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Ripping with a bow saw

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Blog entry by nisker posted 11-02-2014 09:19 PM 2133 reads 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve got a small project in the making that requires me to do a longer rip cut – Something I’ve haven’t had the best of luck with previously. With my Ryoba I tend to make the cut slanted, and my old hand saw just isn’t cut out for ripping, making it hard and tiresome.

Luckily I was recently gifted an older but never used bow saw and I decided this was a good occasion to try it out.

The blade was rather rusty – but it cut fine, and soon after I’ve had made the entire rip cut with a fair result that just needed a little cleanup with a plane. And the rest of the project is just crosscuts :)

When looking around for more information on bow saws, I came across this video apart for the ergomic tips I notice he saws forward away from himself – I did the opposite it seemed to work fine, but I guess I have to try it the other way round next time I make a rip cut just to see how that fares.



8 comments so far

View stefang's profile

stefang

15512 posts in 2797 days


#1 posted 11-02-2014 10:12 PM

I bought a blade to use in a saw like this several years ago, but I still haven’t gotten around to making the frame for it. Mike Dunbar is an expert with old hand tools so it is should be very worthwhile to try out the techniques he demonstrates in his video.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View djwong's profile

djwong

167 posts in 2683 days


#2 posted 11-02-2014 10:48 PM

Here is a great silent film video of the making of a furniture piece for production from tree harvest to finished piece. At about 5:10, you can see a segment with an apprentice ripping on the workbench with a large bow saw.

Link

-- David W. Cupertino, CA

View Tim's profile

Tim

3113 posts in 1424 days


#3 posted 11-03-2014 01:14 AM

That’s pretty cool the old bow saw worked for you. If you clean the rust off it’ll go a little easier. Cool videos too, thanks. And there’s definitely more than one right way to do things, but I’d agree with Mike that pretty much any way Mike Dunbar show is going to work well.

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

7913 posts in 1843 days


#4 posted 11-03-2014 08:07 AM



Here is a great silent film video of the making of a furniture piece for production from tree harvest to finished piece. At about 5:10, you can see a segment with an apprentice ripping on the workbench with a large bow saw.

Link

- djwong

Fascinating. Their movement was efficient and the craftsmanship accurate and precise.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile

kaerlighedsbamsen

1177 posts in 1176 days


#5 posted 11-03-2014 08:09 AM

I have 3 saws just like yours that i use all the time. Find that using them is a bit like having a handheld bandsaw. Super efficient.
Getting new blades can be difficult. Dieter Schmidt i Germany sells blades but most are of the japanese type and can not be resharpened. The blades that came with my saws seems to be nice old Sandvik, are taper ground (grinded?) and sharpens easily. A quick bath in vinegar and the rust comes of.
Take good care of that saw and it wil serve you for years to come.

If you havent already, make sure to read up on Tage Friid who advocates the use of bow saws for almost any kind of cutting.

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile

kaerlighedsbamsen

1177 posts in 1176 days


#6 posted 11-03-2014 08:12 AM

@djwong: Enjoyed that video a lit. Just looking at those people work makes me think “i wanna learn that”. You can just tell that they are skilled jiust by looking at their hands move. Thanks for sharing!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

7913 posts in 1843 days


#7 posted 11-03-2014 08:25 AM

Tage Frid got me interested in bow saws so I ordered a blade from Highland and built a saw from oak. This was many years ago. The blade is German, a crosscut, and truth be told I don’t like it very much; takes a lot of effort to saw with it.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View nisker's profile

nisker

34 posts in 899 days


#8 posted 11-04-2014 06:39 AM

Thanks for the comments and movie link – I will try the proper way of using the saw next time :)

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