Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Hobart, Tas
    Posts
    1,038

    Default A bash at a bowsaw

    I've long fancied having a crack at making a bowsaw, but as is often the case when venturing into the unknown, analysis paralysis had me well and truly in its grasp. Repeatedly researching the "best" dimensions, blade source etc. etc. with the predictable conclusion being that it all just ends up being too much information to make heads or tails of, and being aside until the next time I got interested again.

    I have been following the post about bowsaw blades with interest, which again sparked my desire to one day make one. I'm sure of all the profound things Ian has shared, he wouldn't have considered the following nugget news worthy.

    Quote Originally Posted by IanW
    It took me a few "prototypes" (like 5 or 6!) to figure out the sizes of the arms & beam for my saws.
    And so it was that on Friday afternoon, I was pottering in the shed with not much to do that I decided to just have a go and make a bowsaw with no regard for perfection or even function. The arms and beam size was dictated by what scrap I had lying around. After all, this one was just for learning, so let it be what it will be. For scale, the blade is 280 mm long.

    20210522_180140.jpg

    The frame itself was the easy bit and only took me an hour or so to put together. I cut out the shape of the arms from what I remembered, which is partly why it looks a little odd. I had to refine some areas as I went as I discovered my memory is less than perfect and my fanciful initial shape was unworkable in places.

    Mark provided the inspiration for the tensioning chord.

    Quote Originally Posted by markharrison
    I'm wondering if you're overthinking this. I made a Gramercy tools bowsaw from their kit and just use brickie's line because its what I had lying around. I had intentions of using something better and replacing it later but it works so well I've just not bothered.
    Thanks Mark.

    Making the handles took a little longer as I was a little stuck on how to retain the blade to the arms. Then re-reading Ian's post about using a coach bolt, I realised I had a whole lot of looooong batten screws which would suffice. I cut the threaded section to length, cut off the head and filed an angled flat on one end, which was drilled with an angled hole, such that the pin would point backwards, much like a coping saw. Whilst I was feeling rather clever with myself I inserted the pins (thin nails) and braized them in place so that they wouldn't fall out when there was no tension on them. I must admit that I was surprised on-one else had thought about this.

    20210522_180407.jpg

    ... Then I went to insert them in the holes in the arms and realised why. Oh dear. So some surgery was required to make a little key-way, which wasn't that easy given how narrow it needed to be without looking unsightly.

    20210522_180634.jpg

    I was running out of time, so just snipped a length of a kinked 3 tpi bandsaw blade, popped it in and gave it a whirl on some green wood and pine, which once started, ripped away quite happily. I will re-tooth it when I have time.

    After playing around though, and putting it away for the night, I noticed that my pins really weren't up to the task. If you look closely, not only did they bend, but you can see that the blade has bitten into the pin too. As such, I'll have to look around the shed for something a little stronger to retrofit with.

    20210522_181727.jpg

    So whilst not perfect, I'm really pleased. I got to play with wood (with lots of spoke shave time), played on the lathe, did a little metal working, and successfully braized for the first time. Oh, and I ended up with a bowsaw!
    Lance

  2. # ADS
    Google Adsense Advertisement
    Join Date
    Always
    Location
    Advertising world
    Posts
    Many





     
  3. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Redlands area, Brisbane
    Posts
    1,342

    Default

    Nicely done. I think I would move the handles down lower on the arms where that knob bit is. Or cut the knob bit off.

    The knob bit is likely to get in the way during some operations.

    I would also make the paddle a little shorter so you can adjust the tension without having to fuss with it so much.

    I really like the design of the Gramercy tools bow saw paddle. It's dead easy to make and use. You don't feel tempted to leave the saw under tension because it is so easy to tension and detension.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Hobart, Tas
    Posts
    1,038

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by markharrison View Post
    Nicely done. I think I would move the handles down lower on the arms where that knob bit is. Or cut the knob bit off.

    The knob bit is likely to get in the way during some operations.

    I would also make the paddle a little shorter so you can adjust the tension without having to fuss with it so much.

    I really like the design of the Gramercy tools bow saw paddle. It's dead easy to make and use. You don't feel tempted to leave the saw under tension because it is so easy to tension and detension.
    Good suggestions about moving the handle lower. That was the plan, but the handle screws I'm using weren't long enough to go through, hence the higher position. I'll just cut them off.

    With respect to the paddle, yes... I guess I was a little freaked out by the amount of tension that propeller has, and after it come to rest on my knuckles once, I felt a little extra would negate it from flying out and removing an eye. But yes, I see that that's not going to happen. Just give me time to come to grips with it.

    I would be interested in the reasoning behind needing to de-tension the blade between uses.
    Lance

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Hobart, Tas
    Posts
    1,038

    Default

    Out with the old, in with the new.

    With a clear plan of attack, this was a nice and quick retrofit. I decided that using a hacksaw and cutting a slot to allow the pin to be supported on each side of the blade made far more sense. After the new rods were created, I simply unscrewed the handle, and screw it onto the new one. Such an elegant solution, as I had initially intended to epoxy some rod into the handle. Thanks Ian.

    20210523_131414.jpg 20210523_131425.jpg

    Out of interest, I had initially tried this slot approach, but as my hacksaw blades are blunt (I know, I know) I tried with a thin cut-off wheel in the grinder. The test piece simply ended up resembling a T-1000 post shotgun blast.

    20210523_131453.jpg d1l3du6-736b0084-1714-4eca-b332-7b0b343d961c.jpg
    Lance

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Redlands area, Brisbane
    Posts
    1,342

    Default

    [QUOTE=LanceC;2240616
    I would be interested in the reasoning behind needing to de-tension the blade between uses.[/QUOTE]

    More for longevity's sake of the frame really. With the Grammercy paddle design, it really is very easy to adjust and I don't find that it is a discouragement to using it even briefly.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Dandenong Ranges
    Posts
    909

    Default

    Hi Lance. Your bowsaw has turned out great. I too have been inspired by the same thread and doubly so now by yours.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Millmerran,QLD
    Age
    70
    Posts
    9,221

    Default

    Lance

    I love this development process. If I was to be critical of anything at all, and never having made a bowsaw myself which makes me the charlatan of all charlatans, I would advise to minimise the depth of frame below the blade. It severely restricts the cutting ability when an object is held in the vice.

    Regards
    Paul
    Bushmiller;

    "Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts, absolutely!"

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    25,741

    Default

    Both of the bowsaws I've made use a cut slot down the middle of a piece of SS rod and small screw method.
    Larger on is WA Regum, smaller one is Sheoak.
    Compare.jpg

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    323

    Default

    Looks like the bow saw bug is catching.....

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Hobart
    Age
    74
    Posts
    451

    Default Bow Saw to cut Dovetails

    Whenever I see a bow saw I think of Frank Klausz cutting dovetails:

    YouTube "
    Dovetails for Drawers the European Way" at 2' 05"

    The size of his saw doesn't seem to stop him!!!


    Cheers,
    Yvan


    Last edited by yvan; 26th May 2021 at 10:01 AM. Reason: Tried to adjust font size...

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Hobart, Tas
    Posts
    1,038

    Default

    Yes Yvan,

    I recall seeing that early in my dovetailing journey and thinking it was one of the most spectacular things I'd seen.
    Lance

Similar Threads

  1. Need to bash stuff
    By Simplicity in forum HOMEMADE TOOLS AND JIGS ETC.
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 26th August 2017, 05:51 PM
  2. IAP Bash Wins
    By Seer in forum WOODTURNING - PEN TURNING
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 2nd March 2012, 10:26 AM
  3. Bash em
    By gdf26562 in forum WOODTURNING - GENERAL
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 31st August 2011, 12:17 PM
  4. sydney bash
    By jow104 in forum NOTHING AT ALL TO DO WITH WOODWORK
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 2nd March 2010, 09:01 AM
  5. Bash-a-Dino!
    By greenie512 in forum ROUTING FORUM
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 4th January 2006, 11:17 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •