LumberJocks

Bowsaw - Turning Saw

  • Advertise with us
Project by David Kirtley posted 06-28-2010 01:56 AM 2552 views 3 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is based on the hardware from Grammercy Tools (http://www.toolsforworkingwood.com)

I had previously started making a saw totally out of Texas Ebony. Well, the twisty grain got me and it self destructed. This morning, I decided to put my new workbench to work and remake it. I ran up to get some Red Oak from the Borg and did a little shopping. I picked up the one straight 4’ 1×2 that they had and a 3’ 2×2 for the handles. I also picked up a can of Watco for finishing. Also stopped by HF to pick up a cheap coping saw since I can’t find mine right now.

I cut the 3 pieces for the arms and crosspiece and marked off for the mortises and the pins for the blade holders following the measurements from Grammercy’s plans. I chopped the mortises by hand for some practice and to test out my holdfasts on my new bench. Yay! Holdfasts are wonderful to have again. I cut the tenons with my other bow saw and trimmed the shoulders by eye with a chisel. Amazing how much easier it is with a vise that actually holds. I drilled the holes on the drill press.

I sketched out one stretcher to see how I wanted it shaped and cut it out with the coping saw. I hate coping saws. Especially cheap ones. Once I had the first one roughed out, I traced it on the second arm. Then I chucked the belt sander in the vise and clamped the two arms together and refined the shapes. After that, I worked them down with a spokeshave and rasps. I assembled it to shape the crosspiece.

The toggle is the leftover toggle from the self destructing saw made out of Texas Ebony. The line is 1.8mm Dyneema double braid. This time I will be careful not to crank it down too tight.

This time around, I pre-drilled the holes for the hardware in the handle blanks. Don’t ask why I didn’t do it last time. A quick sanding and the first coat of oil for a finish and I am all done except for gluing in the hardware. I will mix up a bit of epoxy tonight or tomorrow and put them in permanently.

Not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/





10 comments so far

View dakremer's profile

dakremer

2491 posts in 1816 days


#1 posted 06-28-2010 03:32 AM

very cool saw!!

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1281 posts in 1722 days


#2 posted 06-28-2010 03:34 AM

Thanks! You should have seen the first attempt. Very Darth Vader. Was wonderful except that whole exploding Death Star thing…... ;)

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

View swirt's profile

swirt

1949 posts in 1696 days


#3 posted 06-28-2010 04:10 AM

Looks great. How’s it cut?

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1281 posts in 1722 days


#4 posted 06-28-2010 04:35 AM

Since I didn’t have the handles glued yet, I just did a short test cut hanging on the frame. It is a big improvement over a coping saw. Once you get that longer stroke going, it zipps along nicely. I did have to restring the line though to get a better setup for the tension. I have found that if you have too many turns, it is harder to adjust. The low stretch line is giving me a bit of a learning curve. One really nice thing is that once the tension is set, it stays. Now I have 3 frame saws. The two that Highland Woodworking sells (400 mm and 700mm) and this one. The shorter one comes with the Japanese style teeth. I have converted it over from the threaded rod and it is much easier to tension. I just got the big one the other day and have not converted it yet.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

View velo_tom's profile

velo_tom

118 posts in 1741 days


#5 posted 06-28-2010 11:42 AM

Very nice saw David. Really like the details you provided about making it. I think it would also be interesting to see the conversion work with your large frame saws. How about before and after photos on your big saw when you convert it. I’ve toyed with the idea of changing over my ECE 600 and 700 mm frame saws to twist adjusters.

-- There's no such thing as mistakes, just design changes.

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1281 posts in 1722 days


#6 posted 06-28-2010 01:31 PM

Too late for a before and after shot, I converted it last night. I just filed a bit of a notch where the adjuster wire was and strung it like the one in the picture here. I am finding it hard to tension enough and being careful not to break it. I am not finished testing yet. That big saw seems to need a lot more tension but I don’t want to have to make another frame If I don’t have to.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

View swirt's profile

swirt

1949 posts in 1696 days


#7 posted 06-28-2010 03:23 PM

Oh man, one question answered leads to more questions. How are you finding the 400mm saw with the Japanese style teeth? Does it allow you to cut curves easily or better than a traditional blade? My imagination leads me to think it would be good for straight cuts, but not so much for curves.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1281 posts in 1722 days


#8 posted 06-28-2010 03:55 PM

swirt:

The 400 mm saw is nice now that I got rid of the rod tensioner. Mine has the 1-1/2 in wide blade and does not do curves (other than the irregular cuts of my inexperience….) They do have a thinner turning blade but I am suspicious that that thin blade with the Japanese teeth would be pretty delicate about twisting for curved cuts. I could be wrong but it is not important enough for me to find out now that I have built this little turning saw.

I got the 400 primarily to try out for dovetails on big stock. Well, that and the fact that it is cool looking. I can’t honestly say it does one bit better than a dozuki with similar teeth other than it cuts much deeper because it doesn’t have the back on the blade. It is nicer to use than the backless Japanese saws in that when you get going with the backless ones, they tend to flap on the trailing end and widen the kerf a bit if you are going quickly.

The I don’t really know about the 700 yet as compared to the 400. I just picked it up to play with since it was only $45. I am not that thrilled with the cutting action of the regular blades after being used to the Japanese tooth pattern but I also have been afraid to really crank down to get the blade really tight after the first I built saw blew up on me. I have the 3/8 in turning blade in it but it is actually tracking too well and the blade wants to go straight….

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

View swirt's profile

swirt

1949 posts in 1696 days


#9 posted 06-28-2010 04:49 PM

Thanks for the details, that helps a lot. (and by that I mean it helped me calm down my jonesing for a new saw)

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1281 posts in 1722 days


#10 posted 06-28-2010 05:02 PM

Yeah, there are always trade-offs and there are none that are perfect. I think that saws are the most problematic. That’s probably why there are more types of saws than just about any other tool. If there were a perfect one, the rest would have faded away into history.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase