A sawmill, often known as a lumber mill, is a place where logs are cut into lumber. Modern sawmills use a motorized saw to cut logs lengthwise to make long pieces and across to length depending on standard or custom sizes. The “portable” sawmill is simple to use. The log is laid flat on a steel bed, and the operator manually pushes the motorized saw along the length of the bed, cutting the log horizontally. A chainsaw and a customized jig are the most basic types of sawmills, with similar horizontal operations.
Boards were made in many manual ways before the invention of the sawmill, either rived and planed, hewn, or most commonly hand sawn by two men with a whipsaw, one above and one below in a saw pit. The circular motion of the wheel was translated to a reciprocating motion at the saw blade. The logs had to be loaded and transported by hand, and only the saw was normally powered. An early advance was the creation of a moveable carriage, which was likewise propelled by water and used to move the wood steadily across the saw blade.
Scrap lumber from the mill served as a source of fuel for the boiler. With the arrival of railroads, logs could be transported to mills rather than mills being built alongside navigable waterways. The Atlantic Lumber Company in Georgetown, South Carolina, operated the world’s largest sawmill by 1900, using logs floated down the Pee Dee River from the Appalachian Mountains. The introduction of electricity and high technology in the twentieth century has accelerated this process, and most sawmills are now massive, expensive facilities where most aspects of the work are computerized. Aside from sawn timber, all by-products such as sawdust, bark, woodchips, and wood pellets are used to create a diverse range of forest products.
Let’s have a look at the Amazing Modern Automatic Wood Cutting Sawmill Machines – Incredible Modern Woodworking Factory in the video below.
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Video resource: Machinery Magazine