Chris designed this project to be a one day class. I'm glad we were there for two, as I don't think I would have been able to finish this project in one.
|My completed bowsaw.|
Dictum had a nice supply of elm for us to make this saw. I hadn't ever used elm, so I looked forward to it. On paper, this should be a fantastic wood for a saw due to it's strength and flexibility.
In reality, this wood is fairly difficult to work, which left most of the shaping up to rasps. I have to say that I am a lot better at rasping to a line now than I was before.
I also took advantage of a few machines that were in the shop since I was there. I used a bandsaw and the spindle sander to get the parts cut out after laying out the patterns. I also used a drill press for the hole that the handle went in, and also for the handles to mount the hardware. Lastly, I used the lathe (for my first experience turning) for the handles.
The rest of the work involved rasping the parts to the layout lines, filing the rasp marks smooth (maybe use some sandpaper to finish that job), and scraping the sanded part smooth.
My saw was a bit unique from the rest in that my bench partner had some boxwood scraps that he gave me (thanks, Andreas!), so i turned my handles and shaped my toggle from boxwood, and I didn't like the look of the synthetic strings that were provided for tensioning the saw, so I used some old twine that must have been left over from when you wrapped postal packages with this stuff. I think it looks a bit more traditional this way.
|Watching the first completed bowsaw take a cut.|
I think what happened is the inside of the hole was contaminated with wax after I finished it. I think you could avoid this problem if you were careful. Alternatively, you could wait until the saw is finished before boring the holes for the hardware.
The class was great. Nearly everyone left with a completed saw. No one accidentally stabbed themselves with a mortise chisel.
I wish I had more pictures of the second day, but I was really stressing that I wouldn't finish this project, so rather than dink around taking pictures all day, I was on a mission to finish this thing. The only other photo I got was of a couple other vintage bowsaws that were brought to class: my Swedish bowsaw (a gift from Jonas), and a beautiful English bowsaw that fellow student Bernard brought with him.
This bowsaw was a great project, and it is a project that could easily be done in your shop.