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Early Saw Mills were generally driven by a
water wheel. The circular motion of the wheel was changed to a
back-and-forth motion of the saw blade by a connecting rod.
Originally, only the saw was powered by the water wheel; the logs/boards had to
be loaded and moved by man power.
Over the years the mills were improved with the use of saw blades.
Gangsaws were also introduced, they had additional blades so that a log could be
reduced to boards in one fast step. However, circular saw blades were very
expensive and subject to damage by overheating or dirty logs. Sawfilers
were used to set and sharpen the teeth of the saw.