Cool Bow Saw

A bow saw is a handy tool to have around. There are so many operations they can perform that it makes them an almost indispensable tool.

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Bill Anderson has been teaching a class at the  Woodwright’s School for several years on making an elegant little bow saw he calls the Howarth bow saw. It is patterned off an original saw Bill found at a tool sale.

If you have ever taken a class from Bill you know he is a guy who likes details. He even took some of the parts of the original saw to his local veterinarian’s office and had X-rays taken to see how they were made. If I walked into my vet’s office with saw parts wanting X-rays taken it would be me they want to do the X-rays on. Bill though, he makes it happen.

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Bill, in conjunction with Josh Farnsworth at Wood and Shop, have released a new DVD called “Building the Historic Howarth Bow Saw”. It is an excellent, very detailed video on how to reproduce this very shapely saw.

— Will Myers

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11 Responses to Cool Bow Saw

  1. Rachael Boyd says:

    I made mine a couple years ago and I do use it a fair amount. it’s more of a 12 in. coping saw but you can do some fancy work with it. I even turned the brass my self. it is no were close to as nice as his..

  2. I built my Howarth under Bill’s tutelage on site at Roy’s school earlier this year, and can promise anyone interested in this DVD that you will cherish your completed saw almost as much as you will the opportunity to have learned to build it from him. He is a remarkable teacher and a true gentleman.

  3. Lignarium says:

    Nice one!! Thanks Will. I purchase the download of the Portable Moravian Workbench sometime ago. Amazing tutorial. Will you have the download option for this video in the near future? Also, does anyone know of any plans or video to reproduce an 19th Century English wooden Brace with brass inserts? Cheers

    • Hi Lignarium, I’m currently working on a secure digital purchasing system for all the Wood and Shop videos. No plans to do a wooden brace video, but I’ll keep it in mind! Glad you enjoyed the Moravian Workbench video!

  4. wb8nbs says:

    I’ve watched the Woodwright’s episode on that saw. Is there a source for the metal parts?

  5. billrusnak says:

    Should be a great video. Is that what Bill looks like under the beard????

  6. Ryan Cheney says:

    Tools for Working Wood sells a bow saw hardware kit as well as plans for making one. Obviously, not as much guidance is to be expected from paper plans as in a DVD, and the design isn’t quite as nifty. Nevertheless, I love mine and it has been an essential part of my work for the last four years or so, given that I don’t own a bandsaw (yet… Someday maybe). I have the fret saw for the tight intracate stuff, the carpenter’s hatchet and compass plane for the long sweeping stuff, and the bow saw for everything in between. Good tool to have!

  7. Scott Taylor says:

    I stared using the bow saw after taking a couple of Tage Frid’s workshops decades ago. Filed and tensioned properly they rival any backsaw for dovetails or other joinery. I love my Bad Axe saws but in truth the wide bladed bow saw is just as effective.

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