LumberJocks

Using a frame or bow saw skillfully

  • Advertise with us

« back to Hand Tools forum

Forum topic by Catlike posted 05-24-2015 05:31 AM 1072 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Catlike's profile

Catlike

21 posts in 695 days


05-24-2015 05:31 AM

I used to have a 24-inch frame saw. I liked it for rough work, but I had trouble “steering” it for cutting along fine lines. The amount of weight relatively high above the blade made it hard for me to prevent wobbling.

Do you have pointers or advice about using a frame saw “accurately”?

Is a frame saw by nature poorly suited for cutting accurately?

I need a good saw for ripping thick timbers, sometimes along a gentle curve. Would you recommend a frame saw for this, or some other type of saw?

Thank you.

-- Catlike


9 replies so far

View ColonelTravis's profile

ColonelTravis

1196 posts in 1362 days


#1 posted 05-24-2015 06:26 AM

Frank Klausz could saw dovetails with a bow saw.
http://woodwork.ars-informatica.ca/tool.php?art=dovetail_video

I’d have more success with a normal dovetail saw in one hand and juggling 3 running chainsaws in the other. Can’t help you, sorry, but you can at least see how accurate you can cut with them. Maybe that’s like saying Babe Ruth used a 54 ounce bat, so you can see how home runs can be hit with one.

View Catlike's profile

Catlike

21 posts in 695 days


#2 posted 05-24-2015 06:30 AM



...
I d have more success with a normal dovetail saw in one hand and juggling 3 running chainsaws in the other. ...

Yes, I’ve felt that way sometimes myself. “More clamps!”

-- Catlike

View JADobson's profile

JADobson

682 posts in 1579 days


#3 posted 05-24-2015 03:19 PM

I use a shopped version of Gramercy’s bow saw (12”) and find that if I pretend the frame isn’t there and that I’m just pushing and pulling the blade through the wood it cuts straighter. If you are constantly thinking about what the frame is doing then you end up going crooked.
I’ve used mine to do some re-sawing, but only one a fairly small scale. But that is probably because of the size of my saw. I’ve also done curved work with it. If you look at my projects, there is one entitled “Jewelry Box 2”. I cut the corner uprights with my bow saw as well as the fretwork on the lid. I also used it to re-saw the sides of the till from a larger block of walnut.

All of this may only be relevant to my size of saw and may not be practical for your larger saw.

-- James

View Richard H's profile

Richard H

489 posts in 1148 days


#4 posted 05-24-2015 03:26 PM

How wide is the blade and how much set do you have on it? Like a bandsaw the curve you can cut is only going to be as tight as the blade width and thickness of kerf.

I have had good luck cutting gentle curves with a 12” frame saw but it’s not a replacement for fret saw. I imagine a 24” one would be even harder to steer though the wood.

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile

kaerlighedsbamsen

1177 posts in 1181 days


#5 posted 05-24-2015 03:40 PM

Frame saws are great for prezise cuts. New or sharpened blades goes without saying. Tage Frid rarely used anything else
You do not state wether you need straight or curved cuts. For straight cuts make sure the set is the same on both sides of the blade (as on any other saw) For curved cuts use 10mm blades for wide curves and a 4mm one for narrow. It is, especially on smaller radiuses (is that a word..?), essential that the saw is used with long strokes and minimal weight. If you get the hang of it a bowsaw cuts fast and exact and will be you favorite
This guy is worth watchin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ptw08uwVPYQ

Let us know how it ends!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View Catlike's profile

Catlike

21 posts in 695 days


#6 posted 05-24-2015 05:41 PM

Thank you ColonelTravis, JADobson, Richard H, kaerlighedsbamsen. I appreciate your insights.

My use in the past was just straight cuts. I had the 1-1/2 inch width of blades. I just found the the saw would wobble all over the place as the extended arms of the frame, high above the blade, magnified any small “false moves” I made at the kerf. The result was that my kerf always went wide of the line.

I think I will do better with a shorter, lighter saw. Still, it has to be long enough to make 4- to 6-inch rip cuts on 8X8 timbers.

JADobson, when I get another (smaller) frame/bow saw, I will try your approach. As well as yours, kaerlighedsbamsen—minimal weight, long strokes.

-- Catlike

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile

kaerlighedsbamsen

1177 posts in 1181 days


#7 posted 05-24-2015 06:19 PM

I assume the type of saw you used is like this: http://www.fine-tools.com/gestell.html ?
If so the weight should be of no problem. Dont get a smaller saw. Longer saws are far easier to make straight cuts with.
Forgot one important pint: it is essential that the blade has appropriate tension. Not as much as a bandsaw blade but enough to make it “ring” when tapped.
It is also good to hold at a point as near to the blade as possible. I have seen saws with handles high up on the end- bad ballance.

Hope this helps!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View ElChe's profile

ElChe

630 posts in 804 days


#8 posted 05-24-2015 07:46 PM

A good blade is a must. I made a bowsaw and put a putsch blade on it and it was awful. Switched it to a banco and it still leaves a bit to be desired although it is much better. I may spring for a turbo cut blade from highland woodworking. Technique? I’m with the chainsaw juggler there although I’m getting better. :)

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

View Catlike's profile

Catlike

21 posts in 695 days


#9 posted 05-25-2015 09:07 PM

kaerlighedsbamsen and ElChe, thank you.

-- Catlike

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com