Carter Log Mill

Preparing turning blanks at the band saw from logs can be dangerous because the log wants to roll when the blade enters the timber. I have broken a band saw blade trying to cut a hand held log and fortunately was not injured in the process. Carter Products makes a log mill that I have seen demonstrated at woodworking shows so I decided it was time to invest in another shop item that will help me stay safe. After using it the very first time, I know that it was an excellent choice in terms of quality and safety. Below are some photos showing how the contraption works.

Carter Log Mill

The log is held securely between very sturdy adjustable clamp jaws on a heavy steel fence attached to a base that rides in the miter slot of the band saw table. The length is limited to about 20 inches and the diameter to the height of your band saw.

Log Mill First Cut

Here’s another look at the Log Mill as the first cut is about to be made.

Log Mill first cut completed

As you can see, the first pass yields a perfectly flat surface on the log.

Second pass setup

After the first cut, the flat surface is rotated 90 degrees and is placed against the base of the Log Mill where it is again secured with the clamps.

Second pass completed

After the second pass, you now have a log with two flat surfaces at 90 degrees.

Making blanks

At this point, the Log Mill is no longer needed and the standard band saw fence can be used to safely cut blanks.

More blanks

Bowl and spindle blanks can be made to make the best use of the log.

Completed blanks

The Log Mill shown with some turning blanks cut safely with the device.