What tools do I need to turn a small log (10in/ 25cm diameter) into 1/4″/6.5mm thick boards?

Bandsaw jig for small logs

If your log is green wood (freshly cut, or “wet”), you will need a bandsaw with a throat larger than 10″ (and capable of dealing with the irregularity in a long 10″ diameter log).

I would recommend (on the modest side) a 14″ – 18″ bandsaw like this one by Laguna Tools:

Laguna 18″ bandsaw

Then you would need a sled, or carriage to transport the log through the bandsaw.

This is a homemade log cutting jig for short logs: Super Simple Band Saw Log Sled, from Instructables.

Note that it uses a fence and fixed clamp to make even, straight cuts. If your log is longer, you will need to make a support or rails so it will slide evenly through the saw.

https://amzn.to/2ECgytEIf your logs are larger then 10″ and heavy, your best solution is to purchase a small sawmill.  This book is available on Amazon, and worth reading, so that you understand the principles and capabilities of a portable saw mill.

If the log is green, you have to allow for drying and shrinkage, so you may cut the pieces 1/2′ thick and then use a thickness planer to get it to the final 1/4″ thickness, after allowing the wood to dry to dry. (8–10% moisture content before planing). This is some good information on how to dry wood; Cutting And Drying Logs Into Boards – Woodworkers guild of America.

This is a typical wood thickness planer:

Thickness Planers are available from big box stores, Amazon, and eBay.

After the wood is sized to thickness, you will need a jointer and a table saw to clean up a long edge and square the board.

At this point your 1/4″ S4S (surfaced 4 sides) boards are ready for fabrication.

Some caveats: These are powerful machines, and caution must be exercised with each machining operation. Use protective gear like safety glasses, ear protection, dust protection, and gloves. Make sure you have all the machines setup and working correctly, and make test passes before machining all the wood, so the slabs will be uniform and true. (parallel sides).

Depending on your specific application, you may need a larger bandsaw, a tablesaw, a jointer, and more – especially if you make the jigs and supporting tables yourself.

Thank you for reading, and Have fun making your own boards from logs!

Disclaimer: I am a trained woodworker and have my own blog, The Chenkin Workshop

What is the best 14″ bandsaw for home use?

Alan Chenkin, Owned a Cabinet shop for 10 years, and was an AWI Member.

The best bandsaws have professional features.
Look for ball bearing roller guides for the saw blade, vs. steel blocks on the cheaper bandsaws. The saw should also have an easy to change blade system, and dust extraction.
Look at this from the web:
Two Bandsaws I like:
My favorite was an old Delta, rusty, noisy, cantankerous – but great to learn on. Sometimes you can find one used in the classifieds or at a yard sale. Unless it is the bargain of a lifetime, most people only buy one or two bandsaws in their lives; it’s a major shop purchase (like a jointer or table saw) and should not be a hasty decision.
Read up:
If your shop is small, you can mount the saw on wheels, so you can store it out of the way.  You can get a wheel kit like this one: 
Adjustable Mobile Base HTC2000 for Power Tools by HTC
Your bandsaw is one of the most useful tools in the shop. It can cut thicker Stock than your table saw, and do fancy scroll-work. Make sure you have the right blades and it will be a valued addition to your work shop.
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This post is expanded from my answer in Quora.
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