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Wood for bow saw?

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Forum topic by KelleyCrafts posted 08-11-2016 08:06 PM 546 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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KelleyCrafts

2665 posts in 549 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.

-- http://kelleycrafts.com/ - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools


11 replies so far

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loiblb

141 posts in 865 days


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

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

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KelleyCrafts

2665 posts in 549 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.

-- http://kelleycrafts.com/ - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

View JADobson's profile

JADobson

910 posts in 1921 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).

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany

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KelleyCrafts

2665 posts in 549 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.

-- http://kelleycrafts.com/ - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

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JayT

5438 posts in 2021 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.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

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KelleyCrafts

2665 posts in 549 days


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

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

-- http://kelleycrafts.com/ - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

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KelleyCrafts

2665 posts in 549 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.

-- http://kelleycrafts.com/ - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

8006 posts in 2386 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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KelleyCrafts

2665 posts in 549 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.

-- http://kelleycrafts.com/ - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

View onoitsmatt's profile

onoitsmatt

363 posts in 986 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

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KelleyCrafts

2665 posts in 549 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.

-- http://kelleycrafts.com/ - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

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