Frame saws - bow saws. #6: Swans and bones – Frame saw for coping (blog)

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Blog entry by mafe posted 09-24-2012 12:35 PM 17520 reads 4 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Swans and bones – Frame saw for coping
Parts and Swans

Part four, the finale.

Last blog ended with a soak of oil, this time we move on to finish, tension, making the saw work, and this will be the end of the Swans and bones blog.

The frame is complete and it’s time for the tensioning.
A piece of wood, same as the saw.

Mark the size.
At least as long as the saw top to the center.

Also a little piece of wood for the half turn tension piece.
(This I will explain later).

This need to go through.

So parts ready.

Making the holes for the mortise.

Cleaning up.

Shaping on my Supersander (I love that tool).

Here you see the idea.
I have started shaping the tensioner also.

Shaping details.

Bone look…

Linseed oil.

Time for finish.
First a rough polish on the wheel.

Here you see the result to the right.
(This is what I use on my knifes).

Just like this.

The fine polish.

Like this…

All the parts are now ready, and time for a wonderful pear.


Traditionally we use hemp cord in Europe, but I try with a ship quality nylon since I love the red color.
Remember to burn the ends.

And here we have the saw!
Notice the half turn tensioner, this is a cool detail that makes you able to tension to the limit.



Swans neck.


And the saw in the hands of the happy owner.

End of this part of the blog.

Wiki bow saw: press here
The swans nest by Hans Christian Andersen: press here
Song by Swan lee: press here
Us parts: press here

Hope it can be to some inspiration, who knows even some frame saws.

Best thoughts,


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

16 comments so far

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3768 days

#1 posted 09-24-2012 12:46 PM

Wonderful Mads

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View madts's profile


1945 posts in 3252 days

#2 posted 09-24-2012 12:59 PM

Tusind tak (one thousand thanks) for a very nice blog.

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 3692 days

#3 posted 09-24-2012 01:43 PM

Great !
loved following you along to a wonderfull finish :-)

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25461 posts in 4017 days

#4 posted 09-24-2012 02:19 PM

Very nice instruction!!................Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4246 days

#5 posted 09-24-2012 03:20 PM

Wonderful saw and blog Mads. I have the modern version of a larger bow saw just like the one in the Wiki link. It has very open tooth spacing. I use it a lot to cut trees in the garden instead of using a noisy and dangerous chainsaw. It works great, and I’m sure your fine little saw will too, or you might just choose to hang it on the wall as an art piece. Either way it is a winner.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View GrandpaLen's profile


1652 posts in 3184 days

#6 posted 09-24-2012 06:48 PM


Truely a great Swans and Bones Saw and blog.

I felt as though I was in a time travel machine going back to experience the Crafters of the yester years, teathered to the present only by the cord of your sander and buffer. ;-)

What a Great Journey, thanks for sharing. – Grandpa Len.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View lew's profile


13215 posts in 4667 days

#7 posted 09-24-2012 08:29 PM

Thanks, Mads!
Your skills as a craftsman and a teacher are truly appreciated.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View littlecope's profile


3111 posts in 4414 days

#8 posted 09-26-2012 02:36 AM

Beautiful Saw Mads, excellent job on the story of it’s creation too!!
Does it cut as well as it looks?

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View mafe's profile


12643 posts in 4001 days

#9 posted 09-26-2012 01:50 PM

Hi hi hi ho and a bottle of glue!
littlecope, yes it cuts soooo fine, but best of all the frame is sturdy.
Lew, I turn red here, smiles.
Grandpa, yes I admit I use power, but I like to get the feel, the spirit and do what my body alow me before using power.
Stefang, the saw has found it´s home with my Japanese tools… I think it must be due to the beauty and the red cord, but it will be used. It will be a nice thought though that it might live after me and pass down in hands of generations, smile here.
Glen, big smile.
Jamie, wonderful you!
Best thoughts and a warm smile,

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

View Mauricio's profile


7166 posts in 4063 days

#10 posted 09-26-2012 04:13 PM

The tensioner is really cool Mad, thanks for sharing.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View mafe's profile


12643 posts in 4001 days

#11 posted 09-28-2012 09:33 AM

Thx Mauricio, smiles here.

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

View patron's profile


13711 posts in 4253 days

#12 posted 09-29-2012 08:55 AM

been waiting for this final blog

excellent build mads
every detail crystal clear
and the saw is a treasure

i made one years ago
when my toy band saw was not working right
(it was not special
just straight boards

what i found out
is that a band saw blade
cut to whatever lenght needed
and both ends drilled
worked just fine
i just drove a nail in the arm ends
(slight angle)
and clipped the heads off
(like a hacksaw)
any size blade will do
the narrower the blade
the tighter the curves
(just like the band saw itself)

you inspire so much
thank you for that

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View mafe's profile


12643 posts in 4001 days

#13 posted 09-30-2012 05:20 PM

David, dear David, so wonderful to see you! Thank you for you kind words.
I will PM you soon, but life is busy here and lots of things happen.
Best thoughts,

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

View hhhopks's profile


663 posts in 3289 days

#14 posted 11-26-2012 04:13 PM

Looks GREAT.
Thanks for all the detailed information.
I need to build one.

-- I'll be a woodworker when I grow up. HHHOPKS

View Karhein's profile


38 posts in 2016 days

#15 posted 06-16-2015 02:21 AM

Thank you very much!

showing 1 through 15 of 16 comments

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