Handmade Windsor Chairmaker's Bowsaw

Handmade Windsor Chairmaker's Bowsaw

I have always enjoyed using hand tools and occasionally I’ll decide to try my hand at making my own tools. Here is my first Windsor chair maker’s bowsaw. My design reflects the work of J. Crate Larkin who was published in Fine Woodworking Magazine issue #151. However, I incorporated a number of modifications concerning saw size, handle and blade assembly aspects. This bowsaw project gave me an excuse to work with tiger maple, 3/8″ brass rod, copper end caps, and to salvage some maple scraps from turning Windsor chair legs. In contrast with Larkin’s saw, I scaled this design up for use in Windsor chair making work. My saw sports a 27 1/2 inch long blade which is narrow (3/8 inch wide). This is designed for cutting curves. Occasionally, Barb and I do demonstrations at the General Herkimer Home Historical site in Little Falls, NY, and this will be used to cut chair seats. Since this is my prototype, I’ll incorporate some refinements in any subsequent saws. Hopefully, I’ll offer some for sale in the near future for those who appreciate quality and beauty in a hand made woodworking tool. This saw works great in my hand and is a beautiful tool to hang on the wall until it is needed the next time.

bowsaw arm/handle detail

bowsaw arm/handle detail

bowsaw arm angle view

bowsaw arm angle view


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