Thursday, October 29, 2009

Making A New Turning Saw - Part II

Well, I shouldn't have been so overly optimistic about how much I would get done in Part II. I did make some progress, but I'm no where near finished. What else is new?

I started on the stretcher: cutting the curve with my remaining turning saw (the one that was supposed to replace the prototype, but which I don't enjoy that much), truing the curve with a round sole spokeshave, removing the old finish with a jack plane, and beveling the edges with both round and flat sole spokeshaves. Here are a few shots of the results:

I didn't finish the arms of the frame, which Salaman refers to as "cheeks", but I did get them roughed out with the saw:

The inside curve was awkward, but I found a way to get at it. And sawing while kneeling on the floor was kinda fun...

And finally, here's a shot of the saw so far:

It's still a little chunky, and a bit on the heavy side, but I think the final shaping will take care of both of those problems.


  1. I made myself a saw a couple of years ago, but I never use it because I've yet to figure out the best blade to use. What blade do you use for your saw, and also what cordage do you use for tightening? I've tried various kinds of string and it always seems to break. I'm obviously not knowing what to look for.

    I'm curious to see how yours turns out. Good luck!


  2. AAAndrew - I use a length of 1/4 inch band saw blade; 14 tpi. I've experimented with different string, twine etc. and really it all seems to work. I think there are two tricks. First, wrap it loosely, but evenly, trying to have all the strands about the same length. Second, and I think this might be the key, I liberally apply my mineral oil and beeswax mix to the twine before tightening with the toggle stick. I think the lubrication allows the strands to slide over each other and self-adjust for a more evenly distributed tension. I used to break strings regularly until I started this practice; now they last for years of use.

  3. Dan,

    my 2 Cents!

    That curve on the end you were mentioning kneeling down and twisting and all.

    Wouldn't it been better to use a Fret Saw on that part of the curve? On the inside at least where there wasn't much Material to take off?

    The blade only being about 1/16th wide, should've whipped right around the corner and all, as far as being Square, well you'd have to work at that lol, but could've probably shaved it right off fairly easy.

    Good work so far, I'm diggin it, I'm looking forward to seeing the end result, I've always wanted a Bow Saw and even a Fret/Coping saw, maybe one of these days, after watching you, I may consider making my own.

    I just never figured out how to do the Handle to hold the blades, if there was something Special or what, so I'm looking forward to seein what you got!


  4. Handi - I'm not sure about a fret saw - I think the thickness of the oak might have been a problem - and I don't have one to test it out. Hmm. Sounds like an excuse to buy a tool! I could have used a coping saw, with the piece clamped down on the bench top with the end overhanging the edge of the bench. That way I could cut with the saw verticle -handle under the piece. But really, it wasn't hard with the turning saw once I oriented the piece so I would not have to cut upwards.

    I'm glad you are enjoying this project. I will be showing both my old way, and my new way (hope it works) to attach the blade in Part IV.

  5. Dan,

    my understanding a Fret Saw is basically the same as a Coping Saw. Both use the same style blades.


  6. Mineral oil and beeswax? Proportions? Is it melted together? I have a jar of mineral spirits, linseed oil and beeswax I use for a simple finish. Would that work? Hmm. And how do you apply it to the string?

    And as for the band saw blade, any particular tooth configuration? I don't know anything about bandsaws, so I get a little glassy-eyed at all the different variations.

    Nice job, and I can't wait to see it finished.

  7. Handi - I'm pretty sure the fret saw has even finer blades than the coping saw, and the blade might not be rotatable like the coping saw.

    AAAndrew - I was supposed to do a post on that subject a long time ago. Never happened. I will try again. In the meantime, proportions are about 50/50 and yes, melted together. It's the consistency of butter at room temperature, but melts instantly just from the heat of your hand. Smells fantastic!

    I'm not sure your mix would work - it needs to be non-drying to continue to lube the strands (at least that's my theory). I've also just used straight mineral oil successfully. Application is simple, I just put it on with my hands until it stops soaking in.

    I'll try to cover it in the next part - assuming I get that far...


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