A One-Man Sawmill That Works

Woodland Bumblebee, a chain-saw lumber mill, stops by MOTHER's Eco-Village to demonstrate their one-man sawmill product.

| September/October 1982

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    The operator turns out beautifully textures precision-cut lumber.

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A woodlot owner can turn spare trees into some very special, precision-cut lumber with a one-man sawmill. 

A One-Man Sawmill That Works

Over a year ago, the manufacturers of the Woodland Bumblebee — a chain-saw lumber mill — stopped by MOTHER's Eco-Village to demonstrate their product. And although a lot of us were initially skeptical of the mill's potential, we soon found that it gave a very impressive performance.

The portable unit is designed to take a 30- to 36-inch bar mounted on a 5-cubic-inch, or bigger, chain saw. It features easy-to-set adjustments for a wide range of cuts . . . allowing the operator to mill logs up to 28 inches wide and 18 feet long, and to achieve precision cuts as thin as 1/4 inch! It can also shape house logs, corral posts, shingles, beams, and materials for fine furniture . . . in fact, just about any custom lumber you might need. And even the "waste" it produces isn't wasted: The chips and sawdust make a fine garden mulch.

Additionally, this one-person mill is compact enough to be transported from one site to another in a pickup truck. Therefore, should its owner encounter a log that's too big to haul to the mill, he or she can simply haul the mill to the log! Once there, the Bumblebee's mechanical scissor jacks permit the operator to raise the felled tree to the saw with very little manhandling.

Another feature that adds to the Bumblebee's versatility is its "universal" chainsaw mount. However, with a number of different brands and models of chain saws on the market today, an individual board-maker may well find that it takes a little filing, drilling, and fitting to adapt a particular saw to the mill. (A prospective customer should be aware, too, that the chain must be specially sharpened, to an angle of 10 degrees or less, for ripping — as opposed to the crosscutting needed for firewood — purposes.)


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