I'm a noob. I've just started reading Tage Frid's books, and he's saying get yourself a couple of good bow saws. Is he simply out of date (the books were published around '80)? Should I budget for a scroll saw or a band saw? I figure a 10" table saw and a router are required...
I figure I'll supplement my reading with Nahm Abram's books (or is that Norm??), so perhaps that'll be a bit more up to date?
Thanks for the insight...
BTW, I'll be looking to build furniture, quite possibly antique reproductions, with my new hobby. If that makes a difference.
I have a bandsaw and use it for many things that Tad says to use the bowsaw for. I also plan on getting a bowsaw at woodcraft in the next couple of weeks, but, just because I like doing hand work.
I don't think a noob should start with a bow saw. A bandsaw will give more consistant results and prevent the frustration that comes from trying to learn two things at once (how to cut with the bowsaw, and how to properly cut the joint).
I'm going to disagree with Mat, especially if you're serious about furniture and reproduction furniture. I've often said that hand skills transfer over to machine skills but beyond that they are definetly a prerequisite for fine furniture making.
Mr. Frid is not out of date in recomending a bow saw, it's the most used "hand saw" by European furniture makers, it's their basic saw. If you were an apprentice (I was fortunate enough to have apprenticed under an Italian) you wouldn't even touch a electrical powered tool in your first year. When I first started my appenticeship the first thing my teacher had me do was to make a tool kit, the second was my bench. Solid Maple (Sugar) entirely by hand, I mean from rough sawn stock where not one single electrical powered tool was used. In short any school on either side of the pond will emphasise hand tools, some require than you make your own planes.
In regard to the band saw; I know of many very successful furniture makers who don't even own a table saw, their main stationary piece of equipment is the band saw. I will also say that in furniture making the bench is the most important tool.
If I may, I'd also like to recommend that you obtain a copy of The Encyclopedia of Furniture Making by Ernest Joyce, it is still in print. My copy is a the first edition of the American printing and I've used it so much pages are falling out, it's my main reference.
I don't mean to hijack the thread, but what are you calling a bow saw? I thought that was a big coarse toothed saw used way back for felling trees.(Although we always called them buck saws, go figger!) Anyways....I guess the original question referred to something more like a coping saw. Any elucidation would be appreciated, since we're all here to learn.
A bow saw is a fairly large saw, nothing like a coping saw in size. It has two vertically oriented handles with a horizontal cross member between them, basically an "H" shape. The blade is attached to the uprights of the H near one end. The blade is tensioned by a stringer run between the other ends of the uprights. Rope or wire or two thin threaded rods with a threaded coupling pull the top ends of the uprights together, levering the blade ends apart, thus applying tension to the blade. It is a very useful saw in the shop and a rather faster cutting one than other handsaws.
While the pros have maintained the use of any number of hand tools such as saws and planes over the years, recognizing the handiness and usefulness even in a well equipped machine oriented shop, until fairly recently hobbyist woodworkers (other than the "neanderthals" and their 100% handtool work) relegated handtools to the basement, preferring to force their machines into performing tasks they were not originally designed to perform. Machines have a much shorter learning curve than do hand tools which require some level of practice. Recently, however, I have seen a lot more emphasis placed on the developement of hand tool skills in the hobbyist arena. There are many situations in the shop every day where a hand plane or saw is the better choice, and we, as hobbyists are finally relearning that.
Sawduster's description is the tool I was asking about. Since I'm a little cash-poor right now (damn tech industry!), I'll probably look to start with hand tools supplemented with a grinder for sharpening chisels (recommended by a friend).
I'm an ISTP in the Meyers Briggs test, which labels me an artisan, or tool user (which I consider myself in my current trade, software engineering, or code-monkeying as I've come to call it). So learning everything I can about the tools and how to employ them is in my nature. I was kind of hoping I'd hear what Danford had to say. Though I was afraid I might be deluding myself in today's 'power' world.
Anyway, I was looking for a 'first' project and the aforementioned suggestion of a toolbox first makes sense, followed by a bench. Someone else suggested starting with 4 1x8s @ 4ft and making a box, dovetailing the ends, then cutting the ends and repeating, thus honing that skill which seems to be pretty critical. Any suggestions on plans for the two items above? Good sources online?
Before that, I'll need to get a few tools. Any suggestions on good tool sources & reviews? woodcraft.com has a bow saw cheap (they also have a store nearby). woodjoytools.com has some old school stuff that looks useful. Just looking for ideas...
Instead of the first project being a tool box, why not a bowsaw. I'm sure there are some drawings etc on the net somewhere and it is not a difficult project. Then you could use your own shopmade bow saw to cut those 1X8s to make the tool box.
BTW In my experience of different woodworking forums on the net, I see a lot of folks in the code writing business. My own take on that is they want to extend their creativity into something they can hold in their hands for a change. That and lots of 'lectrical engineering types who, I guess, don't want to have to look through a 'lectron microscope to see the results of their creativity.
I like Jerry's idea of making a bow saw, then you can use it on your tool box. :7 You will want to get a spoke shave, which is good to have any who. You also might want to go [link:forums.woodworking.com/cgi-bin/dcforum/dcboard.pl?az=read_count&om=1139&forum=DCForumID4| here] for a tad more on hand saws. There is also a link in that discussion that takes you to a sight that will answer any questions you might have on the care and feeding of them.
While I am not aware of where to locate plans for a bow saw, I'm sure there out there, maybe a google search will yeild something for you. I made my first bow saw just by looking at one. I know Garrett Wade sells them and believe they still sell bow saw blades.
As to a source of tools; antique stores, flea markets, estate and garage sales, tool meets are always excellent. Even Ebay is a good source if you're careful, sometimes the bidding can get a little outrageous.
I don't put much stock in tool reviews, 'specially those in the more reknowned mags. I have found that Woodworker's Journal and Popular Woodworking to be the most unbiased. This forum is also an excellent source either by search or direct question. I tend to listen to folks who actually use 'em in the "real" world. FWIW.
Just yesterday, we used clamps after glue simply to take the bow out of the wood we were using, and it straightened everything out for us. Usually though, any time you lay up a project the clamps are...