Adjustable Bandsaw Log Cutting and Jointing Sled Jig
I designed and built an adjustable bandsaw log slicing jig. The designed was inspired from similar contraptions online. The advantage of this jig is that it can easily adjust to the length of the log and can be made quickly and cheaply from readily available materials and tools.
I built mine from a MDF bed frame I pickup from the trash. I used a router with a 1/4″ bit to route two slots for the tailstock bolts centered inside another 1/4″ deep 3/4″ wide slot for the bolts to slide in. I used pocket hole joinery to construct the headstock and tailstock. You only need a saw and a router with a basic set of bits.
Although not shown here, the jig can be repurposed as a jig for securing boards for jointing on a tablesaw or bandsaw. My design requires a fence or straight edge to reference against while cutting. Consider adding toggle clamps and a underside t-slot rail to secure the board and better align the jig.
The jig consists of a long MDF board with two slots for securing the sliding tail and head stock. The tail stock can easily move along the slots and is secured with nuts, bolts and washers. The two slots are recessed in the bottom to clear the heads of the bolts.
In this photo, I lay my oak log on the jig which is supported by two ladders.
As you can see in the photo, the tailstock and headstock are held together using pocket screws. The curves cut on the corner of the tailstock and headstock isn't intentional. They are part of the bed frame design. This turned out to be a feature since it allows the sled to clear the bandsaw guides as you push the log forward.
To keep the log from rolling off of the sled, I drive a 2" screw through the tailstock and headstock.
I lift the log and the sled and set it on the bandsaw table. I use a pair of roller stands on opposite sides as infeed and outfeed supports.
This is a close up of the log cutting. The blade almost touches the edge of the sled. Unfortunately, my board isn't wide enough to accomodate a rail to ride on the left T-slot. I instead clamp a board on the left side of the table and push the sled against it as I make my cut.Normally, you want to cut two side perpendicular to each other and then finish slicing the boards using the fence.
In my case, I was interested in quartersawing the boards. I use the jig only to cut the log in half lengthwise and then I keep flipping and quartering the two halves.
Here's quartersawn oak and sweetgum boards with some spalting (a pleasant surprise!) I cut the boards into 4/8 pieces. I will have to wait a year or two before these boards are ready for a project. That's the only real downside to milling your own lumber.