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Thread: 12" Bow Saw

  1. #1
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    12" Bow Saw

    I've many posts praising the TFWW bow saw. Of all the turning saws on the market and that includes the Knew Concepts saws the !2" bow saw is the best of the lot. Full disclosure: While I do not have nor have tried all the Knew Concepts saws I have a couple and while nice they do not hold a candle to the TFWW 12" bow saw. For a couple of reasons, the first is simply a 12" saw will cut faster than a 6" or even a 8" saw. The second is the TFWW saw blades. They are thinner than a coping saw blade and will fit the kerf of a Japanese pull saw as will a fret saw blade. The differences between the TFWW blade and the fret saw blade are two things, first fret saws are slower than xmas and fret saw blades break. In the years I've used the 12" bow saw I've never broken a blade. Faster than either a coping saw or fret saw, turns as easily as either, the saw blades do not break, and cheaper than many of the Knew Concepts saws. What's not to like.


    TFWW 12" bow saw with saw kit:

    12InchTurningSaw.jpg


    I was looking around for a small project to piddle with when Mike S. posted his bow saw build and thought "self you could use a second bow saw so one could have a fine tooth blade and the other course tooth just like Mike". While not a done deal, I should have a second bow saw soon. Photos of the build to follow.

    ken

  2. #2
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    Amazing what one can cobble together...right?
    crosscut.jpg
    3 bits of Maple, 5/16" All thread, a couple wing nuts...and the blade and hardware from an old Butcher's Meat saw..
    folded end.jpg
    IMG_2428 (640x480).jpg
    Blade length is 18", 9ppi...
    wingnut.jpg

  3. #3
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    Ken, I've always wondered about those saws and specifically how you hold it in a way that keeps running straight. Does the side away from the blade (the side with the tension device) tend to fall to one side. A fret or coping saw seems like it would have much less weight and leverage pulling the saw to one side or the other.- Perhaps another way to ask this question is: how do you keep it stable? Thanks. -Howard

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howard Pollack View Post
    Ken, I've always wondered about those saws and specifically how you hold it in a way that keeps running straight. Does the side away from the blade (the side with the tension device) tend to fall to one side. A fret or coping saw seems like it would have much less weight and leverage pulling the saw to one side or the other.- Perhaps another way to ask this question is: how do you keep it stable? Thanks. -Howard
    Howard,

    My best answer is there has never been a problem with keeping it running straight or stable and I never think about it. sorry to not be more specific but it is a non issue. About the most you need to do is set the blade so the work and frame do not interfere with each other.

    ken

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by steven c newman View Post
    Amazing what one can cobble together...right?
    crosscut.jpg
    3 bits of Maple, 5/16" All thread, a couple wing nuts...and the blade and hardware from an old Butcher's Meat saw..
    folded end.jpg
    IMG_2428 (640x480).jpg
    Blade length is 18", 9ppi...
    wingnut.jpg
    Steve,

    You are always thinking,

    ken

  6. #6
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    Ken, awesome, I'm glad to see you got the kit and are ready to go! They're so much fun to build! Looking forward to seeing the the build in progress.

    Steve, very nice saw.

    And Howard, they're pretty well balanced and ultimately pretty light. If you hold it with a pistol grip (with your index finger on the frame), it tracks very intuitively. Ultimately, I agree with Ken. It's much nicer to use than a fret or coping saw for most uses (I haven't coped trim with it yet ) But for things like wasting dovetails, or cutting sharp curves in thicker stock (I cut the corner round on one side of the moxon replacement I built last weekend with it.. it was slow in 8/4 maple, and ultimately I did the other wide with a chisel and a spokeshave) it's really much faster, and so a whole lot easier. I'm sold.
    ~mike

    scope creep

  7. #7
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    Thanks to Ken and Mike for the information. -Howard

  8. #8
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    I have this one:
    2020-10-10 21.30.28.jpg

    I tied using it on dovetail waste, but I couldn't get it to actually make the turn out of the dovetail saw kerf. Wonder what is different between this one and the TWFF you guys are talking about.
    I want to like this tool... I just haven't had much luck with it yet.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erich Weidner View Post
    I have this one:


    I tied using it on dovetail waste, but I couldn't get it to actually make the turn out of the dovetail saw kerf. Wonder what is different between this one and the TWFF you guys are talking about.
    I want to like this tool... I just haven't had much luck with it yet.
    Erich,

    I'm not sure but your blade looks too wide for a turning saw. Order some 12" blades from TFWW, they come in IIRC three tooth counts, basically fine, med, and course. Once you have a thin blade it will turn much like a coping or fret saw. while making a sawing motion apply pressure in the direction you want the kirf to go. Piece of cake or as my English not a first language clients would say it's a sheet of cake.

    ken

    P.S. Go look at the image I posted with this thread of the TFWW saw and click it to make it big and look at the difference in width of the blade vs. your blade.
    Last edited by ken hatch; 10-11-2020 at 12:13 AM.

  10. #10
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    I've both Beech and Hickory in the shop and have gone back and forth on which to use. I may end up making one from each wood, today I'm working with a Hickory blank. I'm sure there are a dozen ways to start but my first step is to drill the pin holes while things are still square.

    drillingPinHole.jpg

    The next step will be roughing out the shape with the band saw then refining it with a draw knife, spoke shaves, and rasps. While not necessary a shave horse is handy.

    ken

  11. #11
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    Ken, I have the Olson fret saw with 5 tpi skip tooth blades from lee valley. It is a bit slow.
    When you build and send me a bow saw I will compare and share my thoughts. Much thanks.






  12. #12
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    For those that would prefer a video...years ago ( David Weaver Era) there was a series of videos from China....."Traditional Chinese Woodworking" I think was the site....In it, a fellow would show how he made various tools and joints. A few handplanes....but, IF you look around in his shop...you would see racks of Frame saws...I think the count was around...50? In a 3 part video, he shows HOW he makes those saws.

    Start to finish, joints, wood, hardware...and something he called a Watch Spring Blade.....He also showed how to sharpen and set the teeth....and even a test drive....might be worth the Google?

    The saw I made is patterned from that video......bad part? It is in Mandarin....I think they may have added cc to them, by now....

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Johnson View Post
    Ken, I have the Olson fret saw with 5 tpi skip tooth blades from lee valley. It is a bit slow.
    When you build and send me a bow saw I will compare and share my thoughts. Much thanks.





    Nathan,

    I'll get right on it .

    I have a Olson as well, a good coping saw and faster than a fret saw but still slow.

    ken

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by steven c newman View Post
    For those that would prefer a video...years ago ( David Weaver Era) there was a series of videos from China....."Traditional Chinese Woodworking" I think was the site....In it, a fellow would show how he made various tools and joints. A few handplanes....but, IF you look around in his shop...you would see racks of Frame saws...I think the count was around...50? In a 3 part video, he shows HOW he makes those saws.

    Start to finish, joints, wood, hardware...and something he called a Watch Spring Blade.....He also showed how to sharpen and set the teeth....and even a test drive....might be worth the Google?

    The saw I made is patterned from that video......bad part? It is in Mandarin....I think they may have added cc to them, by now....
    Steve,

    I'll look for the video,

    ken

  15. #15
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    Shaping the arms, first rough cut with the band saw, the draw knife followed by spoke shave, and now rasps. They are starting to look like bow saw arms.

    shapingSawArm.jpg

    ken

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