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Wood for bow saw?

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Forum topic by ki7hy posted 08-11-2016 08:06 PM 366 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ki7hy

503 posts in 206 days


08-11-2016 08:06 PM

I know beech is good, hickory, normal tool wood.

What about mesquite? It’s intertwined grain, very stable but how strong I don’t know. Eucalyptus? Cottonwood?

What other woods would work to make a bow saw that’s kind of fancy but still work well? I was thinking of even possibly laminating something like maple in between walnut for a striped affect.

Going to build one here soon and trying to get some ideas going. This will be part of my mobile tool box/bench thing I’m still working on. I did just order the Gramercy tools pins and blades. I will turn my handles and pick some wood but what wood should I use? Can’t decide.


11 replies so far

View loiblb's profile

loiblb

109 posts in 523 days


#1 posted 08-11-2016 09:06 PM

I built this saw out of Beech (I think) 30 years ago.

View ki7hy's profile

ki7hy

503 posts in 206 days


#2 posted 08-11-2016 09:13 PM

I know beech will work nicely, was looking for something a little more fancy. This will only have a 12” blade but that’s still going to put a lot of pressure on the arms with the tension. I might end up with beech and that’s ok but looking for something a bit more exciting.

Very nice saw by the way. That’s a big boy for sure.

View JADobson's profile

JADobson

682 posts in 1578 days


#3 posted 08-11-2016 09:18 PM

I used hickory for my grammercy kit. Love the saw. If you want something fancier, the nicest one I’ve ever seen was an ebony saw in Sandor Nagyszalanczy’s book The Art of Fine Tools: https://books.google.ca/books/about/The_Art_of_Fine_Tools.html?id=pPZs0SDZ_UkC (unfortunately you can’t see the saw in the preview).

-- James

View ki7hy's profile

ki7hy

503 posts in 206 days


#4 posted 08-11-2016 09:30 PM

NOW YOU’RE TALKING JADobson. I have some marking gauges in brass and ebony from the 1800’s I use all the time, would look nice! I can’t seem to find the strength of all of these woods let alone have a clue at what the strength should be for this anyway.

Still interested in other suggestions, keep them coming.

View JayT's profile

JayT

4786 posts in 1678 days


#5 posted 08-11-2016 09:34 PM



I can t seem to find the strength of all of these woods let alone have a clue at what the strength should be for this anyway.

- ki7hy

Check out The Wood Database It has the numbers for many species of wood. The one that would be in play here is the modulus of elasticity. Too low and the wood will just snap when tension is applied. Compare anything you want to use to hickory and you’ll get a good idea of how well it would work. Cottonwood, for instance, is quite a bit lower, so would probably not work well.

I built a couple bow style coping saws out of red oak and honey locust and they were just fine. I’ve seen them out of maple and ash, as well.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

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ki7hy

503 posts in 206 days


#6 posted 08-11-2016 09:35 PM

JADobson, I just looked up the book and found these associated.

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ki7hy

503 posts in 206 days


#7 posted 08-11-2016 09:37 PM

Thanks JayT for the info, wasn’t sure what category would matter. I’ll be looking things up for sure.

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

7179 posts in 2044 days


#8 posted 08-11-2016 09:43 PM

Hammer thumb made me this one for the saw swap we had, it has a nice inlay in walnut and works well.

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ki7hy

503 posts in 206 days


#9 posted 08-11-2016 09:46 PM

That’s awesome waho, Hammer Thumb did an awesome job on that one. Brass inlay, would be new for me, would look great, think I might have to incorporate that.

Thanks for posting that.

View onoitsmatt's profile

onoitsmatt

227 posts in 643 days


#10 posted 08-11-2016 11:49 PM

I would think mahogany would be plenty strong if you could find good, straight-grained pieces. It is commonly used for guitar necks which withstand an enormous amount of tension/stress.

-- Matt - Phoenix, AZ

View ki7hy's profile

ki7hy

503 posts in 206 days


#11 posted 08-12-2016 12:05 AM

Thanks Matt, would have to be African for sure. I know the Honduras stuff isn’t very good. I actually have a board at home that would do size wise but I can’t guarantee the type.

Edit:

I just looked at the wood database and the Honduras stuff is pretty weak.

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