There's been a big revolution in handsaws lately and now everyone knows how wonderful a good saw is if it's done right. However, nearly the whole revival has been with various permutations of backsaws. Well, sometimes you have to cut a curve. That's what a bow saw is for. Now when we say "bow saw" we mean it in the English and American traditional sense - a small frame saw with a narrow blade for curves, piercing, and other intricate work. These differ from the stocky European frame saws used on the continent for cutting just about everything. In the US and in England, where bulkier cutting is historically accomplished with big handsaws, "bow saws" or "turning saws" evolved with thinner, lighter frames, and very narrow blades for cutting tight curves. We went to original historical materials, did a lot of research (click here
), and came up with what we think is an optimum design. Our saw looks conspicuously like a 200 year old saw, confirming our long-held suspicions that 18th century craftsmen really knew what they were doing.
Besides the frame, the important thing for a turning saw is having a very narrow blade. Our blades are only about 1/8" wide at their widest. They are also quite thin. The biggest problem we found with recent bow saw incarnations was that their blades, usually culled from band saw stock, were altogether too wide. With our blades you can easily cut a really tight radius. They work like coping saw blades, with a cross-pin to hook them in place, so that you can change a blade easily. If you're doing any pierced work, this is really the way to go.
As you can read in our design document, we chose American Hickory for our saw. It's strong and flexible and makes a lightweight saw that you will find nimble and responsive in use. Even the subtle shape of our toggle makes it very easy to tighten up, even easy to over-tighten, a considerable improvement over stiff modern mechanisms. The Gramercy Tools Bow Saw comes with instructions and an assortment of three 12" long blades: 10, 16, and 24tpi. The maximum depth of cut of the saw is 6".
Made in USA.
Note: If you want to build your own saw the accessories listed below have the parts, full-sized templates and plans are available here
"Best New Tool - 2006" - Popular Woodworking