to know more about this tool.
- Brad nails 25mm
- Brad nails 50mm
- Air compressor
- Drill press
- Hilti cordless drill SF144-A
- Kreg KMA multi mark and measuring tool
- Pica pencil to mark all the pieces.
Building the table saw mill step by step
Step 1 | Preparation
First I made the clamps and the stop block of this table saw mill.
These parts ensure that the complete jig is held together.
The stop block was the first part I made.
This consists of two wooden planks that are at right angles to each other. To make this part stronger, two small triangles were added at the back.
All joints for this jig were made with wood glue and brad nails.
Don’t just use any wood glue for your projects!
To find out which different types exist and for which applications they 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, screws were applied with a distance of 2 cm.
The screws are added in a way so that only a few millimeters of the tip passes 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 wood but leave as little damage as possible.
If the wood is uneven, I can set each screw individually for maximum grip on the wood.
The block that stands opposite, and thus intervenes on the other side of the log, has a similar structure.
The only difference is in the back of the block.
This is because the clamping system is built here.
In this block, I drilled a hole at the back in which the head of the bolt could fit and also could rotate.
At the bottom of that hole, I placed a washer. This will take away friction and let the jig work smoother. On top of the washer, I placed the bolt. Before placing the bolt in the hole, it was lubricated with grease, to remove friction 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.
You may have seen it in the video that I made 2 notches in the washer. That is where I could place the screws, and I am sure they will never come loose.
The block immediately behind it, which also ensures that the clamp can be tightened, is also made up of different layers. At the height of the bolt that was just placed in the previous block, a hole was drilled in this block.
A T-nut was placed on the sides of the clamp block in which the bolt could be attached.
At the bottom of this block, two holes were made 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 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.
At the end of the bolt, two nuts were placed and tightened against each other.
This will allow the table saw jig to be operated and the log to be tensioned.
Step 2 | The base of the table saw mill
The base of this jig consists of 3 long planks that in turn form two slots. These slots serve to adjust the jig and allow the clamp blocks to slide over the mold.
The base is made by attaching the stop block to the 3 planks with wood glue and nails.
A narrow piece of wood was used 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
Step 4 | Placing the clamps on the base
The clamp can be secured with these self-made knobs to the base of this table saw mill.
Bolts and washers were placed in the slots through the bottom.
At the top, the clamp was slid over the bolts with the two holes provided and secured with the knobs.
To hold the clip in place, small blocks were attached to the bottom of the clip 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, wood bolts were also applied. Together with the washer, these ensure that the clamps cannot lift during clamping.
Step 5 | The last step
The last part I made to this jig is the hook that fits over my fence.
This hook is built in such a way that, whatever position the table saw jig is in, it always hooks 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 was placed on the back of the jig with wood glue and brad nails. As a mold, I have used my fence for this, so I was sure that everything was mounted at the correct height.
Due to the thickness of the hook, I switched to nails with a length of 50 mm.
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How to use this table saw mill
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.
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 are 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 table saw mill you can cut wood with a thickness of twice the height of your saw blade.
First cut one side until you have reached the highest point of the saw blade.
Flip the table saw jig over, and repeat all steps.
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Woodworking | DIY | Home decoration
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