Small turning saw

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Project by Dave Polaschek posted 09-28-2018 03:20 PM 2111 views 1 time favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After making my first turning saw I wondered what would be different if the saw were made with shorter arms (or cheeks) so I set out to make another one and find out. This is the result.

I used the same Gramercy Tools Bow Saw Kit as I’d used for the first kit, but instead of making the arms roughly twelve inches long (with 5 inches each side of the stretcher to either the blad or the string), I made it seven inches, cutting the length on each side to 2.5 inches.

What I found was that the depth of cut is obviously smaller, but the saw feels more controllable to me. I don’t have as much momentum flopping around if I wobble slightly in the cut. It’s also lighter weight overall, which makes it slightly easier to use (though the larger version isn’t exactly heavy).

And now I have two bow saws. I’ve put the coarser blade on the larger saw, and the finer blade on this one for now. That feels like the right trade off.

Construction is all ash, except for the handles, which are a couple scraps of ziricote I had left over from some other experiment. With just linseed oil on them, they don’t look as pretty, but they feel good in the hand, so I’ll leave them for now.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

14 comments so far

View Tom Regnier's profile

Tom Regnier

535 posts in 4004 days

#1 posted 09-28-2018 04:26 PM

Great little saw Dave…my guess is that you’ll find yourself reaching for this one a bunch.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

10279 posts in 2040 days

#2 posted 09-28-2018 04:34 PM

It hangs on the outside of the door of my saw till, Tom. I’m expecting it’ll get used almost as much as my little pull saw which also isn’t hidden behind a door.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View doubleDD's profile


11287 posts in 3500 days

#3 posted 09-28-2018 05:35 PM

I bet it’s more controllable Dave. When I was making mine I felt it harder to hold those handles and keep it balanced than just holding the arm. Like you said, the weight made it harder. Great idea this way.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

10279 posts in 2040 days

#4 posted 09-28-2018 06:27 PM

The other thing I did is cut a groove for my index finger to ride in, pointing down the length of the blade while I’m holding the handle, Dave. I’ve seen that mentioned a couple times now as a solution to make hogs feel more solid. Not entirely sold yet, but it feels like a good idea.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View oldrivers's profile


3110 posts in 3024 days

#5 posted 09-28-2018 06:36 PM

Now that is a Dandy little saw. looks like it would be a pleasure to use, Job well done!

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View therealSteveN's profile


9985 posts in 2032 days

#6 posted 09-28-2018 08:09 PM

So now you have the cannon, and the derringer. I like small saws a LOT better than big ones, that could well be a DT Derringer there.

Nice reconfiguration Dave. Thanks for posting.

-- Think safe, be safe

View GR8HUNTER's profile


9620 posts in 2170 days

#7 posted 09-28-2018 09:50 PM

I like this style a lot better then the other one … GREAT JOB :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View EarlS's profile


5513 posts in 3805 days

#8 posted 09-28-2018 10:34 PM

I like your approach. Make the original version, try it out, then make some tweaks and see how well they work. That’s always been my mantra. Now that you have a couple versions are you thinking about other changes that you want to incorporate into a 3rd one?

This one also has a different look to it, more refined. Can’t wait to see the next upgrade.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View duckmilk's profile


5165 posts in 2782 days

#9 posted 09-28-2018 11:38 PM

Interesting Dave. Keep us posted after you have some more time with it.

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

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

10279 posts in 2040 days

#10 posted 09-28-2018 11:47 PM

Thanks, guys!

Earl, I’ve ordered a third set of pins, but I might take them to my buddy who does metalwork and have him taper them a little first. I think that would make them less likely to turn by accident, which is my other complaint with turning or coping saws. But I’ve got at least enough inch-square ash left for one more, so yeah, there will probably be a third one at some point.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View andre4691's profile


152 posts in 1610 days

#11 posted 09-29-2018 06:06 AM

отличная работа

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

10279 posts in 2040 days

#12 posted 09-29-2018 11:13 AM


-- Dave - Santa Fe

View jeffswildwood's profile


5134 posts in 3435 days

#13 posted 09-29-2018 11:44 AM

Nice to have a choice. Your getting good at these saws Dave!

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

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

10279 posts in 2040 days

#14 posted 09-29-2018 12:18 PM

Thanks, Jeff. The kit with blades comes with three different blades, so I suppose I’ll need to make a third one, too. ;-)

-- Dave - Santa Fe

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