Making Hand Tools....Bow Saw

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Project by thebenchroom posted 12-04-2012 02:16 AM 4423 views 8 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Making Hand Tools....Bow Saw
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I’ve set about making my own frame saw, or if you prefer, bow saw. My first thought for the blade, and pins was to use a thin piece of a bandsaw blade, and pins from a coping saw. Then I lucked out by finding a free PDF download from Gramercy Tools, along with a set of various blades and pins. In checking the cheek dimensions I guessed spot on at 12” in length. Gramercy sells their saw made from hickory. Most woodworkers I’ve spoken to dislike working with hickory, myself included. I’m using beech that I purchased from the Greenville Woodworkers Guild. Luckily the plank is big enough that the large off cut is kept for a new bench top for later on. The knobs are curly maple, that a friend of mine turned for me. I used padauk as the tensioner.Not gluing the cheek to stretcher joinery is somewhat tricky to hold tight while shaping, but making this joint stationary renders the saw useless, and it will look better on display than in use. This joint needs a tiny amount of play when the blade is tensioned, so no glue. While there are some minor imperfections, it’s mine and hopefully will be for a long time to come.

-- [email protected]

11 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118258 posts in 4822 days

#1 posted 12-04-2012 03:37 AM

Beautiful saw John ,extra nice work.


View hhhopks's profile


663 posts in 3622 days

#2 posted 12-04-2012 03:49 AM

Nice saw.
I need to check out Gramercy’s site.
I would like to make one.

Thanks for sharing.

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

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


22420 posts in 4921 days

#3 posted 12-04-2012 07:15 AM

Very nice work. On my someday list ;-) I have had the blade too long now ;-(

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View HorizontalMike's profile


7933 posts in 4159 days

#4 posted 12-04-2012 09:19 AM

Very cool! And at 12in that will make this a very useful size as well.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Oldtool's profile


3325 posts in 3436 days

#5 posted 12-04-2012 12:44 PM

Great satisfaction in making you own tools, greater satisfaction in using them . Enjoy a job well done.

-- "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 Grumpymike's profile


2497 posts in 3560 days

#6 posted 12-04-2012 06:55 PM

Roy Underhill did one of these on his TV show, and I admire anyone who makes and uses their tools … Kudos

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View ptofimpact's profile


393 posts in 3561 days

#7 posted 12-04-2012 08:10 PM

John, beautiful work. Hoping to try and make one, can I ask where to get the PDF?

-- Pete in NC

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4360 days

#8 posted 12-04-2012 10:20 PM

nice job :-)
enjoy … nothing can beat using tools you have made yourself


View thebenchroom's profile


47 posts in 3762 days

#9 posted 12-05-2012 01:57 AM

Thanks everyone. Here’s the link I used to make my saw. I didn’t stay exactly on course, I made the center of the cheeks a little wider for looks, but the joinery layout is the same. Have fun!

-- [email protected]

View doordude's profile


1085 posts in 4228 days

#10 posted 12-05-2012 01:59 AM

nice saw kit.i like the choice of woods you picked. now i guess you’ve got to learn how to use it

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4112 days

#11 posted 05-24-2017 11:00 AM

This is an outstanding bow saw and beautifully done.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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