Hand Tools

Subject:
This is the hand tool Forum *PIC*
Response To:
I fit that description... ()

Bill Tindall, E.Tn.
If one is logging or cutting cords of firewood a chain saw could be considered a must have tool. But for the occasional cutting of branches and small trees why are we not talking about bow saws of one kind or another? A bow saw will fill the need for an electric chain saw with the benefits of hand tools as a bonus. All the satisfaction of cutting a tenon by hand is to be replicated by breezing through a 6" limb with a sharp bow saw, or by swinging a sharp ax.

While the skills to wield a sharp ax may not be available, anyone that can saw a tenon or dovetail can use a bow saw skillfully. And they are much easier to sharpen than a 12 point saw. It was not uncommon not too many years ago the pulp logs were harvested with a larger bow saw, often called a Swede saw. It can't be argued that a bow saw is uselessly slow.

For decades I carried a small bow saw for cutting firewood when camping, and still do. Manning a remote Adirondack fire tower with my father I cut all the white birch wood used for cooking with a bow saw.

It can be more difficult today to get well made and designed blades for bow saws. I find the Sandvik to be best. For a frame it might be best to go antique for the old steel frames or the wood ones provide better blade support. Of make you own.

The large wooden frame saw and its steel frame companion are for large limbs and firewood. I have cut mountains of firewood with it.
The red handled saw is for camp firewood, pruning and small limbs. I use it a lot for trail maintenance when I am not using an ax. The smaller wood frame saw I am experimenting with making for a camp saw. A lighter weight version is used back backing.

With luck this post will inspire a hand tool enthusiast to eschew the electric saw and embrace hand saws.

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