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Custom Wood Milling

State of the Art Milling Facility

You dream it, we make it!

J&W Lumber has the experience and infrastructure that will allow you to set no limit on your outdoor project. We offer a full range of milled redwood and cedar products, making tongue-and-groove, shiplap, hill n&#;dale, beveled siding, molding and fascia just to name a few.

Each store is equipped with an array of modern saws and experienced staff to take care of your custom product needs. Our main mill facility inclues a full-time crew, modern equipment, is the largest active Lumber Mill in San Diego county, and stands ready to run any size job.



Need an old, existing pattern matched for your remodel or restoration project? No problem! Bring in a sample or detailed drawing and 99% of the time we&#;re able to match it.  Below are just some of the patterns we have matched over the years also a sample of bevel house siding that was matched and milled to the customers specs.

Custom corbels cuts are also available. We stock the hardware, stain, paper for the wall, and everything else you’ll need to do the job right. Select from a wide range of wood species and grades to get just the look you’ll be satisfied with. Check out the pattern catalogs below.

Bevel Siding

Typically used for siding on houses, garages or other buildings; Bevel boards consist of one thicker side and one thinner side that are installed overlapping on top of each other. The Beveled style offers a unique look with depth that will make your house standout in the neighborhood. Pick from our library of existing patterns, bring in a sample for us to match, or dream up your own custom look.

Download Pattern Catalog


We are Southern California&#;s decking expert. Our wood milling experts stand ready to help you create the deck of your dreams. With our full mill capabilities we offer stock decking and custom styles sure to beautify your deck and make a big impression on your guests.

Download Pattern Catalog


In addition to the full line of standard fence boards on hand, we can mill almost any fence style. If you want a unique fence board, bring in your ideas and our staff can help you.

Download Pattern Catalog

Shiplap Siding

Typically used for siding on houses, garages or other buildings; Shiplap boards consist of a notch on the top of one side and a notch along the bottom of the other side. The board is then laid flat against the wall with the boards installed interlocking on top of each other. The Shiplap style looks great and is easy to install. Pick from our library of existing patterns, bring in a sample for us to match, or dream up your own custom look.

Download Pattern Catalog

Tongue and Groove Siding (T&G)

Typically used for siding on houses, garages, or other buildings; Tongue and Groove boards consist of a &#;tongue&#; on one side and an interlocking &#;groove&#; on the other side. The T&G style is popular because of the ease of installation and the professional look of the finished job. Pick from our library of existing patterns, bring in a sample for us to match, or dream up your own custom look.

Download Pattern Catalog

Corbel Cuts &#; Simple way to add character to your Patio Cover. Each of our six stores has the experience and right equipment to add decorative corbel cuts to the ends of the rafters, beams or other end pieces.

Download Corbel Options

Knee Braces &#; Installed to give additional strength. Pick from a variety of custom cut knee braces, milled to order at any one of our six stores.

Download Knee Brace Options

Re-Saw &#; We love to Freshen-Up the look of your lumber. Using our advanced mill equipment we&#;ll re-saw standard boards to bring out the natural beauty and give a unique texture. A re-sawn board just pops.

Planing &#; Leave this to the experts at J&W Lumber. Get the flat smooth finish you want, in the dimensions you need. Our industrial planing equipment can handle jobs of any size.

Other Standard Lumber Milling Services &#; Need special cuts and don&#;t have the equipment or time to do it on the job site? The milling experts at J&W Lumber are happy to do the milling for you, we have the right wood milling equipment and expertise to get it done right! Including rip, cross cut, dado, and more.


Our Equipment

We have a choice of two mills to accomplish our task. Which we bring depends on your particular requirements.

Our usual mill of choice is a WoodMizer LT50 hydraulic bandmill, towed behind my truck. It is capable of Wood-Mizer LT50cutting logs up to 36" diameter and 20' long, and producing boards up to more than 22" wide. Since it uses a thin kerf band blade ("kerf" is the thickness of wood removed by the blade in the act of sawing) you end up with less waste and more useable lumber.

Our "go to" mill when things are more difficult is a Lucas model swingblade mill. It utilizes one circular blade that alternates between a horizontal or vertical plane. It is transported to the jobsite in components and assembled on site. (About a 30 min job.) In some circumstances this can be a distinct advantage. If you have a log too big for you to move and in a location unreachable with the LT50, we can bring this mill through a 4' gate. In it's normal configuration it is capable of milling logs up to 60" diameter, (Yes, that's 5' wide!!!) producing boards or timbers up to 10"X10" and up to 20' long.

Our Lucas Mill can also be configured as a "slabber" by removing the circular blade and installing a slabbing attachment. In this configuration it is capable of producing slabs up to 60" wide and 20' long.

More often than not we use it for one-off jobs when there's one really big log. In that case, we assemble the Lucas around the log and start milling.


Milling with the WoodMizer LT50

     The following diagram is a good general layout for milling. My truck will be detached from the sawmill during milling and will be reattached at the end of the job. Therefore, the exit route must be kept clear. With the exception of rolling logs onto the loading arms, most of the off-bearer's work will be performed at the front of the mill, near the sawyer.

Wood-Mizer Sawing layout

     Logs should be stacked on runners (small logs work well) spaced about 6' apart. The smaller ends of the stacked logs should be facing the sawyer. All branch stubs must be trimmed flush with the log. If you have a log you don't think will make useable lumber, don't put it in the stack! We can look at it together and make a determination about it later in the job. Once it's in the middle of the pile, the only way out is through the sawmill and it will get sliced up whether it's any good or not.

Cut list: If you have a particular project you're planning such as a deck, shed, etc. it's a good idea to develop a list of what materials you need, called a cut list, and give it to me at the beginning of the job.

Off-bearer: The off-bearer is an integral part of the sawmilling operation. It's his job to position logs on the loader using a peavey. (I supply the peavey and instructions in it's safe use.) He removes and disposes of slabs and edgings. He removes lumber and stacks it. He helps position cants and boards on the sawmill. If the sawdust pile gets big enough to require removal, he's in charge of operating the shovel to fix that too. He also drinks lots of water and sleeps really well at night.

Sawyer: The sawyer (Me) operates the sawmill. It is my responsibility to get the best possible lumber available, in the dimensions you require, from the logs provided.

Stacking your new lumber: Lumber coming off the saw is normally "flat stacked" i.e. stacked without preparing it for air drying. This is the fastest way to do it. If you wish to clean the sawdust off your boards and sticker-stack them as they come off the saw, you will need more than one off-bearer. Two at least, and probably three to keep from working them to death.

Stickers: You will need a lot of stickers. These are the spacers used between layers of boards in a stack to allow air flow during drying. Usually about 1x1. If you have enough logs, it's not uncommon to cut stickers as we're cutting lumber.  That's not always advisable. If you don't have many logs, you're wasting wood you could be using for your end project. If your logs are a particularly valuable wood, it might not make sense either. And lastly, stickers cut from your fresh wood are just as wet as the lumber you're trying to dry.  That can lead to mold or staining your lumber. If you have the means, you can cut stickers ahead of time from a neutral dry wood, such as construction grade pine. They can even be cut from plywood.

Safety equipment:

  • Hearing protection is necessary close to the sawmill during operation.
  • Gloves are usually a good idea, and absolutely required when working with pine. 
  • Safety glasses or a faceshield are a smart thing to have, mostly due to windblown sawdust.
  • Boots, preferably steel toed, are good protection from a rolling log.
  • Although I seldom wear one a dust mask isn't a bad idea either.

Other safety issues:

  • Horseplay around a running sawmill is very bad form and I will not tolerate it.
  • There will be absolutely no consumption of alcohol or any illicit substance anywhere in the vicinity of my sawmill during operations. I will, without warning shut down, pack up, demand payment, and leave.

Leave the adult beverages on ice until after the day is done.

Spectators: Sawmills often draw a crowd. The property owner is responsible for keeping spectators at a safe distance.

End of the job: I expect payment in either cash or check upon completion of the job unless other arrangements were made before the job began. When I leave you will have a stack of lumber, a pile of sawdust and a pile of slabs.

Milling with the Lucas

    The Lucas is a manual mill, meaning there are no hydraulics involved. The sawyer raises and lowers the sawhead by hand, as well as physically controlling all blade movement through and around the log. If the log is from a  tree that was blown down, the root ball must be sawn free from the trunk. The trunk should be cut into sections no longer than 20'; shorter is okay. 8' is a fine length.  The Lucas mill requires a clear space at least 20' long and 9' wide to set up around a log. The log must be separated from the trunk or root ball by at least 4'. Stacks of logs can also be sawn with the Lucas. In that case we set the mill up next to the stack and roll the logs into the mill.

Lucas Swingblade Sawmill    We've found that the jobs we do with this mill are almost always one of a kind. Therefore there really is no way we can further suggest how to prep for the big day without actually looking at the situation with you and developing a game plan.

Mill Configuration: The mill will be set up with either the circle blade or the slabbing attachment. The configuration is set up at home and not changed during the job; it's one or the other.

Safety Equipment: In addition to the safety equipment listed for the WoodMizer, long pants are a really good idea around the Lucas mill.

Points about other safety issues, spectators,etc are pretty much the same as for the WoodMizer.

Off-bearer: Duties are roughly the same as for the WoodMizer. Particularly when slabbing, more than one off-bearer will be needed. Slabs are very heavy and can easily weigh several hundred lbs. For larger slabs mechanical handling equipment may become necessary.



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Milling Facilities, Custom Molding & Trim

Our on-site mill works, band saw facility, and wide selections of wood trims in our warehouses make Nichols Lumber the best source of milling solutions.

Need large or small quantities of a special cut or sized wood products for crating, rip strips, form block-outs, or any other purpose? No problem, just contact a Nichols Lumber sales representative for more information.

If we don’t have it in stock we can order it, often for the next day. We’re here to help!

Custom Milling

Milling services include timber surfacing (smooth planning), saw sizing and resawing (band saw texturing boards and timbers). We can band saw decorative corbel ends and knee-braces to any of our stock patterns, as well as matching your patterns.


Corbel and Knee Brace Patterns

Choose from our stock corbel patterns, or bring your own sample for us to match. Great for architectural replacement.

contact us today!

custom corbel cuts

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