Bow Saw - Model BS001

Stock Bow Saw

The materials used in our stock bow saw include Hickory (frame), Bubinga (knob) and Honduran Rosewood (toggle). Hickory is used for its strength while the latter two woods were chosen for their beauty, grain and contrast against the Hickory.

Use the link at the bottom of this article to download this information sheet.

Wood Care and Finish

The finish on the saw is hand rubbed Danish oil and as such is very easy to recoat in the future. Apply a coat of Danish oil, wait 25 to 30 minutes and wipe off with a soft cloth.

The Blades

There are three blades included with your saw. Each blade is 12” long and approximately 1/8” wide with 10, 16, or 24 tpi. The maximum depth of cut is 6”.

The slots in the pins are about 0.030" wide and if you choose to use a wider, thicker blade you may find that you need to grind the ends of your blade thinner or widen the slots with some folded sandpaper.

Tensioning and Over-Tensioning – READ CAREFULLY

I use 96 lb test braided nylon line to tension the saws. It's quite strong and doesn't stretch. I have pre-tied the line to the correct length. When you assemble the saw you will want to have four strands on each side of the toggle groove. I have also checked the saw under tension before shipping. This doesn't mean that you cannot break the saw. The first time you tension your saw, do it slowly, checking tension with each turn. The toggle design offers considerable leverage to tension your saw. Once you've reached sufficient tension for comfortable sawing, STOP. While it is always possible to over-tension and break a bow saw, a new saw is even more susceptible.

Do Not Rely on Toggle to Gauge Tension

This can be highly deceptive. I have found that tension on an identical pair of saws can be exactly the same, but moving the toggles can feel effortless or impossible depending on the thickness of the cord and the design of the toggle. The correct way to tell if your saw is properly tensioned is by using it. A properly tensioned saw will cut smoothly on the push stroke with very little give in the blade. However, no amount of tensioning will prevent a thin blade from twisting in the middle as you turn into a cut. To avoid twisting the blade when you saw a curve take long full strokes, and saw through the curve.

Bow Saws Take Time to Mature

To greatly increase the life of your saw, loosen it by one or two turns of the toggle when you are finished cutting. The cheeks will get a chance to rest and not become permanently bent. Over the first few weeks of using your saw you will get a feeling for the right amount of tension that works for you, the saw design, and your wood.