Making a Bucksaw – Retrospective

At “Echoes in Time” Champoeg State Park, Oregon, USA 2014.

This is the prototype saw I used for teaching a bushcraft class at Echoes in Time in 2014.  Unfortunately, a split in the original wood spread last winter and I had to rebuild it.  Actually though, that is a beautiful thing when you can make your own tools.  I didn’t spend any abstract money for a new one, I didn’t have to trow away some sort of useless and polluting garbage, and I could readily improve the design based on several year’s use and observation.  I’ve sold about 20 of these now so the pattern is firmly ingrained in my brain and sinews while tweaking each batch to make them more pleasing to use and efficient to make. without losing the aesthetic of this ancient design.

Saw ready for assembly.

It has been a very successful class for me at both Winter Count and Rabbitstick over the years and I’ve honed the teaching so that each student can really get them most out of it.  Not only is there basic shaping and carving, but also learning to make a simple blind mortise and tenon joint, drill holes by hand-power, and think about design options.  I hope to be teaching this one-day class again soon as it is a great introduction to hand woodworking  while building a manageable and extremely useful tool.

Assortment of cordless tools used in class.

Packable Frame Saw

Coming soon to the blog; New plans for a packable frame saw.

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In the mean time, check out the link to my older post about making a frame saw from 5 years ago.

Click the image to see the previous bucksaw build.

Making a frame saw

These are nearly the same type I make.  A frame saw is a useful and simple introduction to woodworking and tool-making.  If you are interested in woodworking, Paul Seller’s blog has a lot to offer.


From Paul Seller’s:

If you have not yet made one of these you should. They are quick and simple to make and give you the European push and pull stroke saw in a single saw which is useful depending on where you want to…

Source: Making a frame saw

Frame saws

The frame saw.  Virtually every house in North America contained one of these prior to oil and gas heat.

The frame saw. Virtually every house in North America contained one of these prior to oil and gas heat.

Advertisement from 1913.

These saws are an excellent and handy way to cross-cut large logs quickly.  the design is over 2,500 years old solving the problem of keeping a stiff blade with a minimum amount of metal.  This style come in at about 4 1/2 pounds giving enough heft to aid in cutting.  Teeth cut both ways and the blades tend to be made from excellent steel.  Perfect for re-use if you can find one mouldering in the corner of a flea market.  I picked on up several years ago in “like new” condition and it has given great service ever since.  Limbs can be simply replaced if they become rotted or otherwise damaged.  These are the chainsaws of our forebears.