Bow Saw project started…

I went down to the garage last night try out the new dovetail saw, but got distracted and worked on the bow saw frame instead.

I’m starting with some random Oak I picked up from I have no idea where, but it’s stout and available, so it will do.  I’m not following any set plans for this, just kind of winging it which is probably a bad idea.  I’m using the blade I bough from Traditional Woodworker that is 24″ blade with a 9 TPI filed for cross cutting.  I have a 5 TPI rip blade as well, that I am thinking of making into a frame saw later.

I laid out the blade, and used my little one for the rough proportions to use.  I cut a couple of 4″ sections to use as the handles, and set to work on those.  The metal shank is 1/4″ bolt which am embedding in the handle.  I started with a #4 auger bit (1/4″) in my new/old brace I got a coupe weeks ago, and then drilled a #8 (1/2″) hold for the head.  I should have done it in reverse I think, since the bigger hole was slightly offset, which might have worked in my favor.

Small admission, I didn’t exclusively use hand tools for the drilling, I did start the hole with the drill press, but it wasn’t long enough.  The brace and auger set up does work well, better than I expected, but it still had some issues.  I’m still debating how far down the path I want to go and how fast.

Once I had the holes drilled, which was a small challenge using these in my non wood working vise (all I have for now) and at that height of my bench currently.  As I said the holes were not perfectly in line, which meant I could wedge the bolt down in the hole, and it was stuck fast.  the shank is not straight out of the handle though, so it might be a problem later.  We shall see.

Once I had enough shaft poking out of the end, I chucked it up in my lathe (60 year old Shopsmith 10-ER) drill head, and turned the handle round.  I didn’t try for anything fancy, this is one is going to be pretty rough I think since I’m not putting much thought into appearance.  I might make another frame later, depending on how this one goes.

Then I put the oak into my bench vise, and started hacking at it with the drawknife.  I use the word “hacking” deliberately, because again I wasn’t putting a lot of thought into this part.  Mostly I just wanted to see what it could do, and then just kept going.  Needs some sharpening but it did a fine job of removing stock as it was.  I have a decent handle going already, and I’ll layout a more coherant plan on my next visit to the shop.  I wish I had a spokeshave, or more to the point I wish the crappy Harbor Frieght spokeshave wasn’t so crappy.  I know, I know, you get what you pay for, and boy howdy I didn’t pay much for this one.  I didn’t have high expectations for these, and even then it didn’t work.  I might try sharpening again, or maybe just toss them.

More to come, this is stage one and I’ll try and be a little less cavalier with this project later.  Last night I think I just wanted to push wood around and sort of “meditate by moving” if that makes any sense, working with my hands is relaxing for me.  I am excited to see how this goes together, I did some practice cuts with just the blade it works well.  In a frame this could be a work horse.  I’ve had bad luck with saws and find them very frustrating usually, so I hope this works for me…


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