bow saw blade size

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Forum topic by Don W posted 07-28-2011 07:43 AM 6799 views 1 time favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Don W

18051 posts in 2074 days

07-28-2011 07:43 AM

I plan to make a bow saw and will make the first blade from a piece of broken bandsaw blade I have. I would like the blade to be the correct size in case I want to buy a replacement. Can someone tell me the measurement center to center on the holes of a purchased bow saw blade?

The saws on toolsforwoodworking are 12”. Is 12” the most common? What are some other sizes?

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

11 replies so far

View Planeman40's profile


813 posts in 2267 days

#1 posted 07-28-2011 11:39 PM

My experience with bowsaws is there seems to be no specific size. My experience has also been that the blades that come with them are terrible. I have made blades from bandsaw blades that have all been much better cutting blades.

If it were me, I would make the saw size what I wanted and make up two or three blades of various tooth arrangements that I thought would be handy and be happy with that. If I needed any more blades I would make them as I needed them. There isn’t much to it.

One more note. If you will go to a service that makes up bandsaw blades, usually an industrial supply company or a sharpening service, they will have end cut-offs they will probably give you. Bandsaw blades come in 100 ft. rolls prior to being cut to size and welded. Usually there is a piece left over after the last blade is made from a roll that is too short to do anything with and they toss it into a bin and eventually sell it for scrap or just trash them.


-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View WayneC's profile


12642 posts in 3604 days

#2 posted 07-28-2011 11:45 PM

There are 3-4 places that I have seen that sell blades on the web. Sizes are fairly limited. I am thinking I will just get the parts from tools for working wood and go from there. I plan to buy a number of their blades…

I do like the idea of being able to make them like Planeman suggests, I saw a 9” blade antique I would love to model a saw after.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Loren's profile


8393 posts in 3154 days

#3 posted 07-29-2011 12:21 AM

My bowsaws are 22”.

Butcher’s bone saw blades are available in that size and work
very well when re-shaped for ripping for using the bow saw
for joinery.

View cutmantom's profile


393 posts in 2541 days

#4 posted 07-29-2011 12:57 AM

i made one following toolsforwoodworking but used a 6 inch coping saw blade, all i need to do to use a 12 inch blade is to make a new bar

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 2161 days

#5 posted 07-30-2011 02:40 AM

22, 24 and 28 are all pretty common.

What king of work are you going to press the saw to do? For curves I think shorter is better, for resaw longer makes life easier.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View mafe's profile


11215 posts in 2596 days

#6 posted 08-03-2011 03:36 PM

What do you need?
Think that is the best answer.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Bertha's profile


13005 posts in 2200 days

#7 posted 08-03-2011 03:52 PM

Mine’s 18” if memory serves. I bought mine from an Ebay seller and the blade is clearly one from a 1 1/4” bandsaw. I’d be happy to take detailed pics/measurements if you happen to like mine.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Don W's profile

Don W

18051 posts in 2074 days

#8 posted 08-03-2011 04:59 PM

I’d love to get the measurements. Also I plane to make the blade holders, so some close ups of those would be helpful as well.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View WayneC's profile


12642 posts in 3604 days

#9 posted 08-04-2011 03:49 AM

Don, check this site out….

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Don W's profile

Don W

18051 posts in 2074 days

#10 posted 08-05-2011 02:38 AM

I came up with this. Project posted soon.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View BarneyTomB's profile


28 posts in 2024 days

#11 posted 08-08-2011 06:10 AM

Here’s a link to a bow saw plan from Gramercy. For resawing I use bi-metal power hacksaw blades.

-- Profanity; The last refuge of the limited intellect.

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