Making a buck saw

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Hello all,
Broke my bow saw last weekend, and I figured that rather than simply replacing the damaged blade and missing rivet, I'd make my own out of hard maple and a replacement blade. Obviously, this isn't a terrribly hard job, but I figured I'd see if anyone has got any pointers that I may not have considered.
My general idea is to make a basic H-frame with the blade on one side, and a threaded rod on the other (to adjust the tension with a wrench- I know there are some methods that use a cable, but I figured the rod would be a little bit more solid) So as far as I can see, I have only two or three things to consider here- first is the joinery for that middle crossbar; my inclination is to use a loose mortise and tenon joint with a wooden dowel to keep it from falling apart when changing the blade. I figure a little bit of slack will allow the joint to move when the blade is tensioned (no glue in the joint, obviously) The second consideration is a matter of basic design- what I've used in the past is the standard metal bow saw, but I've seen that the older saws have a frame that extends below the blade on one side. Generally, I'm using the saw on logs that are laying on or near the ground, so I'm afraid it could get in the way, but if there is a compelling reason to keep that extended frame, I'm sure I can work with it (my guess is it helps to keep the blade plumb, but I couldn't say for sure) The third is whether it's useful to leave a set of handles on the top of the saw above the tensioning rod, or if that is simply too high and unsteady when you use it. Weight isn't much of an issue, just performance.
So, can anyone spot any holes in my plan that I may have missed? I'd hate to use the last of my rock maple, and then have to smack myself upside the head because I forgot something really important. I can always try again, but it's nice to do it right the first time. I've also got a good plank of 4/4 ash that I could use, if it's a better wood for the job (It has more spring than maple, IIRC.)
To try to anticipate the inevitable requests for more info, the saw will be for cross-cutting logs for turning blanks because I don't have a chainsaw and can't afford one right now (at least, not one worth having). I'm making it, and not buying it because I want a deeper throat depth than the bow saws at the hardware store provide, and the standard hardware store ones have a tendancy to dig into my little finger (I have big hands, and the blade flexes upward when cutting) The blade I'll be using is a standard 36" bow saw replacement blade. Finish will be tung oil, just 'cause it's a little more hand friendly than poly, and won't get milky if it gets wet like shellac does.
If it works out well, I'm considering a frame saw for resawing short planks out of some of the trunks I come across (hard to find spalted wood at the lumber supplier, after all) so any good links to nice rip blades for a hand saw would also be appreciated!
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Prometheus wrote:

Ask C-less. Hehehehe. GD&R Dave in Fairfax
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On Sat, 30 Jul 2005 19:29:40 GMT, the opaque Dave in Fairfax

I'm not available for consultation on that subject at the moment, though my (half) vast experience in the subject is of majestic notoriety. Thanks for thinking of me, Dave. ;)
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wrote:

Ahh... perhaps I should make a point of posting pics of the finished saw on ABPW, eh? :)
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wrote:

Just make a lose mortice and tenon. Needing to be laid flat when you assemble it isn't a problem and the ability to pack it flat and store it all in a tube or tied into a bundle is useful.
Don't make the blade retaining pegs too small. If you do use small steel pegs, bush the holes in the wooden frame with a piece of copper pipe (aircon or brakepipe)
Drill the blade before adjusting the frame. The holes should be punched (or plasma cut). If you drill them, it's a swine of a job and they're likely to end up not exactly where you planned.
String is important. It needs to have some stretch to it, so old cotton string is fine, modern ultra-strong non-stretch isn't. There's always some flex in the frame and you want a string that is stretched with some strain in it, not one that goes slack as soon as the ends move in a bit.
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On Sat, 30 Jul 2005 23:46:48 +0100, Andy Dingley

I actually grabbed a set of 1/4" bolts for securing the blade- the bit that broke on the steel one I had was the rivet that held the blade, so it seemed sort of safer to bolt that blade on. Bad idea, or is it just less convienient than the pegs?

Got lucky there- the blade I bought has two pairs of holes already in place. Standard in these parts.

As noted in the original post, I was looking at using a piece of threaded rod, and adjusting the tension with a nut. Is there some reason why this might not work, or is it just that the string is traditional? If I need to have the string, I've got some cotton clothesline that might do the job.
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On my old Ulmia frame saws the loose tenon is just a small piece of shhet metal, the mortice was obviously made by a very thin kerf circular saw blade.
[...]

Look on http://www.fine-tools.com/gestell.htm at the last Item on the page, there is a saw blade holder for frame saws. BTW: The Japanese rip cut blade has too fine teeth for resawing anything big, been there, done that...
[...]

Threaded rod also has no "stretch".
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wrote:

Bolts or screws ? If you're sitting a thin piece of metal on it, make sure it's resting on a plain shank, not a thread, or else it won't be stable.
I need to drill / punch my blades because I'm generally making them from bandsaw blade.

That's a frame saw, rather than a bow saw. The difference is that you do need to have a rigid frame, so that any flexing that goes on is small enough not to loosen the blade tension. This means bigger, thicker, stiffer frames (heavier too) and joints with less wobble.
Personally I'd use string and a spanish windlass (stick and twisting). It's low-tech, but it's lightweight and it works.
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On Sun, 31 Jul 2005 12:18:08 +0100, Andy Dingley

Ah, I'll fill this in a bit- the plan is to make the vertical members of the frame out ot two pieces of laminated 4/4 stock, with a very small dado for the blade, then drilling holes large enough for the bolt head and the nut to sit in the recess. The blade won't be held directly by the bolt, though the bolt will go through the hole in the blade for positioning. Main holding power will be the clamping action of the two bits of wood.
The thought being that a nice flat surface to hold the blade is a little easier on it, my aforementioned galootish hands like a thicker handle, and the frame will flex less with a 1.5" thick frame. Not to mention the fact that with this method, the mortise becomes two matching dadoes, which is always a little easier to cut!

Sounds like the Frame saw is what I'm looking at- I figure it'll be nice to use for a while, and then when I upgrade to a good chainsaw, it'll look good on the wall of the shop, at least.

If I have time, I might try both methods out- nothing wrong with the idea of having one in the car for an emergency.
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On Sun, 31 Jul 2005 12:18:08 +0100, Andy Dingley wrote:

I cut slots in the bolt with a hacksaw. The blade gets better support that way. My big framesaw (27") uses little nuts and bolts; my little one (12") just has twists of paperclip wire in each hole. File a flat in the side of the bolt before you drill, too.
FWIW, I simply scaled up the bugsaw (DAGS) plan for my big saw; I think it turned out beefier than it needs to be.
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On Sun, 31 Jul 2005 15:56:00 -0500, Australopithecus scobis

Pressure of the wood on either side is the holding/stablizing force. Works nice for me, though if it presents any problems down the road, I'll use pins for them instead when I replace the blade.

Couldn't get a relevant hit on "bugsaw" on Google, but I did come up with a nice saw by copying a design from an antiques site.
Anyhow, thanks for all the suggestions- I got it finished Sunday night, and it works great, but now I can't get the camera to turn on (for anyone in the market for digital cameras, the Polaroid we got has been nothing but headaches.) I'll post the pics as soon as I can get them taken- but I might be waiting on warranty work. If anyone would like a detailed description or some kind of plan, let me know and I'll post those instead.
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Prometheus (in snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com) said:
| If anyone would like a detailed description or some kind of plan, let | me know and I'll post those instead.
Both? (Please.)
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wrote:

I had to run some errands tonight, so I didn't get the opportunity to get them together, but I'll make sure they're up by this weekend. With any luck, I'll get the camera to work by then as well...
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Where's C-less?
I do believe he had a project that could be expanded to a proper buck saw...
Oh, Larry?
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wrote:

Got the *plan* up on ABPW, sorry about the delay- lots of stuff going on this week. Works really well, but it's right on the edge of being a two-person saw. If you decide to make one like it, make sure you've got a good sawbuck! The plan is a little rough, it's been a while since I used Corel Draw, so if you've any questions, just let me know and I'll clarify things. The shape of the handles is a rough approximation of a picture I found on an antique tools website, and the crossbar just has those little reliefs on it so it doesn't look too clunky. My first inclination was to file the handles to round them over, but after about 30 minutes of that, I remembered my PC690, and decided to just use a roundover :)
The saw is hard maple, and there is very little bowing when in use. Might put some little walnut inserts in it to dress it up, but I haven't decided yet. Either way, it's in use now, so I figure I've got time to decide that later.
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Prometheus wrote: snip

Mine too. I went back to using the Fuji. OTOH, the Polaroid worked just fine after I put it on the skeet thrower. Flew out about 20 yds before I got a good bead on it. Didn't fly flat though, lots of rotation.
Dave in Fairfax
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On Sun, 31 Jul 2005 12:18:08 +0100, Andy Dingley wrote:

(shoulda put this in 'tother post.)
I use 3/16" garage door opener cable on the 27" framesaw. Bootlace and 1/8" cable both snapped when I torqued them up. (Watch out. That stick _hurts_ when it whips around!) Little saw just uses a bootlace.
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Andy Dingley wrote:

I've read (here on rec.woodorking IIRC) that drilling a hole in a saw blade, like a bandsawblade being used for frame saw, can be madeeasy by "spot annealing" the location where the hole is to be drilled. This can be done by chucking a blunt rod, like a nail with the tip ground off in a drill press and pressing that at high speed against the spot until it glows red. Then let it air cool and drill the hole.
Have you seen the guy at the woodworking shows who sells the drill bits that drill through files? He uses a similar technique, only he anneals with the point of his carbide bit, resting it on the surface for a few seconds before he drills through. That also explains why he doesn't use coolant.
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On 3 Aug 2005 08:08:05 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@spamcop.net wrote:

This is an awkward process, not because it's hard to make the hole but that it's hard to place the hole accurately. It's not easy to start the hole accurately and because it's thin, tough steel there's a risk of snatching on breakthrough.

This is a much over-rated process. Your sheet has a heatsink, the drill bit is a thin wire. In a rate to softening point, the drill is likely to lose. It works, but it's very hard on your drills. Use an small masonry bit to anneal the spot instead, then drill with a cold twist dril.

Not for ages. But these drill bits are just M42 grade HSS, which you can buy at good (i.e. industrial) toolshops. They're usually silver, not black and never gold coloured. They are _not_ blue or rainbow coloured - those are cheap knock-off "cobalt coated" bits and are worthless.
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Andy Dingley wrote:

That's why I said to anneal it with a blunt rod like a nail with the point ground off.

The guy I bought mine from said the point on the tip was made from silicon (not tungsten) carbide. These were black.
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