|Review by lethentymill||posted 07-09-2008 04:24 PM||8483 views||3 times favorited||5 comments|
Like the spokeshave, the bowsaw is very useful to the chairmaker. Some people like them, some hate them. Teaching evening classes have made me aware of this.
If I feel that I’m in a corner; “Do I have to use this thing ?”
If “People use them a lot more on the Continent” hasn’t worked, and “Do you know how much a good bandsaw costs?” hasn’t worked either; feeling that it is unreasonable to expect to learn a skill like this in half-an-hour I usually mutter something about how it’s another hand tool skill to add to the list, another experience of wood cutting; maybe never to be repeated, but still valuable none the less. They are very patient with me.
The ECE bowsaw is about the right size for me; it takes a 600mm blade, is well made and the handles don’t rotate easily when the saw is tensioned up. A range of blades is available, but only the narrow one is for curve cutting, the others allow you to cross cut or rip with a big limitation imposed by the central strut – the “throat” is only 120mm.
Steering the blade, or coming back on line is easier said than done. Don’t try it using the middle of the blade – use the ends, cut near the handle while taking any pressure off the saw. Just run the saw back and fore in the groove putting turning pressure on the handle.
Make sure the teeth are away from you so that you are cutting on the push stroke.
It’s boring I know! But, practice makes perfect! The bowsaw will reward patience and a good bandsaw is expensive.
-- Allan Fyfe, Lethenty Mill Furniture, http://www.lethenty-mill.com