Bow Saws

Bow saws

A crosscut saw has to be used by two men, because it has to be pulled -- if you push, it buckles and sticks. But if you had a frame built around a light, thin saw blade you could push as well as pull. The original model was probably the bucksaw, with a wooden frame to keep the blade in tension. Earlier this century, though, metal frame saws were imported from Sweden (which is why some still call them "Swede saws"). A crosscut saw has a belly in the blade so that all teeth are not trying to cut at once; a bow saw was rocked in the cut to get the same effect. The saws shown here are small; firewood saws, really. The standard saw for pulp cutters had a 42 inch blade. Since the frame was larger, it was 48 inches overall, and was used to measure the standard 4-foot pulpwood bolt.

- - Updated 02/04/2013
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- - Updated 03/23/2008