Tools for Working Wood
 
Gramercy Tools Bow Saw Kits and Parts
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  Gramercy Tools
  Saws
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From Left: Royal Blue, Gray, Bright Red, Olive Green
Extra blades are available - see the accessories listing at the bottom of the page.
10 TPI Blade - Extra blades are available - see the accessories listing at the bottom of the page.
16 TPI Blade - Extra blades are available - see the accessories listing at the bottom of the page.
24 TPI Blade - Extra blades are available - see the accessories listing at the bottom of the page.

Quantity in Cart: none
Code: GT-BOWS.XX
 Front Handle and Toe Knob only ($28.95) In Stock
 Pair of Bow Saw Pins ($17.95) In Stock
 Bow Saw Kit - 3 12" blades and a pair of pins ($25.95) In Stock
 Full Bow Saw Kit - pair of pins, handle and toe, and three blades ($49.95) In Stock
 Gramercy Tools Bow Saw Line - 11ft. - Olive Green ($5.95) Temporarily Sold Out New Style!
 Gramercy Tools Bow Saw Line - 11ft. - Royal Blue ($5.95) In Stock New Style!
 Gramercy Tools Bow Saw Line - 11ft. - Bright Red ($5.95) In Stock New Style!
 Gramercy Tools Bow Saw Line - 11ft. - Gray ($5.95) In Stock New Style!
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  • Main
  • The Design of Bow Saws

A Gramercy Bow Saw Kit provides the parts and plans necessary to build one of the most useful tools in the hand-tool workshop. The tensioned, lightweight frame of the saw supports a narrow blade able to cut tight turns with precision. The control afforded by a 12" bow saw makes it an excellent choice for wasting dovetails, or sculptural work like roughing a cabriole leg.

Building a bow saw isn't difficult with the right hardware. The parts offered here are the same ones found on our award-winning Gramercy Tools 12" Bow Saw. Full measured drawings of the saw are free, and available for download even without the purchase of a kit. Additionally, we've published a great deal of our research into the design of tensioned frame, and turning saws, to aid in constructing your own customized saw.

The Gramercy Bow Saw Kit (literally) revolves around the precision machined brass pins that connect the frame to the handle. The hook of the pin allows blades to be switched, or threaded through a workpiece with minimal hassle. In addition to the hook, the blades have a 1/16" hole for mounting drilled blades. The blade slot of the pin is .030" wide, to accept a wide range of blades, including our own 12" bow saw blades, or coping saw blades. If you wish to use a thicker blade, grind the ends of the blade to fit.

The 1/4" shaft of the brass pins fits through the frame of the saw, allowing the blade to be turned a full 360 degrees. The tension of the frame and blade are supported by the 1/2" diameter shoulder of the pin. Behind the shoulder the pin is machined with grooves and a flat that create an interference fit when the handle is glued in place. Overall the pins are about 2 3/4" of which the front part of the shaft with the hook is 1 7/8" long, with a shaft Diameter of 1/4" and a shoulder diameter of 1/2".

We offer several kit options, from individual blades up to the full kit including Pins, Handles, and blades. Kits with blades include 10TPI, 16TPI, and 24TPI blades. To tension the frame you'll need a strong lightwight cord or string. Our bow saw line is the same stuff we use on our complete saws, but available in a range of colors for a final customized touch.

Plans, Design Documents, and General Instructions can be found here here

Replacement Blades are available separately - see the accessories and related link below. Likewise for the complete Gramercy Tools Bowsaw

Gramercy Bow Saw Pins, Handles and Blades are Made in the USA.
Bow Saw line is made in Japan and China.

The following primer is condensed from our more extensive documentation on the design of Bow saws which can be read in its entirety here. Follow the same link, and click "Construction notes, plans, and tips on use" to download measured drawings of our design for the Gramercy Bow Saw.

Any saw with a blade tensioned in a frame is generally referred to as a frame saw. To this day, European woodworkers use frame saws of around two feet long, with wide blades to do all their main cutting of boards. In the English and American traditions (after 1700 or so) woodworkers used handsaws for those tasks, and a narrow-tensioned blade in a frame saw only for cutting curves. These smaller saws are typically called either bow saws or turning saws.

The frame of a turning saw consists of a pair of mortised cheeks held apart by a tenoned cross-member called the stretcher. The hardware, or pins, hold the blade in the cheeks and also provide a mount for the handles. Finally, the tension on the blade is kept by a twisted cord, a Spanish windlass type of traction device kept from unwinding by the all-important toggle.

Early turning saws had very thin, almost spidery frames. The reason for this, of course, is that the weight of the frame will influence the cut. When you turn the saw in the cut, you want the entire saw frame to move, so that the blade stays straight in the frame. A beefy frame will cause the saw to feel top-heavy in use.

This brings us to the question of the wood. A turning saw can be made from almost any wood that can take a little tension, and we have seen saws made from Maple, Cherry, Walnut, and even a few exotics like cocobolo. However a lighter-weight wood is preferable because of the nimbleness factor outlined above. Our completed Gramercy Tools Bow Saws are made of American Hickory, because it is strong, flexible, and lightweight.

The design of the Gramercy Bow Saw captures what we believe to be the best aspects of 18th and early 19th century turning saws. It is a light weight and nimble tool, and represents what we would consider the optimum for a general purpose turning saw. Historically every trade used slightly different versions of the saw to meet their own specifications. We think you can have a lot of fun playing with the design and making a frame that suits your needs.

  
Customer Reviews:

Bow Saw Kit

By: Per Widing (Jul, 2015)

A great little kit, I fell for the beautiful shape, I've used the Swedish birch because it is strong and I had some left over from another project.
I own this product.I am the manufacturer of this product.

Bow Saw Kit

By: Waco Muse (Apr, 2015)

I got the pins and blades, and used the templates to make a saw out of Mahogany (because I had it on hand). I also used chain saw file handles for the handle and toe. The saw works great, and is now one of my favorite tools.
I own this product.

Bow Saw Kit

By: Bob Crigler (Feb, 2014)

I tried this kit on a whim and I am very impressed. I purchased the blades and the pins and made the rest. Just finished my second saw and love it. Buying four more kits to build as they will make wonderful gifts.
I own this product.

Bow saw kit

By: Ryan (Feb, 2014)

I really like how well the saw works; it's surprisingly light and the high blade tension makes it cut better than a coping saw. Keeping it together while Changing blades is a little fiddly, but no other complaints. Took about eight hours to make with hand tools, mine looks good, although rougher than the pictures (I used hickory too). The plans are clear, but not sized for 8x11 paper, so keep that in mind if you print them out at home.
I own this product.

One day bow saw

By: Ross (Sep, 2013)

A rare rainy day in southern New Mexico gave me the chance to convert a bow saw kit into a working saw. Selecting a cut-off curly maple board, and several hours of work resulted in a small bow saw to complement my old Marples. One thing I noted: the cross brace was 5/16" too long for the saw blades, so I shortened it 1/4" to make the joinery fit better. Saw works very well, and is attractive as well. This is a very satisfying day project.
I own this product.

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