Turning saw

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Project by Dave Polaschek posted 09-11-2018 08:40 PM 2195 views 3 times favorited 28 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Sometime last year I bought the Gramercy Tools Bow Saw kit. I finally got around to building it last weekend.

It was a fun build. I don’t have a printer that does legal paper, so I wasn’t able to print the plans full size, plus the piece of ash I used for the saw was only 1” square, rather than 1-3/4×3/4” as called for in the plans, but I was able to successfully wing it. The toggle I built from the plans ended up being about 1/4” too short too, so I ended up making that from a scrap of hickory, so the whole saw isn’t ash, as I’d planned.

Built entirely with unpowered hand tools except for the knobs, which I chucked up in my cordless drill and ran over a piece of sandpaper to get them round in a hurry.

Tools were coping saw, dovetail saw, rasps, spokeshaves, chisels and a knife. I also used my post drill so the holes were straight (third photo).

The fourth photo is the hole I cut with this after the test-fitting and before I finished the saw (second photo). That hole is about the size of a US quarter dollar coin.

Finish is a coat of boiled linseed oil. The string is 550 paracord, because I had a bunch on hand.

Fun project, and I’m happy to have an alternative to a metal coping saw.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

28 comments so far

View Oldtool's profile


3405 posts in 3526 days

#1 posted 09-11-2018 08:47 PM

Very nice build, and it will be very useful. So you had to “wing it” on several parts of the build, that is one of the aspects of this craft that makes it interesting, always thinking ahead to solve problems that may arise.
Have fun with the new saw.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View PoohBaah's profile


523 posts in 2876 days

#2 posted 09-11-2018 09:35 PM

Awesome build Dave. I have one of these saws on my to buy/build list.

-- Neil, Indiana - Instagram: neilsalomon

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

9342 posts in 1918 days

#3 posted 09-11-2018 09:42 PM

Yeah, Tom. It’s a very wing-able build. I’ll probably build the second kit from some other wood and keep one with the 10 tpi blade and the other with the fine blade.

It’s a fun little saw, Neil. That hole I cut inter poplar to test it out was only a few strokes per curve. Feels pretty controllable, too.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View theoldfart's profile


13004 posts in 3787 days

#4 posted 09-11-2018 10:05 PM

Good job Dave. It’s amazing what theses saws can do.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View Tom Regnier's profile

Tom Regnier

526 posts in 3883 days

#5 posted 09-11-2018 10:09 PM

Looks like a saw that will get plenty of use. How did the post drill work?

View adot45's profile (online now)


464 posts in 1960 days

#6 posted 09-11-2018 10:17 PM

Nice looking project Dave you did a very nice job.

-- “Often wrong but never in doubt”. Dave in WV.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

9342 posts in 1918 days

#7 posted 09-11-2018 10:25 PM

Thanks, Kevin. Plus I can take it apart and put it in a tool roll to take it places.

Tom, the post drill is geared for drilling metal, so I had to reach up and advance it by hand to not spend all day drilling through wood, but it worked great at drilling the holes straight, rather than having a little wander as I might by hand with an egg-beater.

Thanks, David. It still needs a little more work on the handles (mostly sanding with finer paper) and I may carve one of the arms so I can more easily tell them apart when I disassemble it for travel, but I’m happy with it.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Mosquito's profile


11473 posts in 3628 days

#8 posted 09-11-2018 10:35 PM

Looks great Dave!

And I almost always advanced the post drill by hand as well when using it for wood. Except when I wanted a bunch of holes all the same depth, I counted the hand cranks for each hole :-)

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View ralbuck's profile


6795 posts in 3602 days

#9 posted 09-11-2018 10:59 PM

A very nicely made saw. I am sre that you will use it more than you thought that you would too.

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

9342 posts in 1918 days

#10 posted 09-11-2018 11:44 PM

Thanks, Mos. I pondered making a new cam for the bottom so it would advance twice for every rotation of the hand crank, or maybe even three times, but that would be a lot of work, so I’ll probably just keep advancing it by hand.

Thanks, Ralph. I worry some of my saws may end up feeling neglected now, especially since I’ve got three more saws on my to-do list yet.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View balidoug's profile


535 posts in 3814 days

#11 posted 09-12-2018 12:13 AM

pretty little thing. i’m sure you’ll be getting a lot of use out of it. nice build

-- From such crooked wood as that which man is made of, nothing straight can be fashioned. Immanuel Kant

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

9342 posts in 1918 days

#12 posted 09-12-2018 12:17 AM

Thanks, Doug. It’s certainly light enough that it’s not going to wear me out right away.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View jeffswildwood's profile


4989 posts in 3313 days

#13 posted 09-12-2018 12:46 AM

Great looking saw Dave. Nice design. I bet it really performs well and lasts a long time!

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

View therealSteveN's profile


9388 posts in 1910 days

#14 posted 09-12-2018 12:57 AM

Nice build Dave, looks just like a bow saw. That it cuts well, and is comfy to use is a major win.

If the file is a digital one, you can put it alone on a thumb drive, and take it to one of those places that does commercial printing. Usually you can get a choice of several stocks. I like Velum for some reason, grew up with it, and it rolls very well for storage in a tube, or if you want to ship it off. They also can make it from very small, to as big as their flat bed scanner is. Place I go to can make them 5’ x 7’ which would be a huge saw, but you get the idea.

I say alone on a thumb drive. This is just so you don’t confuse them about the job at hand. A full drive could have several hundred choices, plus you might have info on it you don’t want to share.

Thanks for sharing. I have wanted a smallish bowsaw, just because I have never had a good quality one, just old auction junk that would have made better kindling. I didn’t know Joel offered this. I put my name in to be advised when he gets the kit back in stock.

-- Think safe, be safe

View knockknock's profile


473 posts in 3509 days

#15 posted 09-12-2018 01:04 AM

Great looking bow saw.

-- 👀 --

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