Monday, March 24, 2014


Since my last blog post, I have been getting a fair amount of shop time in.  I have been mainly working on a few finishing touches of my FORP bench and getting ready for the next big projects.  I wasn't sure what that project was going to be, until recently; My wife and I decided to remodel our home office.

This is the second time we have remodeled this room since we have lived in this house, almost 9 years.  The first time we remodeled it worked pretty well for what we needed it for.  Me, I was playing a lot of video games on my side and my wife would do whatever she wanted to on her side.  We each had our own space and it worked OK.  Now, I don't play games much any more as I would rather be in the shop.  And my wife wants a better set up for writing (she is working to become a novelist).  So last week I tore into the office, re-configuring the cabinet layout and prepping for this week.  This week I am on vacation and my plan is to get as much done as possible on this remodel.  I have a lot to do, but I also have a week of vacation to work on it.

The room remodel comes first, but then comes the fun part.  My wife is expecting a new writing table to put in the middle of the home office.  I don't want to call it a desk, because she wants it simple, with no drawers or fancy do dads, just a simple table with ample space to spread out her work.  I have been wanting to do some curves lately, so the idea I have swimming around my skull a trestle table of sorts with lots of curves.  I'll do a blog along for that project and post the concept drawings as well.  But the point I am getting at right now  is the curves.  I will be cutting some big parts for this table and it will have lots of curves.  I do not own a bandsaw.  So, I decided to pick up the Gramercy bow saw kit from toolsforwoodworking.com to cut the curves.

Now, the wood for this saw is somewhat special.  If you don't remember, back in July I was part of the FORP down in Georgia.  If you are new to this blog, go back to July of last year and read those blog posts about that project, it was great fun!  My bench slab was originally about 10 feet long, but it had a massive check on one end.  The split was wide enough to see completely through the slab.  I decided to cut the length down to about 9 feet long, maybe slightly less.  You can see me cutting off the checked end in this picture below.  But I didn't discard those cut offs, I kept them and decided that I was going to make some hand tools out of that wood.  What is cooler than working on a bench made out of 250 year old Oak?  Well, using hand tools made out of the same 250 year old Oak on the bench.

So a few weeks ago I took one of those chunks of Oak and milled it down into blanks of smaller sizes for various tools I wish to make.  This bow saw will be one of the first tools from that wood.

I didn't take any photos of the build, but it was pretty straight forward.  I downloaded the plans from toolsforworkingwood.com and built to their specs.  The kit includes the handles and blades as well.  Here is the finished saw.  I still have some final sanding and smoothing as I found a few rough areas.  For the finish, I wiped on a couple quick coats of shellac.

The maiden cut was a success.  This is the roughest blade in the set, but it still cut pretty tight curves.  I was worried about using Oak for this bow saw and if it would be able to take the tension, but so far it seems to be handling it pretty well.  We will see how it goes.

The finished cut.  I was just playing and getting the tension right, so its just some squiggles in some pine scrap.  Overall I am quite pleased and it seems to be working out as expected.  This should work out well with the table project coming up soon.  Again, I will do a thorough blog post of that build, so stay tuned.

Thanks for looking!