Bow Saw Build #2: Cuttin' and Fittin'

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Blog entry by HokieKen posted 08-25-2017 12:42 PM 1486 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Getting Started Part 2 of Bow Saw Build series Part 3: Let's do that again... »

I did most of this before I started taking pictures so the pics are a little sparse. But, I think the process is fairly easy to follow.

First thing I did was to make my two 5/8×1/4 mortises in the vertical frame pieces. I hogged the bulk out on the drill press then cleaned them up with a chisel. The mortises are 3/8” deep… (this will be important later!)

On a side note, I’ve been using the hell out of my Gramercy holdfasts on my new bench. I don’t know how I ever lived without these things!

Next, I cut out the template of the vertical piece from the Gramercy drawings and put it on one of the parts with spray adhesive. I made DARNED sure I carried the lines from my mortise around and lined the template up with them.

Now, see that blue masking tape on the bottom of this part? Well I picked up a little tip a while back somewhere on YouTube. Unfortunately I don’t recall where. (Bill also mentioned it in the comments of the first blog entry.) I put masking tape on the face of both of the vertical pieces. Then, again, using my mortise lines, I lined the pieces up and super glued the taped faces together. I forgot pictures but it worked brilliantly! Like carpet tape with no mess and a better bond.

After attaching the pieces, I carried the centerline of the pin holes from the template around and drilled the 1/4” holes in the center of both pieces on the drill press. Then I cut around the template with the band saw and then sanded to the lines. Then, I split the pieces apart with a chisel. Easy Peasy :-))

Next was the horizontal cross bar. Pretty simple here, cut to length and cut the tenons on the end. Note however that the tenons are only 1/4” long - if you cut them to the same depth as the mortise, your shoulder-to-shoulder length will be too short. (Told you it would be important ;-P)

Here I have the pieces laid out after cutting the first tenon:

I check the tenon fit. I want a fairly tight fit but there has to be some slop so the end pieces can rotate to tension the blade. I get it so it slips together easily but doesn’t fall out if I let go. I think that will work (but since this is my first bow saw, that’s just an educated guess ;-P)

After getting both tenons cut, just to be safe, I assembled the saw to make sure the dimensions are proper and the blade tensions up correctly.

Now, I’ve stopped here for the time being. I have discovered something about the Gramercy plans that I’m not crazy about and may modify. Luckily, I can remedy the situation by just making a new cross bar. Don’t get me wrong, it’s perfectly functional as-is. But it irks me… I’ll give details in the next blog. I don’t know when that will be – I have a couple of projects I have to wrap up for birthday gifts before I finish this saw. But, I’ll be back someday!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

6 comments so far

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

4433 posts in 1183 days

#1 posted 08-25-2017 12:47 PM

Coming together nicely, Kenny.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View jeffswildwood's profile


4242 posts in 2578 days

#2 posted 08-25-2017 05:10 PM

Looking good Ken! That cherry is pretty in it. If you need some more to finish, I can hook you up!

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View HokieKen's profile


11982 posts in 1739 days

#3 posted 08-25-2017 08:26 PM

Thanks guys ;-). No worries Jeff, I barely touched the Cherry. I’m probably going to remake the cross bar but I already know what I’ll reuse this piece for :-)

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View duckmilk's profile


3928 posts in 1925 days

#4 posted 08-25-2017 09:30 PM

Looking good Kenny. That wood is nice.

-- "Duck and Bob would be out doin some farming with funny hats on." chrisstef

View PoohBaah's profile


521 posts in 2142 days

#5 posted 08-28-2017 04:56 PM

This is coming together nicely. I think that I may have to ask for a kit for Christmas. My in-laws love buying me tools and wood working items. Always good to have people who support your addiction.

-- Neil, Indiana - Instagram: neilsalomon

View HokieKen's profile


11982 posts in 1739 days

#6 posted 08-28-2017 05:02 PM

I can’t really recommend it’s use yet since I’ve never used it Pooh. But, lots of people highly recommend it. And for $30? It’s a fantastic value!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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