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Portable Sawmills- Are they worth the money?

Being prepared is about having skills that support you, as well as having stuff in storage. Just as having the skills to use your weapons, to grow your own food, raise animals, hunt or build your cabin support you in being able to survive in SHTF scenarios, so does having a useful skill that can provide you with the means to trade with your neighbors in order to secure those things you cannot produce yourself.

Are you a blacksmith? A weaver? A shoemaker? What if you need what they provide?

In the following video, The Outsider talks about his experience with a portable sawmill he purchased to assist him in building his cabin in the woods. This is another possibility for you to consider as a useful extension of your skills in your effort to become more self-sustainable. Whether you buy it on your own, or as a useful adjunct to your survival group’s arsenal of skills, it is worth considering. Of course, the issue of fuel for the sawmill is a problem you will have to solve yourself.


Shorty Dawkins



  1. Band saw mills are an excellent choice for a redoubt but chain saw mills are more useful for individuals. The chain saw can also be used for making up actual logs and bucking heater wood. The referenced book is about making furniture but the milling sections describe preparing the actual lumber for the furniture. Disclaimer: I wrote the book. 🙂
    Also see:
    And YouTube videos.

  2. Assuming there us enough timber available, in addition to the mill, purchase a wood burning still for producing both methonol and ethanol. There is plenty of saw dust, leaves, and other small vegetation to use.

    Also, remember, the motor will need to be set to run richer by 6 to 8 times since gas produces 8 times more energy than methanol.

    That solves the fuel dilemma. Now…what about spare parts…

      1. absolutely.. thst too !! 🙂 One only needs to get started, get accustomed to less depending on box stores, but rather working with trusted neighbor efforts.

    1. Wood gasifiers were very popular during the war, out of necessity, but as soon as gasoline became available again they dropped out of favor quickly. The gas produced is carbon monoxide (CO) with traces of hydrogen. CO is highly toxic and almost impossible to contain in a gasifier burner. I powered a pre-solid state ignition Ranger for a time with wood gas and would not recommend this project to anyone without good technical expertise. Note that the “gas” produced is quite moist and does not contain the lubricants that are found in gasoline such that your engine will have a very limited life. The gasifier burner uses solid fuel. Engine power is reduced by ~40%.

      Alcohol as fuel for small engines is pretty dicey, as well, as the fuel systems of many small engines don’t tolerate it. Two $125 carbs for one of my Stihl chain saws proved that point to me. Make sure the small engine you intend to run on E85 is made for alcohol or run no ETOH instead. Note that even small engines in this day and age are set to run stoichometeric so won’t do well with any fuel that affects the fuel octane/air ration. Carb and spark settings are no longer adjustable. And the good old cars and trucks that did have those adjustments were abolished per orders during Obama’s reign of terror.

      Also., I have had good luck burning 2 cycle fuel treated and retreated with PriG after 3 years.

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