Swan neck bow saw

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Project by Chiaroscuro posted 03-23-2017 05:55 PM 521 views 4 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I purchased the hardware from Gramercy Tools ( The stretcher is cherry wood, the swan neck cheeks are hickory (the wood Gramercy uses for their build). The handles and the toggle are from a wood pile of “domestic cutoffs” at Woodcraft. It’s a light wood with prominent grain and easy to turn and plane. This was the first time I worked with hickory… hard stuff. The design is from Gramercy (they have a PDF that is free to download – you don’t need to buy anything there) modified to the swan neck design after looking at several different examples online. I generally finish to smooth but don’t try to erase all the tooling marks. It was shaped by hand and I want that to show. Finished with BLO and paste wax.

-- Todd

9 comments so far

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

1150 posts in 255 days

#1 posted 03-23-2017 06:14 PM

Very nice … good job, Todd!

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

View waho6o9's profile


7639 posts in 2184 days

#2 posted 03-23-2017 06:54 PM

Beautiful bow saw Todd.

View WayneC's profile


12847 posts in 3704 days

#3 posted 03-23-2017 06:59 PM


-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View mafe's profile


11377 posts in 2696 days

#4 posted 03-23-2017 10:41 PM

Beautiful saw, really fine work.
I did not know there were a download for design, so I made my own some time back:
So now our swans can dance together.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Tim Royal 's profile

Tim Royal

241 posts in 1094 days

#5 posted 03-24-2017 01:18 AM

Great looking saw… on my project list.

-- -Tim Royal... Always reminded of this when I see the amazing work LJ's do (I have no choice but to be humble!), "Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real." -Thomas Merton

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1203 posts in 1241 days

#6 posted 03-24-2017 01:50 AM


-- Jeff NJ

View Chiaroscuro's profile


23 posts in 382 days

#7 posted 03-24-2017 06:06 AM

Thanks all! Mads – I actually designed (in my head) and purchased hardware to make a custom saw from Lowe’s found brass bits and blades… then I found the Gramercy kit and PDF and decided I liked their idea better. I especially like that the blade can be turned freely because of the integrated flange on the pin. I have seen your saw on PDF searches for swan neck designs, but went with a design with the bill flush with the cheeks. I considered eyes and some more complicated embellishments that I saw in a beautiful ebony (?) design on Fine Woodworking, but felt it was too much. It was a fun build, although refining a shape with a rasp and file in hickory is a bit of a chore.

-- Todd

View helluvawreck's profile


25375 posts in 2474 days

#8 posted 03-24-2017 12:09 PM

This is a beautiful shop made tool and I love the details and craftsmanship. Nice work.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View RobNPHX's profile


35 posts in 66 days

#9 posted 03-26-2017 10:00 PM

I like that you kept the tool marks to show the hand crafting. I do the exact same thing.

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