I have neglected bringing this tool to the forefront.
Some years ago Joel of Tools for Working Wood (www.toolsforworkingwood.com) came out with a very special kit named under his brand name Gramercy the Gramercy 12″ Bow Saw Kit. It is an incredible kit and once you’ve made the saw you’ll find it works so beautifully in many cases you’ll reach for it well before you turn on the bandsaw. Even better. In my quest to restore woodworking for children, I find this tool indispensable for reestablishing a natural virtual danger free method for cutting projects hitherto left to tool techs and teachers in schools.
One key difference between conventional blades for bow saws is Joel’s primary innovative input. He took the conventional coping saw blade and increased its length to 12″. A simple step, but he was the one that thought it through and brought it to market. The other component parts are the brass turning pins that hold the blade and the brass inserts. When you input your personal design elements to the frame of the bow saw which you make from your wood of choice and customise it to you, you have a very personal and pleasing tool for a lifetime’s use. The blades last too, I’m still using mine after three years of use.
My son Joseph is a violinmaker and he uses his over and over and never uses the bandsaw for cutting out his violin and cello parts, which are quite complex shapes and because of size and shape can be tricky on a bandsaw. With the Gramercy 12″ Bow Saw Kit it is oh so simple and highly effective by hand.
Another thing while I have you. Making the bow saw is really a lot of fun, but more than that it helps me to keep plugging the real woodworking campaign. This type of simple innovative improvement means we can get young people back into the woodshop making real stuff and step outside the world of virtual unreality nothingness.