I’ve seen a few nice handmade bucksaws on the internet recently and decided I’d make one.
I used a 21″ blade from an ugly metal commercial bucksaw as the basis of my saw. I had a small piece of ash that just yielded the frame parts I needed. I chose maple for the tensioning toggle because it is dense and strong and I had some thin scrap laying around from paddle making. I used some leather cord for the tensioning string.
The milling of the wooden parts was was quite straight forward with the design’s simple straight lines. The longest time was taken trying to decide how to make the blade mounts. I had several ideas, but the most straight forward seemed to be just to tap the handles to take a hex socket cap screw. The screws are easily tightened and loosened by hand, and even without using a hex key are quite secure when the blade is under tension. The crossbar is attached to the handle pieces with blind mortise and tenon joints which were quite fun to cut. The lower grip saw kerf (made by the bandsaw but only the top portion of which is needed to hold the bucksaw blade) is filled with a 3/32 inch strip of cedar which provides a nice accent (visible in the bottom of the close-up photo of the grip).
The upper and lower grips of the long handle are wrapped with rawhide cord using what The Ashley Book of Knots terms common whipping. This is the first time I have used rawhide on a project and am glad to have added it to my repertoire. (I bought some more ash to make a pair of wood and rawhide snowshoes!)
The maple toggle was simply decorated with a wood burning pen. All the wood parts are finished with linseed oil. The leather tensioning cord is coated with beeswax (for improved weatherproofness) and tied into a loop using the double fishermen’s knot. The rawhide handles are sealed with three coats of Helmsman’s spar urethane.
The saw quickly and easily breaks down into a small, light package. I have some raw canvas that I am going to dye and which I will use to make a storage roll for the bucksaw. I’ll post pictures of the broken down saw and tool roll after it is complete.