Bow Saws

I have been working on developing a seminar at Lee Valley Tools to make a pair of sawhorses based on the ones I made for my own shop. The idea we came up with was to make one horse using power tools and the other with hand tools. That would give seminar participants good practice at cutting the joinery both ways and provide valuable insight as to how much (or little) the two methods differ as well as which they prefer. It will be interesting to see the time difference between using hand and power tools.

With machines, as always, set-up is the big consumer of time.We’d figured out how to make the horses by machine – simple. It wasn’t difficult to figure out how to cut the joints by hand either, but what stumped me was how to cut the relief on the underside of the foot. By machine, the bandsaw or jigsaw was the obvious choice, with a router and template if we were concerned with absolute uniformity (which I am not).

But by hand… I thought about using a large gouge or drawknife, then finishing with a spokeshave. But that seemed inefficient. A coping saw was too small. A drill could cut the radius at either end, but to connect the two… I suppose that a stair saw or flooring saw, either of which could start a cut in the middle of a board, would work, but again, less than ideal.

What we need is a large, heavy-duty coping saw. As in, a bow saw. Now, Lee Valley does not carry a bow saw, but I’ve been itching to make one for years. Here’s my chance – the perfect excuse! While doing some preliminary research, I rediscovered one of my favourite woodworking videos. It’s educational, interesting, not long enough to be boring, and just plain fun to watch. Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to introduce to you… Frank Klausz!

I am unable to embed the video here, so please click HERE
to view the video.

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