Too much stress? Just cope with it! Saw Swap 2014

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Project by JayT posted 10-04-2014 02:22 AM 4845 views 20 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When the Saw Swap was announced, I knew I wanted in, but wasn’t sure what to build. After thinking about it for a while, it dawned on me that the one saw in the till I have never been happy with was the coping saw, so why not try to build one that worked better?

Of the two saws, the one on the bottom was a prototype to see if the design would work OK. It is made from red oak with jatoba handles and toggle. The one on top was sent to BigRedKnothead as part of the swap and is made from honey locust with Osage Orange handles and toggle. Osage is very hard and tough, so can be a pain to work with, but it polishes up so nice and is nearly indestructible. It will darken over time to a coppery brown that should compliment the orange/pink tones of the honey locust very well.

As with the other swaps, I tried to purchase all pieces locally. The brass parts started life as 1/4in machine screws and 5/16 compression nuts from the plumbing aisle. These were modified on the drill press with files to flatten the threads and round off the nuts. They are epoxied into the handles and notches were cut with a hacksaw. Thanks to mafe's blog for showing how to do that step.

The one major difference between the saws is the joint between the frame legs and stretcher. On the prototype, this joint is square, while on the one sent out for the swap, I did a radiused joint. Big thanks to Hammerthumb, who helped me figure out the best way to do that. Both work just fine. The square joint is easier to make, but the radiused one looks better, IMHO.

Finish is Danish Oil (Dark Walnut on the oak, Natural on everything else) and wax and 40lb braided fishing line was used for the tensioning twine. The saws use standard coping saw blades, so have some flexibility for tooth count and replacement blades are easily available.

Thanks for looking and hope you enjoy. I’ll leave you with a few pics of the construction.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

16 comments so far

View Mosquito's profile


7924 posts in 1712 days

#1 posted 10-04-2014 02:27 AM

Awesome. Looks sweet dude! One of those is on my list of once I have more time projects…

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View Hammerthumb's profile


2513 posts in 1394 days

#2 posted 10-04-2014 02:33 AM

Yours came out really nice JayT. I think these are really fun to make. A lot of hand shaping goes into these which makes them fun. I really like your wood choices. Should last through Reds grandkids kids!

-- Paul, Las Vegas

View waho6o9's profile


7118 posts in 1996 days

#3 posted 10-04-2014 02:48 AM

Strong work there JayT, I like how you did a practice saw

first. Good idea.

View summerfi's profile


3260 posts in 1107 days

#4 posted 10-04-2014 02:50 AM

Congrats on a really fine job Jay. I like the fact you made all the components yourself. I’m sure your saw will see a lot of use in Red’s expert hands.

-- Bob, Missoula, MT -- Rocky Mountain Saw Works

View ShaneA's profile


6417 posts in 2018 days

#5 posted 10-04-2014 02:51 AM

Damn fine looking saw.

View a1Jim's profile


115172 posts in 2996 days

#6 posted 10-04-2014 03:53 AM

Very cool outstanding build .

-- Custom furniture

View john2005's profile


1741 posts in 1597 days

#7 posted 10-04-2014 04:40 AM

Solid saw Jay. You do fine work!

-- In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

View BigRedKnothead's profile (online now)


7863 posts in 1401 days

#8 posted 10-04-2014 05:01 AM

You were able to make a highly usable tool that still possesses an old world/hand crafted feel. Proud to have it in my shop. Thanks again brother.

-- "At the end of the day, try and make it beautiful....because the world is full of ugly." Konrad Sauer

View Brandon's profile


4151 posts in 2371 days

#9 posted 10-04-2014 05:19 AM

Wonderful work, JayT. I’ve been wanting to make one of these for awhile. Yours turned out beautifully.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View JayT's profile


4671 posts in 1630 days

#10 posted 10-04-2014 05:36 AM

Thanks for the kind words, guys.

Once getting into it, they turned out to be not that difficult to make and allow for quite a bit of personalization of design in wood choices, shape, etc. I actually cracked one of the limbs on the swap saw during final assembly and testing, after all the shaping and finish was on—it split on a grain line when tightening the string. Turned to and in a Saturday morning, had a new one completely cut out, shaped and ready to go.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

View Don W's profile

Don W

17874 posts in 1987 days

#11 posted 10-04-2014 11:35 AM

Well done JayT.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View LukieB's profile


965 posts in 1749 days

#12 posted 10-04-2014 02:25 PM

Wow Jay, those both look awesome, nice work!

-- Lucas, "Someday woodworks will be my real job, until then, there's this"

View Ken90712's profile


16864 posts in 2608 days

#13 posted 10-04-2014 02:37 PM

Outstanding! Cool tool and way to go!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View August McCormick Lehman III's profile

August McCormick Lehman III

1753 posts in 909 days

#14 posted 10-04-2014 03:07 PM

thats very nice jay
you dont need to send that for the swap ill be glad to pay for shipping. LOL
nice work bud very nice work


View CFrye's profile


8564 posts in 1259 days

#15 posted 10-05-2014 04:56 AM

Beautiful pair of saws, JayT! I like the curved tenon joint. I don’t think I’ve seen that before. It makes sense. Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

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