As a kid, my dad described a one man saw with a frame and a 24"-30"
long blade as a "Buck Saw", used primarily used with a cross buck to
cut up brush from fallen trees.
Had a turn buckle arrangement inside the frame to tension the blade.
Is that the same as what you are describing as a "bowsaw"?
Yes, it's very similar. There are also modern incarnations with steel
frames, mostly sold to cut green timber. The major difference would be in
the cut of the blade, and secondarily in the lightness of the frame.
That sounds like a bowsaw. I have what my dad and uncles called a "one
man" or a "crosscut" hanging on the wall of the shop. The blade is 40"
long and looks like this one:
except that mine has only one handle.
I also have an ancient bowsaw or "buck saw" as you describe. These were
early variants on what we today call a chain saw. :-)
Thanks. The 15" blades sound like what I'm after, though still a bit coarse.
I think I'll try refiling a crosscut for rip and see. The $110 asking price
for the saw is just simply nuts for 3 sticks and a bit of hardware.
(The Stanley miter box blades are hardened, and likely not suitable.)
I don't think mine cost me more than $5 ($53.75 less, to be exact).
Of course, I didn't use any exotic woods, and my tensioner is a loop of
parachute suspension line instead of sailmaker's cord. The design was
inspired by a photo of a bow saw made in the 13th century.
$60 is fair if I count my time along with the blade, hardware, and wood
scraps. (On clearer thinking, a simple straight shoulder is adequate and
appropriate at the spreader joint. The blade holder length should be
adjusted to allow a square fit when tensioned.)
But that's all just water under the bridge now. I spent the evening filing
saws and squinting at the saw set. And after all that, can you guess which
saw cuts the best, by a huge margin? It was the 10 year old $10 Vaughn Bear
Saw (Americanized ryoba). I see online that they go for $20 to $25 these
days. With no exaggeration, two gentle 10" strokes across the end grain shot
right past the gauge line in 3/4" hard maple. No chattering, no hesitation
on the start, and left a clean straight kerf with no hunting. It's the one
saw I didn't tune. :D I'm calling it quits, and laying in a lifetime supply
of the plastic stuff tomorrow. Sorry for the noise. (It's a Vaughn Bear Saw
BS250D. Lowes has it for $20. It's worth a try if you're still hunting for
the perfect dovetail *and* tenon saw.)
(Now, who has advice on Japanese dovetail chisels? The Tools for Woodworking
catalog came last week. Not that the old Buck butt chisels aren't doing the
job. I just don't know whether tonight's message was "old, tried and true is
good", or "Jap cutlery rocks."
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