Wombat's Sawmill Page

Metal Working For Woodworkers
My user name on some forums is Wombat - someone pulled my leg and said

Real men finish a slab with a Wombat..........
So I called this the Wombat Sawmill
Just for international visitors info, a slab in aussie can also mean a box of beer .

The Fully Featured Version of the Wombat Sawmill in Vertical Mode
The picture shows the quick flip mechanism

The Fully Featured Version of the Wombat Saw Mill in Horizontal Mode
The picture shows the quick flip mechanism

There are 2 versions of a Wombat Sawmill
The Full Featured Wombat Sawmill
The Simple Basic Wombat Sawmill.

The picture shows the easily made simple crossrail of
the Simple Basic Version of the Wombat Sawmill

The Wombat Sawmill
can even be built
with an auto feeder

The Wombat mill is so easy to use it could easily be described as
A Lazy Boy Mill.
and it's not expensive to build so it could also be called
A Poor Boy Mill.

The Wombat mill came about because I wanted an economical and lightweight portable sawmill that could handle big logs as well as smaller logs. The wide variation in log sizes meant that a band saw mill would be far bigger and heavier than what I wanted. As I used to own a commercially built band saw mill I was also aware of the disadvantages of a band saw mill. I also needed a mill that wasn't very hard physical work like an Alaskan type of chainsaw mill. The result of these aims was The Wombat Sawmill.

A Wombat Saw Mill is,

* A practical tool for farmers, craftsmen & wood working clubs .
* Mill trees into timber on the farm .
* Salvage timber from urban salvage trees .
* Mill special timbers from trees that are not commercially available for logging.

* Slabs, table tops, beams etc can be surfaced by fitting a router in place of the chainsaw .

Features of a Wombat Sawmill;

* Very Portable .
* Very easy to operate .
* Easily carried on a utility/pickup with pipe racks .
* Could be manually carried into remote locations .
* Economical .
* Cuts accurately dimensioned timber/lumber .
* Handles any diameter logs .
* Take the mill to the fallen tree .
* Heavy machinery not needed to move a log to the mill .
* Automatic feeder reduces physical effort . -- sit down & watch the saw finish cutting a slab etc
* The feeder also means you can stack timber etc while the mill is cutting .
* Back saws ( i.e. Flat saws) .
* Quarter saws .
* Radially saws .-this feature is inbuilt but stll under development .
* Can cut tapered boards such as weatherboards/siding .-this feature is inbuilt but stll under development
* Graduated Stops make it very easy to set cutting width and/or depth.
* The key to the Wombat mill is the laminated guide rail which minimises deflection.
* Available fully built , sorry, not currently available,
* Plans Available For D.I.Y. Builders

Comparison of a wombat mill to other mills

If you want to produce large volumes of timber fast get a swingmill but don't forget they cost many thousands.
A wombat chainsaw mill is roughly 10% or less than the cost of a swingmill (not including the chainsaw cost)
and a lot cheaper still if you buy the plans and build it yourself.

What size chainsaw is needed?

A 60cc chainsaw will work quite well but for deeper cuts and harder timbers larger saws are desirable.

Why a chainsaw mill instead of a swing mill or a bandsaw mill ?

Low cost
Highly portable
Easy to use.

Sawdust Wastage

Yes a chainsaw mill does make more sawdust than a bandsaw mill .
But it's thousands cheaper, so what if there is a bit more sawdust.
However, sawdust can be used in your garden.


Bandsaw mills suffer from blades wandering giving wavy cuts which usually need need to be resawn or surfaced,
so the sawdust wastage factor is nowhere near as high as it seems at first glance.
i.e. A bandsaw with a kerf width of 1.5mm (1/16") and a 3mm (1/8") wavy cut is comparable to a chainsaw kerf
as you need to resurface the timber to straighten it.
Bandsaws need more constant sharpening or the wavy cuts become frequent with increased probability of blade breakages.

Bandsaws cut faster than a chainsaw.

But you waste time resawing/surfacing to straighten wavy bandsaw cuts.
Time is lost changing bandsaw blades when they lose their razor edge.
4 or 5 blade changes a day is normal with a bandsaw mill.

Whereas 2 strokes of a file on a chain each time you refuel is the fast and easy way to keep razor sharp chains on your saw.

How do I know this about Band saw Mills ? --- I used to have a factory built bandsaw mill.

There are 2 versions of a Wombat Sawmill

The Full Featured Wombat Sawmill

The Simple Basic Wombat Sawmill.

But you can mix and match so that you build a mill with features you regard as desirable.

The Full Featured Wombat Sawmill is capable of sawing in two different modes, vertical and horizontal. This means you can cut dimensioned
square timber right from the log without needing to re-saw later on. The saw readily flips from horizontal to vertical and is locked in position with
one bolt. Illustrations of an untested but faster flip mechanism are included. There is also an automatic feeder which actuates the throttle so that
the saw is on full throttle while cutting but returns to idle when the carriage reaches the end of the main beam.

Simple or Basic Wombat Saw Mill
If you only intend to cut slabs (using the saw in vertical position)
you may bypass drilling all the height adjustment holes in both posts. It is easy enough to position the height of the saw so that the bar and chain are clear
of the ground. You must obviously set the log to be sawn on bearers on the ground.

This will eliminate many hours drilling unnecessary holes in 2 posts. It also means that 1.5mm thick walls steel posts should work successfully instead of
using 3mm thick walls rectangular hollow section steel (RHS).

If you decide you don't want the automatic feeder you can make 2 identical ends (both starting end posts).

This will reduce the materials needed as the feeder post is longer than the starter post. It will eliminate other materials & construction time as throttle
linkages, counter weights, pulleys & cables will not be needed. So a big saving in cost & construction time is possible.

I would like a Wombat Sawmill, what can I get?

Fully built mill (without chainsaw) price on application. --- not currently available

But I don't mind if you don't buy one as I prefer woodwork to metalwork.
Buy a set of plans so you avoid a lot of trial & error, saving you much time building a mill from scratch.

Plans are downloadable in PDF format and contain;

* Printed plans are also available to order for non computer literate people.
* Detailed construction notes.
* Drawings and/or pics of each component or assembly.
* Dimensions in mm (or inches for USA purchasers).
* Metric plans differ from USA plans as standard metal sizes are different.
So if you need inch plans please request the inch plans and do not alter the
metric plans to American dimensions, using a calculator to convert from metric
is very likely to create problems
* Special construction methods and jigs etc where important.
* Welding sequences to minimise distortion.
* Suggestions for methods of operation of sawmill.
* Backup advice, if you have a query, email it and I will try to answer it.

-- And, I also give you access to

* FREE PLANS for download
from out of copyright magazines such as Popular Mechanics etc.

Just click the link at the top left of this webpage

* 2 different cut off saws
* Bandsaw plans
* Hand Knurling Tool
* Small Gear Cutting Machine
* Adjustable boring head
* Adjustable Lathe Dog
* Bandsaw ButtWelder
* Boring and Milling Table For Lathe
* CheapTapper
* Compound Drilling and Milling Table
* Compound Action Bench Shear
* Convertible Toolpost Grinder
* Drill Bit Speed Chart
* Milling Practices
* Mostly-wood drill press
* Drilling Holes In Glass
* Cutting Glass Bottles
* Small Sheetmetal Bender
* 2 Different Shapers
* Homemade Power Hack Saw
* Drill Press Tapping Attachment
* Heat Treating Steel

Copyright and Legal Issues.
The plans and directions are copyright and all rights are reserved
They are not to be copied and/or distributed in any way.
In the event of pirate copies or derivations legal actions will occur.
Purchase of The Wombat Sawmill Plans licenses the purchaser to build one Wombat Sawmill for their own personal use.
If you wish to build more than one Wombat Sawmill or derivatives (including if you are a commercial manufacturer) you must contact me for license to manufacture.
The plans are provided with all defects and/or any shortcomings, if any, and no guarantee or warranty, implied or express, is given.
The laws of the State Of Victoria in Australia apply to all or any legal matters arising from or concerning the Wombat Sawmill and any Court or other legal hearings of any kind must occur within the State of Victoria in Australia.

As construction of the sawmill and it's subsequent use is totally beyond any control or involvement by the designer so the purchaser of the plans and/or the builder takes on sole legal and moral responsibilities to ensure safety of personnel during construction and/or any subsequent use at all times.

By purchasing the plans you accept the copyright and legal matters as a binding contract.

Only $AU99.00 for metric plans - available now

Inch plans for U.S. are also available now at $AU99.00.

Sheryl & Bob Thomas

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