|Project by brianl||posted 815 days ago||1986 views||8 times favorited||12 comments|
- Cut the square into an octogon, then a polygon, and keep cutting until you smooth it out with a spokeshave or plane.
- Use a bow saw to cut the circle then smooth out any rough spots.
I had initially planned to go with option #1. However, the more I thought about it, the more I thought “You know, I should really learn to get better at handling a bow/coping saw. I don’t use them very often – partially because I don’t own a bow saw.
So, to fix this state of affairs I decided to purchase a bow saw. I looked around and while I liked the Gramercy Bow Saw, the price was a bit much for me. Thankfully, the guys at ToolsForWorkingWood.com are so awesome, they sell the parts for a bow saw and they even give you the plans for their own bow saw! I mean how freaking cool is that?
So, I went to the show with some steamed european beech I picked up at Downes & Reader. I often use beech for my work-shop build tools, handles, etc… It cuts nicely, is really uniform, and overall is a pleasure to work with. Armed with the Gramercy saw plans, I cut the basic shapes:
With a coping saw, a rasp, and a scraper, shaping the frame wasn’t tough at all. I then ran into a road block. I don’t have a lathe…how the hell am I going to make the handles?!? I did a bunch of internet searching around “how to make handles without a lathe” but wasn’t satisfied with any of them. Eventually I stumbled across Jennie Alexander’s End Vise Lathe plans.
Using those plans I whipped up a quick bungee lathe to turn my handles on. I don’t have any lathe tools, so an old 1/4” chisel did all of the turning.
Overall they turned out ok for someone who has never used a lathe before. The results before smoothing and cutting grooves:
Thus equipped, I quickly completed the bow saw. The Gramercy pins fit into the handles but were a bit loose. I wrapped the pin with a wood shaving, filled the pin hole with glue and now that sucker ain’t going anywhere. To tension the saw I went to a sporting goods store and picked up 50lb fishing line (for $2 or something ridiculous). With that the saw was done!
The finish is two coats of Boiled Linseed Oil, followed by three coats of blonde shellac, and finally a coat of paste wax applied with 0000 steel wool.
Overall I’m very pleased with the saw. The generosity of the guys at ToolsForWorkingWood and Jennie Alexander really amaze me. Without them selflessly posting plans and information for all to read I would have never completed this project.
Unfortunately, now I have realized how useful turning is…and I’m off to build a treadle lathe! And if you’re keeping track, in this project I built a lathe to turn a handle to build a bowsaw to cut a circle to build a side table!
-- Brian - Belmont, Massachusetts