Before the development of the sawmill, boards were produced ᴍᴀɴually in a variety of ways, including hewing, riving (splitting and planing), and more frequently, hand sawing by two men using a whipsaw, one above and one in a saw pit below. The Hierapolis sawmill, a ROᴍᴀɴ water-powered stone mill at Hierapolis, Asia Minor, dating back to the third century AD, is the earliest mechanical mill that is now known.

By the 11th century, there were several water-powered mills in Sᴘᴀɪɴ, North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia. Over the ensuing decades, they spread throughout the rest of Europe. At the saw blade, the wheel’s circular motion was changed to a reciprocating motion. Typically, only the saw was powered, thus loading and moving the logs required ᴍᴀɴual labor. A portable carriage that was also propelled by water was created early on to move the wood steadily through the saw blade.

The circular saw blade had been created by the time of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century, and the advent of steam power in the 19th century allowed for a considerably higher level of mechanization. The mill’s leftover lumber served as fuel for the boiler’s fire. Railroads allowed for the transportation of logs to mills rather than the construction of mills next to navigable rivers.

The Atlantic Lumber Company in Georgetown, South Carolina, ran the biggest sawmill in the world by 1900, using logs that were floated from the Appalachian Mountains down the Pee Dee River. This process was accelerated in the 20th century by the development of electricity and advanced technology, and today the majority of sawmills are huge, pricey buildings where the majority of the labor is computerized. In addition to the sawn timber, all the byproducts, such as sawdust, bark, woodchips, and wood pellets, are used to produce a variety of forest products.

Thank you for visiting our website! We hope you found soᴍᴇᴛʜing that sparked your interest on our website.

Video resource: IMRON SADEWO channel