A Portable Sawmill Opens Up Woodworking Possibilities
As a serious woodworker, you likely have a wood shop full of numerous woodworking tools. Of course, you have all the basics, from bandsaws to lathes. While this equipment may be enough for the most common project you take on, it’s likely that you are ready for some bigger, more advanced woodworking tasks. You may be considering adding a portable sawmill to your collection of tools. This will likely be your largest woodworking purchase, so understanding the different choices and which is best for you is extremely important. You want to be able to get the job done right without breaking the bank.
Buying a portable sawmill is an investment. While it can be hard to justify having one as a hobbyist, it can definitely pay for itself. In fact, many advanced hobbyist are able to build their own homes from wood off their own land with the help of this versatile tool. Buying your model used or refurbished will cut a significant portion off the top of your purchase price, making it one of the best options for people who don’t plan to use it for business purposes. Determine the scope of your project and then make a reasonable budget before beginning to look for a sawmill. Depending on what you select, you may expect to pay as much as $4-5,000. However, if you are using this to build a barn, large outbuilding or home, this can quickly be worked into the budget.
There are several different choices when it comes to buying a portable sawmill. First, you can actually purchase a chainsaw mill. These hook up to a single chainsaw and can usually be operated by one person quite easily. They are also much more affordable than other models. In fact, it’s quite common for hobbyist to build this portable sawmill themselves. You can also find models that work in conjunction with a bandsaw. Of course, completely freestanding models are made by companies such as Cutting Edge, Frick, Lucus and Meadows. These are the most expensive options but often the easiest to use. Most require no electricity, but rather run on a gas powered engine. They can be attached to a trailer and moved between different lumber sources easily.
While you can do most woodworking projects with the basic shop tools, having a portable sawmill can definitely open up more options for you. If you don’t have a large budget, go with a chainsaw mill. For larger projects that require more precise cuts, consider purchasing a freestanding mill. Looking at used models can save you money. Either way, make sure that you understand what you need before making your final choice in order to ensure that you can complete your projects as planned.
Choosing The Perfect Wood Lathes For Your Woodshop
Whether you are a beginning woodworker or have been at this gig for quite some time, it’s likely that you understand the importance of wood lathes. These are the best tools for turning any detailed piece of woodworking. They are commonly used to create legs for furniture. However, they are also easily adjusted to complete mini projects like wooden bowls or yo-yos. In the shop, a lathe is truly a multipurpose tool that you will not want to be without.
Different lathes have different capabilities, so knowing what you plan on using the machine for is important before you make your purchase. Cheaper machines, of course, have less features and flexibility. However, buying the most advanced models may not be the best choice for your needs either. Understand your needs and check the reviews on each model before determining the best fit. When making your final selection, pay attention to the specifications, including the bed length, swing, horsepower and RPM. Whether or not the wood lathes you consider have variable speed can also make a difference in the successful completion of your projects. Finally, don’t forget to include the chucks, chisels and gouges in your initial purchase so you can get working right away.
It seems like there are dozens of companies that are in the business of making and selling wood lathes. Some common options include Craftsman, Delta, Jet, Oliver, Glaser, Grizzly, Rikon, Stabilax, Supenova, Powermatic, Ohio Forge and Tranpower. Unless you read reviews that suggest a particular brand or model is sub-par, your main concern when shopping will be price and features. You also may prefer a particular brand if you already have woodworking tools made by the same company. This can make learning the particular operation of your lathe much easier as the setup is often configured similarly with different machines in the same product line.
Working with your hands can be very fulfilling. Taking a simple block of wood and creating something truly useful and beautiful has a lot of appeal. Having the proper tools can make your hobby even more fulfilling. Wood lathes are one of the funnest woodworking tools in your shop, so take the time to make sure that you purchase the right one for your needs. One more option to consider is using your router as a lathe. It sounds odd, but there are articles online on how to do it. It’s probably not for the beginner.