Making Hand Tools....Bow Saw

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Project by thebenchroom posted 12-04-2012 02:16 AM 3299 views 8 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Making Hand Tools....Bow Saw
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I’ve set about making my own frame saw, or if you prefer, bow saw. My first thought for the blade, and pins was to use a thin piece of a bandsaw blade, and pins from a coping saw. Then I lucked out by finding a free PDF download from Gramercy Tools, along with a set of various blades and pins. In checking the cheek dimensions I guessed spot on at 12” in length. Gramercy sells their saw made from hickory. Most woodworkers I’ve spoken to dislike working with hickory, myself included. I’m using beech that I purchased from the Greenville Woodworkers Guild. Luckily the plank is big enough that the large off cut is kept for a new bench top for later on. The knobs are curly maple, that a friend of mine turned for me. I used padauk as the tensioner.Not gluing the cheek to stretcher joinery is somewhat tricky to hold tight while shaping, but making this joint stationary renders the saw useless, and it will look better on display than in use. This joint needs a tiny amount of play when the blade is tensioned, so no glue. While there are some minor imperfections, it’s mine and hopefully will be for a long time to come.

-- Twitter-@thebenchroom

10 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


115610 posts in 3148 days

#1 posted 12-04-2012 03:37 AM

Beautiful saw John ,extra nice work.

-- Custom furniture

View hhhopks's profile


645 posts in 1948 days

#2 posted 12-04-2012 03:49 AM

Nice saw.
I need to check out Gramercy’s site.
I would like to make one.

Thanks for sharing.

-- I'll be a woodworker when I grow up. HHHOPKS

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


17875 posts in 3247 days

#3 posted 12-04-2012 07:15 AM

Very nice work. On my someday list ;-) I have had the blade too long now ;-(

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View HorizontalMike's profile


7349 posts in 2485 days

#4 posted 12-04-2012 09:19 AM

Very cool! And at 12in that will make this a very useful size as well.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Oldtool's profile


2390 posts in 1762 days

#5 posted 12-04-2012 12:44 PM

Great satisfaction in making you own tools, greater satisfaction in using them . Enjoy a job well done.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Grumpymike's profile


2004 posts in 1886 days

#6 posted 12-04-2012 06:55 PM

Roy Underhill did one of these on his TV show, and I admire anyone who makes and uses their tools … Kudos

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View ptofimpact's profile


367 posts in 1888 days

#7 posted 12-04-2012 08:10 PM

John, beautiful work. Hoping to try and make one, can I ask where to get the PDF?

-- Pete in NC

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10876 posts in 2686 days

#8 posted 12-04-2012 10:20 PM

nice job :-)
enjoy … nothing can beat using tools you have made yourself


View thebenchroom's profile


47 posts in 2088 days

#9 posted 12-05-2012 01:57 AM

Thanks everyone. Here’s the link I used to make my saw. I didn’t stay exactly on course, I made the center of the cheeks a little wider for looks, but the joinery layout is the same. Have fun!

-- Twitter-@thebenchroom

View doordude's profile


1085 posts in 2554 days

#10 posted 12-05-2012 01:59 AM

nice saw kit.i like the choice of woods you picked. now i guess you’ve got to learn how to use it

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