Swing Mill Produces Excellent Boards
Most small scale sawmills use a horizontal band sawmill to produce boards. Another option is the Swing Mill. A swing mill (or swingmill) uses a circular saw blade and can make a vertical cut and then swing the saw and make a horizontal cut. Either of these two methods when operated properly, can make nice boards.
A swingmill should not be confused with the older circular mills that use inserted teeth saws that make a very wide cut (normally called the saw kerf). The older circular mills turn a large percentage of the log into sawdust and are better suited for producing a square cant (turning the round log into a square part). When cutting 1 inch thick boards the older circular mill will waste up to 30% of the log!
The good news: the new swingmills uses narrow kerf saw, the recovery is very good, better than the scale used by sawyer’s to estimate the number of board feet in a given size log.
Here are a few pictures of the mill output, you can see nice square corners, flat cuts, and there is a picture of an old growth cedar split turned into a wide slab.