Monday, October 26, 2009
Making A New Turning Saw - Part I
My "prototype" turning saw finally died. It was a quick and dirty project that was never intended to last. The original idea was to work out the bugs in the design, and then move on and make/use a nicer saw. It didn't end up that way. In fact the prototype was superior, and was my turning saw of choice over the years while the "nicer" saw hung on the wall.
Here's a shot of the DOA saw:
The epoxy that held the brass pin in the handle finally let go. I could just fix it, but as good as this little saw was (way better than you might guess from looking at it) I've been wanting to build that nicer saw that really works too. I though this was probably the time.
The new saw will be made of oak. I still have some left from the broken library chair episode. After making some cardboard templates, I traced the design onto the stock. I decided to make the handle convex where my hand will hold it, much like a panel saw handle, rather than the more standard concave bowsaw handle. I'm not sure if this will end up being a good idea or a bad idea. I'll know soon enough.
I prefer to do the mortising while the stock is still square. The setup is easy with the holdfasts. The big (giant!) mortise chisel and mallet do the grunt work and the smaller chisel is for cleaning out the chips and flattening the bottom:
The mortising sequence - start in the middle and work to one end (not quite to the layout line):
Back to the middle and work the other way:
Continue until the mortise is deep enough, then clean up the ends:
After laying out the tenons with the same gauge setting used for the mortises, I cut just outside the lines with a backsaw and trimmed with a shoulder plane to a snug fit.
Here's the saw so far - looking very chunky in its unshaped form:
In Part II I will shape the frame parts, make the blade assembly and create the tensioning system. After that, I'll try it out.
If history repeats itself, I'll be regluing the prototype in Part III.