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David Gardner
(GardnerOutdoorLD) - M

Locale: Northern California
Ultralight Saws on 11/24/2013 16:17:24 MST Print View

After being inspired by a thread started by Ross Bleakney, who was looking for a folding saw around 4 ounces (http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/xdpy/forum_thread/84231/index.html), I wanted to start a thread on ultralight saws in general. I'm interested in what other people use and/or have made and their experience with them, good or bad.

For the purposes of this thread, I suggest the following definitions:

"Ultralight" for a folding or fixed blade saw is anything under 6 ounces.
"Ultralight" for a bow saw is anything under 12 ounces.

I've used and made a few now, with the following results.

Folding Camp Saws

I have a Gerber folding saw (apparently discontinued) that I have used for years on trips where wood burning is permitted. 3.1 oz, 5.25" blade length. Chain saw style teeth that cut on the pull stroke. Quite effective for such a small saw. Cut through a scrap 4 x 4 from my wood pile in 2.5 minutes.Gerber

Reciprocating Saw Blades

David Thomas posted some info and photos in the other thread showing several saws, including two he made by modifying existing saw blades. One from a piece of band saw blade, and another fashioned from a reciprocating saw blade. I bought a couple of aggressive looking reciprocating saw blades and ground finger cut outs to make handles. One cuts in both directions (7" blade, 1.7 oz with red oak handle), and one cuts on the pull stroke (8" blade, 2.3 oz, Plasti-Dip handle). Nice and light, but not very effective. The fat blades have a wide kerf, which requires cutting a lot of wood. I tried cutting that scrap 4 x 4 from my wood pile, but gave up after five minutes when my arm got tired and I was less than half way through.1.7 oz

2.3 oz

Pruning Saw Blades

Next I modified a fixed blade from a pruning saw. Nice chisel point teeth that cut on the pull stroke ("Japanese" style blade). Ground a hand grip into the base and coated it with Plasti-Dip. Because of the shape of the blade I started with, the handle is parallel with the blade. 11.5" of teeth, 4.1 oz with several lightening holes drilled in it. Cut through the same 4 x 4 in 1.5 minutes.11.5

Then I modified a wider fixed blade from a different pruning saw. The wider blade gave me room to grind the handle at an angle, which made a huge difference in its effectiveness. Cut through that 4 x 4 in 45 seconds. 10.5" of teeth, 4.1 oz, no lightening holes yet. When I get the lightening holes drilled I'm pretty sure I'll be able to shave off .1 - .3 oz. (I'm waiting to drill the lightening holes until a drill bit sharpener is delivered, having burned through three cobalt bits to drill seven holes through the previous pruning saw blade.)10.5

compared

I have ordered another fixed pruning saw blade which is even wider, so I can grind the handle at more of an angle. Will post photos and info when I get it done.

Bow Saws

I have not used a bow saw on camping trips previously because of their weight. There are several available now that weigh around a pound. Sven and Sawvivor are two. Steve at Suluk46 made a prototype 12" bow saw that weighs less than 3 oz (http://www.suluk46.com/RandD%20-%20RD32%20Ultralight%20Carbon%20Fiber%20Buck%20Saw.html), but it is not available for sale at this time.

I am currently also working on a couple of bow saws. One uses a 12" blade and the other uses a 24" blade. I'm making them from carbon fiber tubes cannibalized from fishing poles and golf club shafts, with reinforcements made from aluminum tubing at the hard points (where the blade attaches and where the tubes join). Below is a picture of my progress on the 24" saw. Will post photos and info when completed.24 inch bow saw

Edited by GardnerOutdoorLD on 11/24/2013 16:20:15 MST.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Ultralight Saws on 11/24/2013 17:21:24 MST Print View

Wouldn't the pressure created to keep the blade stiff put too much lateral pressure on the carbon and snap it. I'm prolly saying things wrong.

I'll be interested to see what your testing shows. Good idea... I just wonder

David Gardner
(GardnerOutdoorLD) - M

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Ultralight Saws on 11/24/2013 18:05:31 MST Print View

After snapping two prototypes of the bow saw at the joint I have heavily reinforced the longer tube that inserts into the shorter handle tube. Internally it has a thin steel tube with a solid fiberglass plug about 4" long. And the longer tube is actually two tubes, one epoxied over the other. I have loaded it with over 50 lbs. of force along the axis of the blade and it has held up so far. If I can't get the 24" blade tight enough to work I will try a 21" blade by reducing the length of the handle and making the angle between the blade and the long tube more acute, so that more of the force from tensioning the blade will be compressive down the tube instead of bending at a right angle at the joint:modified bow saw

Jeff Jeff
(TwoFortyJeff) - F
Re: Re: Ultralight Saws on 11/24/2013 18:13:00 MST Print View

The engineering terms are "tension" and "bending moment."

David Gardner
(GardnerOutdoorLD) - M

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Re: Ultralight Saws on 11/24/2013 18:26:31 MST Print View

Tension would be pulling the long tube away from the handle. Compression is pushing the long tube into the handle. Tension on the blade will compress the long tube into the handle. The smaller the angle between the blade and the long tube the more the tension of the blade will translate to compression instead of bending moment on the long tube.

Delmar O'Donnell
(Bolster)

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Interesting on 11/24/2013 20:22:35 MST Print View

Very interested in your UL saw experiments. Watching with anticipation. Where are you finding aluminum and steel tubing of just exactly the right ID and OD? Good find. Is there any way of making the connection point between the two tubes, a metal-to-metal connection point, perhaps of aluminum?

Also: when grinding those pruning-style pull saws, tell me you have wrapped the blade in a wet towel before you grind. It will help you keep the blade's temper during grinding.

Edited by Bolster on 11/24/2013 20:30:07 MST.

David Gardner
(GardnerOutdoorLD) - M

Locale: Northern California
Re: Interesting on 11/24/2013 20:50:44 MST Print View

Delmar, I will be sure to post my results. It may be a few weeks till I'm able to machine the aluminum fitting for the butt end of the handle and the tensioning screw.

Finding the right size aluminum and steel tubing has been a matter of some luck and some reverse engineering: I use standard 1/2" and 3/4" aluminum tubing and cut the tapered fishing pole and golf shaft to fit. There was about 6" of tapered steel tubing at the end of the particular golf shaft I cannibalized, and the fiberglass plug was from the fishing pole, both of which happened to be the right size. There has also been some hand work slightly enlarging inside diameters where things were too tight, and copious amounts of epoxy where things were a little too loose.

I thought about trying metal-to-metal at the joint but I would have needed to use 5/8" aluminum tube for the inserting end of the long carbon tube and, given the 3/4" size of the aluminum tube I used for the receiving part of the joint, there wouldn't have been enough metal left if I enlarged the hole through it to receive the 5/8" tube. If this design doesn't work, I have my eye on a beefier salt water fishing pole with larger diameters than the one I happened to have at hand, which would let me up-size all of the aluminum tubes.

Good to know about the wet towel. I will do that going forward. Fortunately I don't think the blades got too hot, as I was able to hold them about 1"-2" from the spot I was grinding, and when it got too hot for that I air-cooled the blade with the breeze coming off the adjacent 6" wire brush wheel.

Delmar O'Donnell
(Bolster)

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Fabulous Fabrication on 11/24/2013 22:52:46 MST Print View

You're doing a heck of an amazing fabrication job, given you're not using a lathe or a mill!

I recently ordered a custom small Sawvivor that can take 12" hacksaw blades, and it arrived sized wrong (close, but would not take the standard hack blade). So I had to do a bunch of customized machining to get it to work, but now it's the bee's knees; can cut metal, woodwork (fine) or pruning (rough), given the correct blade. And very light for its skillset.

While working on (and with) the saw, I really grew to appreciate the articulated setup of the hinges. Your nesting design is better for space savings and weight, but have a look at the Sawvivor hinge anyway; it's a thing of beauty, very stout. Maybe a nudge to get you thinking about square joints rather than round ones.

If I were fabbing your saw, I'd certainly try to sleeve all the ends. Regarding the corner connection, perhaps with a "tongue and groove" type fitting would work well. The "tongue" can be thinned out in one dimension so it doesn't get so thick, (rectanglish,) and might uncomplicate the "round into round" issue you're having. On the downside, that would require a square hole to fit into, which would require broaching if you didn't find some other workaround.

I don't have problems with pinned or screwed connections. People generally denigrate them, because then you have a pin or screw you can lose, rendering your saw into spare parts. That's true, but, this is BPL, where you must behave thoughtfully. I don't mind screw together field equipment.

Ed Biermann
(longstride) - F
Re: Ultralight Saws on 11/24/2013 23:32:01 MST Print View

Sheath? Especially for those pruning saw blades.

Weight of said sheath will be?

Buck saw.. http://www.qiwiz.net/saws.html

Edited by longstride on 11/24/2013 23:38:37 MST.

David Gardner
(GardnerOutdoorLD) - M

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Ultralight Saws on 11/25/2013 08:57:47 MST Print View

For the pruning saw blade sheaths I use a combination of a report binder spine over the teeth, and thick card stock paper with duct tape reinforcement at the edges. Weight is .7 oz for both.

For the bow saw I use two report binder spines over the teeth and a couple of "hair scrunchy" rubber bands to hold them in place, then everything goes in a long, slender cloth pouch I cannibalized from a tenkara fishing rig. Weight is .8 oz.

Those buck saws are awesome! 3.95 oz for 15" and 8.8 oz for 24". That is ultralight. I'm curious how the blade is connected. The picture on the web site is fuzzy, but it looks like a loop or loops of wire. Do you know?

Now I have a weight goals for my bow saws. Thanks for the link.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Re: Ultralight Saws on 11/25/2013 09:02:07 MST Print View

"The picture on the web site is fuzzy, but it looks like a loop or loops of wire. Do you know?"

Split-rings.

Watch the video.

Edited by greg23 on 11/25/2013 09:07:22 MST.

Ed Biermann
(longstride) - F
Re: Ultralight Saws on 11/25/2013 09:12:56 MST Print View

I'm not going to give the answer away. I suggest you buy one and support another BPLr. The saw works great.

David Gardner
(GardnerOutdoorLD) - M

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Ultralight Saws on 11/25/2013 09:16:37 MST Print View

Full disclosure, and a good price too.

Art Tyszka
(arttyszka) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Little Buck on 11/25/2013 09:23:19 MST Print View

I have the Little Buck and can confirm that it's a very nice and useful saw. T It's pretty secure once all tightened up and I've cut through 6" branches with it before, just need to be careful not to stress it too much while sawing. I agree on supporting a fellow BPL'r.

I can re-weigh mine tonight, but my spreadsheet says 5.0 oz (with the tyvek envelope) so it's a bit heavier than what the site lists it at. You do have to have a way to cover the blade when it's in your pack, the envelope works well but there are likely lighter ways to do it.

Edited by arttyszka on 11/25/2013 09:27:00 MST.

Daniel Goldenberg
(dag4643)

Locale: Pacific Northwet
Re: Ultralight Saws on 11/25/2013 09:25:34 MST Print View

Just carry the blade and use green wood for the bow:
http://www.raymears.com/Bushcraft_Product/791-Bahco-23-24-Raker-Tooth-Hard-Point-Bowsaw-Blade-24-inch/

Edited by dag4643 on 11/25/2013 09:26:08 MST.

And E
(LunchANDYnner) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
saws straws on 11/25/2013 09:25:45 MST Print View

I keep reading this as "ultralight straws" and think, seriously? Might as well shave some weight by shaving your head/all body hair.

Haha.

Are wire saws any good? I bought one for a buck on STP just to have around, buy have never used it.

Edited by LunchANDYnner on 11/25/2013 13:07:41 MST.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: saws straws on 11/25/2013 09:31:41 MST Print View

"Are wire saws any good?"

Depends on the wood.

Dry is ok.

Wet not so much.


Got a Lot of time and strength?

David Gardner
(GardnerOutdoorLD) - M

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Ultralight Saws on 11/25/2013 09:35:50 MST Print View

I like the blade-only-green-wood idea, but how do you cut the piece of green wood from the tree and the blade mounting slots in the end? I guess this would be a LNT (Leave No Trace) no-no.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Haircuts and woodcuts on 11/25/2013 10:51:31 MST Print View

>"Might add well shave some weight by shaving your head/all body hair."

Voyager, the first around-the-world, without-refueling flight gained 11 miles of range because Jeana Yeager cut her waist-length to shoulder length beforehand.

>"Are wire saws any good? I bought one for a buck on STP just to have around, buy have never used it."

If there's something you HAVE to cut - a stick to the right height for a tarp pole or split, an arm pinning under a boulder, . . . they're good for that. If I was going to be making dozens or hundreds of cuts because my primary stove was wood-fueled, then I'd want something else.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: Ultralight Saws on 11/25/2013 11:14:58 MST Print View

"Just carry the blade and use green wood for the bow:
http://www.raymears.com/Bushcraft_Product/791-Bahco-23-24-Raker-Tooth-Hard-Point-Bowsaw-Blade-24-inch/"

That is more difficult than it sounds and it takes time. It's a skill worth knowing and trying out but not a practical way to save weight.

Derrick White
(miku) - MLife

Locale: Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada
10.5 Pruning Blade on 11/25/2013 12:26:39 MST Print View

David,

Do you mind if I ask which pruning saw from which the 10.5 blade came from? Do you have any plans to sell any of these?

Thanks

Derrick

David Gardner
(GardnerOutdoorLD) - M

Locale: Northern California
Re: 10.5 Pruning Blade on 11/25/2013 12:36:47 MST Print View

Derrick,

I got the 10.5" saw blade from a generic hand-held pruning saw at Orchard Supply Hardware. The 15" blade I'm waiting to receive is a replacement blade Fiskars 9333 that I ordered from Amazon for $10.55.

I do think I will sell the saws, once I have perfected them. The lightening holes are a PITA to drill, and dull even cobalt bits after just a few holes, but I have Drill Doctor on the way to resharpen the bits frequently. I also intend to try grinding slots with a small abrasive wheel, perhaps a Dremel, since the blade steel is so hard.

In the spirit of multiple uses, I will also sharpen the back edge of the blade to make a knife out of it too.

Art Tyszka
(arttyszka) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Re: 10.5 Pruning Blade on 11/25/2013 12:43:06 MST Print View

I'd like to see them for sale ;-)

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: saws straws on 11/25/2013 13:42:16 MST Print View

"Are wire saws any good?"

None that I have tried. :-(

What I have purchased and used is the Pocket Chainsaw.

http://www.campingsurvival.com/pochsawofacu.html

Pocket Chainsaw in a screw top tin

It weighs 5 ounces in the can so it is a bit heavy compared to the "straight" saws. Substituting another container could save some weight.

I used it to clear out a small tree stump next to my fence at home and was impressed at how well it worked. I used some small pieces of 1/2" PVC pipe inserted through the rings as handles. I also dual used it as a "rock" in my bear bag throw line pouch on my last hike which kind of abused the container. ;-)

FWIW The only real use that I had for my saw was as a throw weight. I was able to process my firewood using my hands and leverage between two small trees growing close to each other. Splitting wood could easily be accomplished by batoning with my knife. But I also never really needed to split my firewood either.

Party On,

Newton ;-)

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: saws straws on 11/25/2013 18:29:31 MST Print View

"FWIW The only real use that I had for my saw was as a throw weight. I was able to process my firewood using my hands and leverage between two small trees growing close to each other. Splitting wood could easily be accomplished by batoning with my knife. But I also never really needed to split my firewood either."

In my experience, the wood that you can break through leverage is usually older and cracked which allows moisture to get in it. I usually go for wood that hasn't been dead for too long, standing or pieces propped up vertical to find dry wood. That stuff you can't break by hand easily. Pretty much the only time I carry a saw backpacking is in wet weather where I don't want to mess around. It makes things much easier and faster, just cut and split, cut and split instead of messing around with damp twigs.

Edited by justin_baker on 11/25/2013 18:31:21 MST.

Delmar O'Donnell
(Bolster)

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Drill Doctor on 11/25/2013 20:26:40 MST Print View

> I have Drill Doctor on the way to resharpen the bits frequently

Keep in mind the DD requires a diamond grinding wheel, which needs replacing more often than you'd think...ask me how I know...so factor that into the price!

On hardened steel, try to grind if possible, rather than drill (and keep the heat down).

Edited by Bolster on 11/25/2013 20:28:07 MST.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Re: Re: saws straws on 11/25/2013 20:57:56 MST Print View

Some hikers have adopted a method of starting campfires with the use of stove fuels such as Esbit tabs or alcohol.

When we did make a campfire my hiking partner and I used some of our alcohol stove fuel. The result was a campfire fueled by decently sized pieces of broken and un-split firewood. It was wet and rainy during the majority of our trip.

YMMV

Party On,

Newton ;-)

David Gardner
(GardnerOutdoorLD) - M

Locale: Northern California
Re: Drill Doctor on 11/25/2013 21:26:01 MST Print View

"On hardened steel, try to grind if possible, rather than drill"

But how do you grind a hole or slot in the middle of something? Wish I knew how to do it. All my grinding experience has been grinding around the edges of the piece being worked on.

I was thinking maybe a tungsten carbide drill bit might work. $30 for a single 5/16" bit. Ouch.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Ultralight Saws on 11/26/2013 05:22:30 MST Print View

Well, you covered most of the high-lights.

Thick bladed pruning saws don't work that well. Any saw needs a stiff blade to cut effectively. A single mounting point means a thick, stiff blade cutting away large amounts of wood. Generally wasteful of energy when cutting to make two pieces.

A bow saw is normally used to lengthen the metal in the blade 3-5 times with the bow providing a fair bit of tension on the blade to stiffen it. The body of wider blades can bind easily in rough cuts due to the wood fibers rubbing on it. So a thin blade is needed with a fairly wide kerf. But, more body is needed to keep tension on the thin blade and to provide clearance around the piece being cut (6-8".)

From an engineering standpoint, the a partial bow saw, a triangle shape as you have designed, is the best for form stability and strength. The pieces are not independent of each other, hence are locked in a bit better. This is the old SVEN saw design, too.

A full bow saw is three pieces plus the blade in a rectangular arrangement. However, it lacks any inherrant stability, but provides greater clearance.

The average cut stroke for an adult male is about 20". Some more, some less. So a blade of 21" (counting the dead area near the attachments) plus mounting points gives about 23". I think the Sven saw is a bit short at 21". A carpenters saw is a bit to long at 32". But, a lot is what you can get used to.

The tubular design is good, but it is too narrow to hold the pressures need for good strength. Idealy, both the pull, and push stroke should be used for more efficient cutting. The push will increass the tension needed on the blade to prevent blade flutter (and binding on the wood.) Pulling will increase the tension on the the other end. There is a LOT of pressure needed to remove the blade flutter and compensate for the dynamic stresses. I would guess around 200-300 pounds of static pressure to hold a blade to a few thousands of an inch of blade kerf while cutting a piece with a constant 15 pounds of force. This is where the smaller 1/2" diameter tubes fail. You will get a lot of blade flutter and binding, unless you drop the force to 4-5 pounds. You won't cut very fast with it.

Most blades today are electro tempered, meaning only the teeth, often only the tips, are hardened. This lets the body stay softer and they can be drilled for attachment pins. Of course, some tensioning mechanism is needed. The SVEN saw uses a wing nut and a longer bolt as a blade mount on one end.

The aluminum, frame can be made from 2, flat, 1/16" thick pieces of aluminum and one 1/8" piece with a couple rivets around the blade mount, all about an inch wide. A couple pieces of aluminum can be added above to allow the body pieses to lock against when tensioning the blade. Better is a hollow tube, flattened, like the SVEN saw, though the "u" shaped channel is functionally equivalent to two pieces... Since most of the strength is in the inside corners(compression) and outside corners(tension,) the handle/body pieces can be drilled out, reducing the weight by 25-30%.

You could make a bow saw. or, simply buy the SVEN saw and modify it. In colder months, I usually just bring a modded version of this saw. With mods, these weigh around 10oz.

Since there is a lot of pines up where I go, I usually open the kerf a bit and keep the blade sharp, though a grinder is needed for the hardened teeth.

David Gardner
(GardnerOutdoorLD) - M

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Ultralight Saws on 11/26/2013 12:17:59 MST Print View

James,

Thanks for your comments and insights.

Do you have any pictures of your modified Sven? I would be interested in seeing what you did to it.

I can get about 75 lbs. of tension with my bow saw. We'll see if it's enough.

I'm very interested in comparing cut speeds with modified pruning saw vs. bow saw. I'll need to make a 12" bow saw so I can compare it to the 12" pruning saw I am currently working on. Will try to get them both below 4 ounces.

FWIW the pruning saws can be sharpened on the back edge so they can be multi-used as a knife too. Some other advantages of the modified pruning saws are that no assembly is required, they are very compact, and they're virtually indestructible. But if you're cutting a lot of wood that may not be enough to favor them over bow or buck saws.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: Re: Ultralight Saws on 11/26/2013 12:21:16 MST Print View

David, have you considered making a traditional style buck saw (with the cross bar and tensioning line/stick)?

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Re: Re: Ultralight Saws on 11/26/2013 13:01:40 MST Print View

Sorry, David. It never occured to me to take pictures of such a simple way to lighten the saw. I picked up the camera to get a couple, but it is dead...ahh well. I have a new battery on order for Christmas (it was going last fall.)

Anyway it is a series of 1/2" holes drilled in the handle and 3/8" holes drilled into the bar.

I just drilled another hole about a 1/4" closer in the end of the blade for more tension, almost warping the bar. I stripped the first wing nut, but got another at a hardware store. Takes about 5 minutes to sharpen it with a dremel tool, though. It cuts a 5" oak log in about a minute. An 6" pine long takes slighty longer. In a half hour I have more than enough for a night and mornings fire. 6-7 good logs and a good pile of smaller 2-4" stuff. Worth having in colder weather. I often set up the tarp near the fire to keep condensation down. Easy to do in most of the ADK's.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Re: Re: Ultralight Saws on 11/26/2013 13:11:25 MST Print View

Justin, you asked "...have you considered making a traditional style buck saw..."


You mean like this -

LittleBuck

- The Little Buck, with a 15" blade, 4.5 ounces.

Edited by greg23 on 11/26/2013 13:22:40 MST.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ultralight Saws on 11/26/2013 13:19:53 MST Print View

Yeah I knew someone somewhere had made an ultralight bucksaw, that's what made me think of it. Thanks for reminding with the link.

By the way, while the difference between a bow saw and buck saw is well established when using traditional materials (wood), the difference seems to be obscured with modern materials and tightening systems. Is the sven saw a triangle saw? Is the sawvivor really a buck saw without a support rod and cord tightening system, how is the sawvivor different from a bowsaw other than the shape?

Edited by justin_baker on 11/26/2013 13:22:47 MST.

Derrick White
(miku) - MLife

Locale: Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada
Sawvivor - No more? on 11/26/2013 14:12:25 MST Print View

I understand Trailblazer, the manufacturer of the Sawvivor has ceased operations. Too bad as one of the rivets recently failed on mine and I wanted to replace it. It is guaranteed for life, which is now effectively the life of the company. Smiles.

Would still like to get my hands on one. Does anyone know where there any still for sale - preferably in Canada to avoid custom charges but would buy international if no other options.

Derrick

David Gardner
(GardnerOutdoorLD) - M

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Ultralight Saws on 11/26/2013 14:14:49 MST Print View

Justin, I'm considering a buck saw right now. Have some ideas I'd like to try out. It will have to wait until I finish the bow saw though.

D S
(smoke) - F
Drilling Holes in Saw Blades on 11/26/2013 14:38:08 MST Print View

For you guys trying to drill holes in saw blades, there's a technique called "spot annealing". You soften the metal by heating it until it turns "blue" ONLY in the spot where the hole is to be drilled. There are several methods - pencil torch, drill press with nail or rod, soldering iron. Google it up and decide what works best for you. Saves a lot on drill bits, sharpening, and the whole gammut.

peter vacco
(fluff@inreach.com) - M

Locale: no. california
Re: Drilling Holes in Saw Blades on 11/26/2013 14:59:16 MST Print View

"spot annealing ", that's a good tip. if you are troll such as i, the drill bit sort of does that as it gets dull : )

i will try it when i get to drill'n 2" blades.

cheers,
v.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: drilling hardened stel on 11/26/2013 20:14:35 MST Print View

> The lightening holes are a PITA to drill, and dull even cobalt bits after just a
> few holes, but I have Drill Doctor on the way to resharpen the bits frequently.

Go down to hardware store and buy a carbide-tipped masonary drill. Using a diamond sharpening wheel in your Drill Doctor, sharpen the carbide tip as you would sharpen an ordinary HSS drill. Note that any other sort of grinding wheel is probably not going to work (except for what is called a 'green' wheel).

Then drill the holes with the steel sitting on a hard base and using a carefully aggressive feed and a LOW spin speed. Drill press, not hand-held. Do NOT let the drill bit 'rub' - keep it cutting. Some light oil would help. The forces (and maybe noise) will be fairly high!

Trying to make the back edge of the blade into a knife is doomed to failure in most cases. Only the teeth are really hardened; the rest of the blade is relatively soft. This is deliberate and good blade design. So any edge you grind will die quickly.

Cheers

Edited by rcaffin on 11/26/2013 20:16:33 MST.

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear)
Re: Re: drilling hardened stel on 11/26/2013 20:30:56 MST Print View

Roger, you should write a book of tips someday, both backpacking and not related.

John Hillyer
(TrNameLucky) - MLife
Punch not drill? on 11/26/2013 20:45:24 MST Print View

It's been a long time since I worked in a shop, but my first instinct would be to use a hydraulic punch. Drilling would be an expensive slow pia operation which would not be commercially viable.

Delmar O'Donnell
(Bolster)

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
DD on 11/26/2013 20:57:43 MST Print View

Roger, I know the DD says it's OK for sharpening carbide, but have you tried it? I'm imagining it would take a tremendous toll on the diamond grind wheel in the DD. Carbide is rough stuff! Not as tough as diamonds, but would likely give the binding material a run for its money.

I wouldn't do it just because I don't like purchasing diamond wheels frequently, but I guess it can be done. Your other advice on how to drill is good; I would add that the saw blade must be very firmly clamped. You don't want a bit catching the saw blade on breakthrough and whipping it around like a helicopter blade. I'm sure the OP know this already; just posting it for anyone who is going to try this in the home shop. The drill press is often cited as one of the "most dangerous" tools in the shop for that reason. I probably have more drill press injuries than any other shop injury (besides hammer-on-thumb dysfunction).

Honestly I like the spot-annealing tip the best so far, I'll have to try that sometime with my acetylene torch. Interested to see if I can keep the annealed spot reasonably small.

I wonder if a spot welder could anneal.

Edited by Bolster on 11/26/2013 21:00:48 MST.

David Gardner
(GardnerOutdoorLD) - M

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: drilling hardened steel on 11/27/2013 00:04:18 MST Print View

"Trying to make the back edge of the blade into a knife is doomed to failure in most cases. Only the teeth are really hardened; the rest of the blade is relatively soft. This is deliberate and good blade design. So any edge you grind will die quickly."

Roger, I already sharpened one, so we'll see I guess. I will say though, the non-teeth portion of the blades is the toughest steel I have ever dealt with and took a long time to sharpen. I once used a single cobalt bit, without resharpening, to drill 200 holes in a pair of disc brakes, which ate a HSS bit in a couple of seconds. I used the same bit on a pruning blade, with oil and pressure, and it only made it through 3 times. If that's not "hard" I can't even imagine how tough the teeth are. At any rate, when camping I usually just carry a small Victorinox and cut nothing tougher than a fish or tent cord.

John, right now I'm in R & D mode, so drilling makes sense because I can do it in my home shop. If I go into production, I will contract with a local machine shop that I have worked with before, and do the cutting by plasma, laser or water jet, depending on what they advise. At that point I probably won't even use round holes for lightening, but rather slots or triangles.

For now, I plan to try a combination of spot annealing (great tip Smoke!) and Roger's suggestion of using a masonry bit. If that doesn't fly, I'll plunk down the $30 for a solid carbide bit. Delmar, I made a small spot welder from a microwave oven transformer and will try that first. I will also try the pencil torch and nail/rod techniques for comparison.

I really appreciate all the responses and information from everyone on this thread.

Edited by GardnerOutdoorLD on 11/27/2013 00:06:27 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Punch not drill? on 11/27/2013 00:35:56 MST Print View

> my first instinct would be to use a hydraulic punch.
I have this vision of punches shattering...

Cheers

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: DD on 11/27/2013 00:44:58 MST Print View

Hi Delmar

> the DD says it's OK for sharpening carbide, but have you tried it?
Yes, lots.
I made my own 6-axis tool&cutter grinder. For steel (inc HSS) I use a Cubic Boron Nitride (CBN) wheel because steel can be a bit rough on the diamond wheels. Believe it or not, the carbon in the steel reacts with the diamond, eroding the diamond when hot. (I grind as cool as possible anyhow.)

But for carbide I use diamond wheels of various shapes. The resin-bonded ones are not all that expensive these days. I have to make my own tooling for the stove production you see: shaped miniature cutters. So yes, I have done a lot of diamond machining of carbide. It's the only way to go, and the finish is wonderful.

> the saw blade must be very firmly clamped
Oh my god yes! Fingers ...

> Spot annealing with a torch: messy. Not at all enthused. The affected area would be much larger than you think. But with a spot welder - for sure. Been there, done that - in various guises. It's a neat way to do micro-brazing of a joint too.

Cheers

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: drilling hardened steel on 11/27/2013 00:49:43 MST Print View

For what it is worth, I used a sharpened carbide masonary drill to drill through molded glass. Very slow revs, gentle pressure, a pool of cold water around the tip (plasticene is your friend), and a firm backing. Made two neat holes for my neighbour in a glass thing he wanted to hang up.

Cheers

D S
(smoke) - F
Be Careful!!!!!! on 11/27/2013 07:15:16 MST Print View

>For now, I plan to try a combination of spot annealing (great tip Smoke!) and Roger's suggestion of using a masonry bit. If that doesn't fly, I'll plunk down the $30 for a solid carbide bit. Delmar, I made a small spot welder from a microwave oven transformer and will try that first. I will also try the pencil torch and nail/rod techniques for comparison.<

I would not use a solid carbide bit in a drill press, unless it was a mill/drill. They are meant to be used in milling machines. They cannot stand the chatter generated by most drill presses and will shatter. Flying chunks of sharp heavy carbide is not something to play with.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: DD on 11/27/2013 07:41:45 MST Print View

Delmar,
A lot of what happens with the diamond grinding wheels is they just wear finer. Think of a new extra-fine diamond stone used for honing a chisel. At first it has a few scratches in it where the higher/larger diamonds are. After a few uses, the stone will actually loose these letting you put a smoother finish on the edge. I prefer my older stones to brand new ones for this very reason. They also cut slower.

My DD has done several hundred drill bits, including carbide. I have never even considered changing the wheel because it gives a smoother/sharper edge, used as it is. The jig is a pain in the back side, though. Light pressure, multiple rotations...

A small troth, cut into the carbide before sharpening with a diamond stone/Dremmel tool, can help a LOT trying to drill alloyed steel. This will supply a cut angle of about 5-10 degrees. Some, with high quantities of chromium (some stainless,) can get quite sticky and build up on a 0 degree cutter. This helps clear the edge, though you loose in longevity.

Delmar O'Donnell
(Bolster)

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Carbide on 11/27/2013 07:47:24 MST Print View

Well I'll be darned, Roger. You taught me something new about carbide & carbide tipped bits. Very interesting. I'll try it!

James, thanks for the DD tips.

One additional note on the difficulty of drilling: the two holy grails of a good steel are hardness, and toughness. They stand somewhat in opposition, more of one usually means less of the other, but you can get a steel that's high in both, as you'd find on a survival knife or, probably, a saw blade. A tough steel can be just as difficult to drill as a hard one. So even if you're drilling saw backs that aren't hardened, they're still probably punishingly tough.

Edited by Bolster on 11/27/2013 07:56:51 MST.

peter vacco
(fluff@inreach.com) - M

Locale: no. california
Re: Re: Punch not drill? on 11/27/2013 09:07:44 MST Print View

will a small punch shatter ?

ohh ya ! like gangbusters.n if you stop a moment and ponder how a punch works (is like a shear, but round), you will see that as a punch gets smaller, there is ever less and less of it to deal with the substantial forces involved. all the while, the smaller piunch is not getting a ot shorter, so it's rather sticking up there looking weak and wobbly. it helps if smaller piunches are shorter of course, but there is often a limit to that trick.
bottom line, is that punching does not scale down as nicely as we hope it would.
keep in mind that punching is indeed shearing, and consider how well your material is going to cut with a set of shears.
sometimes a small punch will fail , and just wad up when it hits the plate. pieces of it fly out with vigor.

carbide drill bits.
carbide is not magic. it must be held (and the work) extremely rigidly. no wobbles. no hand held drilling. not anything of that sort.
drill press at least, preferably a vert mill. clamp as well as possible.

that spot annealing trick was still the best tip.

more : the drill doctor. peter not a big fan of that pos. good for sharpening screwdrivers .. you betcha. a crude joke of a tool for real drill work though. worth having one for sure. just not be expecting much in the way of great drill bits out of it.

cheers,
v.

Ed Biermann
(longstride) - F
Re: Ultralight Saws on 11/27/2013 09:15:03 MST Print View

Just throwing this out there.

Plasma cutter?

No experience with one.

I use a Bahco. Cheap on Amazon and replacement blades are available and inexpensive as well. Light enough for me.

This thread has been insightful.

Not a fan of the DD either. Experience with that, yes. But not so positive. Home garage toy. Could by a lifetime supply amount of replacement blades instead. But I am getting long in the tooth.

I like puns.

David Gardner
(GardnerOutdoorLD) - M

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Ultralight Saws on 11/27/2013 13:25:52 MST Print View

Ed, do you know how much the Bahco weighs, and its blade length?

Ed Biermann
(longstride) - F
Re: Ultralight Saws on 11/27/2013 15:07:47 MST Print View

6.6oz, 7.25" of usable blade length.

David Gardner
(GardnerOutdoorLD) - M

Locale: Northern California
Pruning Saw Progress on 11/27/2013 17:18:47 MST Print View

Progress report on ultralight pruning saws.

Took a suggestion from my Dad and ground down the back of the blade to lighten it. Carved off 1.7 ounces. Then tried drilling again.

Spot annealing is a beautiful thing. It was like drilling normal steel.

Tried the nail/rod approach first. Very slow, but seemed to work. On the next few holes I tried the spot welder annealing, and it worked well until my spot welder got too hot. So I tried the pencil torch technique, with most of the blade submerged in water, including all of the teeth, and frequent quenching of the entire blade. Drilling through the blade seemed about the same for all of the annealed spots.

Got the 12" blade down to 4.1 oz.

Now, back to the bow saw. The 24" blades arrived today...uncutStock Fiskars blade.

cutBack of blade ground down.

Before and AfterBefore and After

finalThe final product with drilled holes

Derrick White
(miku) - MLife

Locale: Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada
Thanks on 11/27/2013 18:03:03 MST Print View

Your efforts are inspiring David and taking the time to share them them is appreciated.

This site is as much about cutting edge (no pun intended) industrial arts as it is light weight backpacking.

I love it!

Derrick

Delmar O'Donnell
(Bolster)

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Re: Pruning Saw Progress on 11/30/2013 09:58:05 MST Print View

>pencil torch technique, with most of the blade submerged in water, including all of the teeth, and frequent quenching of the entire blade. Drilling through the blade seemed about the same for all of the annealed spots. Got the 12" blade down to 4.1 oz.

Excellent reporting! Thanks much for posting your progress. Very interesting thread. Love the threads on "how to."

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear)
Re: Re: Pruning Saw Progress on 11/30/2013 10:06:13 MST Print View

Nice slim down job David.

David Gardner
(GardnerOutdoorLD) - M

Locale: Northern California
Fun With Slots on 11/30/2013 12:48:34 MST Print View

Thanks for the props guys. Glad you're enjoying this thread. I'm having a blast.

So I took the Dremel to the saws and connected the holes to make slots. Major weight reductions. Got the Fiskar down from 5.9 to 3.0 oz, and the Corona down from 4.2 to 2.5 oz. The cut-down Corona blade sawed through my 4x4 in 24 seconds! Don't really see why the weight reduction would be a factor, except maybe the slots reduce side friction in the kerf.

The weight of the 10.5" Corona is now .6 oz less than my 5.5" folding Gerber (pictured near the beginning of this thread). With the teeth protector and sheath for the Corona they weigh the same.

The slots look really cool, but I think just making the blade slimmer would reduce the weight even more, and would certainly be a lot easier to just grind down than all the drilling, chopping and filing to make the slots. Of course if I go into production the water jet will let me cut all kinds of interesting designs for the same basic cost.

Have added the modified pruning blade saws to my web site. $35, if anyone is interested. www.GOLDGear.co

slots

Slotted blades

corona

Corona slotted and handle drilled

rubber

Corona with Plasti-Dip handle

handles

Fiskar slotted with handle cut out

Expect to finish the bow saw heel/butt/tensioner this week and will report when done.

Edited by GardnerOutdoorLD on 11/30/2013 12:50:40 MST.

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Pruning Saw Progress on 11/30/2013 17:18:06 MST Print View

David, what did you use for the handle grip (black stuff)? Sorry in advanced if you listed this earlier in the thread (I just read your last post).

David Gardner
(GardnerOutdoorLD) - M

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Pruning Saw Progress on 11/30/2013 17:49:08 MST Print View

It's called Plasti-Dip. Obtained from my local hardware store. Comes in multiple colors.

http://www.plastidip.com/

Ed Biermann
(longstride) - F
Re: Ultralight Saws on 11/30/2013 18:11:10 MST Print View

Wow. Lots of progress here in the last few days. I see that this thread is being promoted on BPL's facebook page too. David will be famous.

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: Pruning Saw Progress on 11/30/2013 18:13:59 MST Print View

Thanks David, I thought that might be it, but yours looks a bit more grippy (some grit in it) then what I have seen before.
Tad

Edited by bestbuilder on 11/30/2013 18:14:33 MST.

Delmar O'Donnell
(Bolster)

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Re: Fun With Slots on 11/30/2013 20:11:23 MST Print View

> The slots look really cool, but I think just making the blade slimmer would reduce the weight even more, and would certainly be a lot easier to just grind down than all the drilling, chopping and filing to make the slots.

Exactly. If I were doing your experiments, I would try the Veritas pull saws (altho their teeth may be too fine for speed):

http://www.woodcraft.com/product/2084125/36885/veritas-flushcutting-saw-double-edge-22-tpi.aspx

These are thin saws to begin with. If you push them, they buckle (ask me how I know). They cut like lasers on the pull, though, and if you can remember never to push, you get an exceedingly thin kerf.

The metal feels close to the weight of a hardy windscreen. Can't tell exactly how light because of the big plastic handle.

Edited by Bolster on 12/01/2013 23:28:57 MST.

David Gardner
(GardnerOutdoorLD) - M

Locale: Northern California
Pull saw blades on 12/01/2013 20:11:50 MST Print View

Since starting this thread I have become most interested in saws that are capable of cutting small to medium logs or timbers, not just dead branches for wood fires. For trail maintenance, but also for building a semi-permanent shelter. Building a shelter is not something that I would ever do on a normal camping trip, since I try to follow the Leave No Trace philosophy. But as a survival/disaster preparedness tool in case there comes an EOTWAWKI (End Of The World As We Know It) event I want a blade no smaller than 10.5", preferably larger. 12" is good, 14" is better, etc., as long as the weight does not exceed 12 oz. It also has to be virtually indestructible on the assumption that parts and replacement blades will not be readily available. Multi-use is also good.

I checked out the Veritas saws. I would be surprised if a flush cut blade will work very well for green wood, because the teeth have a "set" only to one side. So the non-set side of the blade will drag on the wood as it cuts. The flush cut saw is exactly what it is supposed to be, a fine cutting finishing blade, but it's not what I'm looking for. I checked out the other Veritas saws, but none are very large. Again, not exactly what I'm looking for at the moment. Delmar, have you cut green wood with the flush cut saw? Does it work well for that?

I did order a 14" Japanese pull saw blade made by Tajima, to compare it and see how light it can be and how well it works.

I may take another stab at a small 5"-7" fixed blade saw with full-size handle at an angle to the blade, just to see how light it can be. Based on the weights I'm getting for 10.5"-12" saws, 1.5-2.0 oz is probably very doable.

Delmar O'Donnell
(Bolster)

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Pull Saws on 12/01/2013 23:25:42 MST Print View

Yeah, my bad. I should have copied the link to a variety of pull saws (with sets on both sides). Try again:

http://www.leevalley.com/en/home/Search.aspx?action=n
http://www.woodcraft.com/category/4/1001040/1002124/Handsaws.aspx
http://www.garrettwade.com/searchn.asp?keywords=pull+saw

By and large these are all lightweight, thin pull saws. Haven't examined them for green wood or cutting speed, which would require large-ish teeth. I own several of the Veritas Japanese-style pull saws for woodworking and they are exceedingly light (except for the handle!), with an exceedingly thin kerf. Now that you've explained your goal of a durable EOTW saw, I would not recommend them. They are more in the vein of the ultralight enthusiast looking for the lightest possible. If you accidentally push with them, they bend, so they are simply not sturdy saws.

Still, depending on how far down the rabbit hole you go with your saw experiments, you might want to examine several of these more fragile, but very lightweight, saws. I'll be interested to read what you think of the pull saw you just ordered.

EDIT: Looked through the selection for large tooth.

This one 6-9 TPI:
http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=32941&cat=1,42884,42896

This one 7-10 TPI:
http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=32940&cat=1,42884,42896

This one says, specifically, for green or dry wood. No TPI, but they look big:
http://www.leevalley.com/en/garden/page.aspx?p=10231&cat=2,42706,40721

This one also dry and green:
http://www.leevalley.com/en/garden/page.aspx?p=48004&cat=2,42706,40721


http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=45742&cat=1,42884,42924

Edited by Bolster on 12/01/2013 23:38:27 MST.

David Gardner
(GardnerOutdoorLD) - M

Locale: Northern California
Re: Pull Saws on 12/02/2013 08:22:49 MST Print View

Delmar, thanks for the links. I'm much farther down the "rabbet" hole than I thought I would be when I started this thread so I might as well keep going. I will be trying out at least a couple of the saws referenced in your links.

I like puns too.

Don Morris
(hikermor) - F
Ultralight Saws on 12/02/2013 08:51:13 MST Print View

This is a fascinating thread, but I maintain that a saw is completely unnecessary for obtaining wood for fires. For other tasks,like trail maintenance or clearing out helispots, there is nothing like a good saw, but it is likely to be rather hefty. For fashioning hiking staffs, and kindred tasks, I find the saw on my leatherman to be quite adequate.

I have obtained fuel for countless camp and cooking fires by simply collecting the available dead wood and busting it up, dropping rocks or stomping - whatever works. This activity satisfies my inner cave man - Neanderthal and is much more fun than "processing" wood, whatever that is.

David Gardner
(GardnerOutdoorLD) - M

Locale: Northern California
Re: Ultralight Saws on 12/02/2013 11:09:42 MST Print View

Don, I agree that a saw is probably not really necessary for most open camp fires. But I'm thinking about small wood burning stoves, most of which can only take 2"-3" pieces of wood.

Don Morris
(hikermor) - F
UL Saws on 12/02/2013 11:26:34 MST Print View

Smaller pieces pose no problem. Just keep on bashing. Generally where I hike, smaller pieces (so called squaw wood) are quite abundant.

David Gardner
(GardnerOutdoorLD) - M

Locale: Northern California
UL Saws Big & Small on 12/07/2013 09:05:50 MST Print View

I took Delmar's suggestion and made a couple of saws from Japanese-style pull saws. The first was a 10.5" replacement blade by Tajima. Very thin metal, carved up nicely. So thin that I added some Basswood on either side of the handle for better grip. Ended up with an 8" blade and weight of 1.3 oz that buzzed through my test 4x4 in 44 seconds.

handles

Small Japanese blade with Basswood grips before assembly

8 inch

Finished small Japanese saw

Also tried grinding a pruning saw blade to a narrower width instead of putting in holes and slots. to lighten it. The Basswood grips worked so well that I added them to it as well. 11.5" blade, 3.7 oz, 45 seconds on the test 4x4. Not quite as light as the lightest saw with holes and slots, but immensely easier to fabricate:

handles

Narrow pruning saw with Basswood grips before assembly

glued

Narrow pruning saw with epoxied grips

Then I remembered that I had a 20 inch "Sabre Tooth" pull saw in my tool chest and took off the blade and modified it. Ended up with an 11.5" blade, 2.4 oz, 30 seconds on the test 4x4:

sabre

Next I obtained an 18" Corona pruning saw and started working on it. This will be a big saw when completed. No final weight of test cut yet.

big

18" Corona blade marked up for grinding

Finally, I finished the 24" bow saw. A bit of a disappointment. Was shooting for 8 oz, but it weighs 9.9 oz, mostly due to the 1.6 oz handle butt and 1.1 oz tensioning bolt. Was expecting great speed on the 4x4, but the best I could do was 45 seconds, the same as much lighter, simpler and smaller modified blades. Ed Biermann's 24" buck saw is lighter and has more usable blade length, plus a deeper throat for bigger logs.

24 inch

Will report on the 18" Corona and 12" bow saw when finished.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Zippo axe/saw on 12/07/2013 10:15:58 MST Print View

I ran across the Zippo combination axe/saw the other day. While the design would need some adaptation for UL consideration, I did think it was a clever use of the axe as a saw frame. I found one review that noted that the plastic cheeks on the axe head interfered with splitting chores.

I think this sort of design has promise for a flat sheet cutout for the axe body with a handle grip using knife style sandwiched scales. That sort of design is common in big game butchering sets and "tactical tomahawks." I would make the back side of the head flat for use with a baton.

It should also be noted that this design limits the cut to 4" deep.

Zippo axe saw combo

Delmar O'Donnell
(Bolster)

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Progress. on 12/07/2013 11:24:06 MST Print View

Excellent progress, David. You are getting some UL, fast-cutting saws in your arsenal. Impressive to watch you hunt down your preferred solution.

Are you doing your work on an 8" circular bench grinder? Or do you have some other bench tool? As you get more interested in saw-making, take a look at the BELT GRINDERS used by knife makers. I own the Coote, which is a handy and versatile machine, but there are nicer ones out there. The neat thing about belt grinders is, they can take off the metal in black powder--no sparks--because they have sharp, fresh abrasive on the belts and run at low RPMs. Preferred by knife makers to keep the temper in the tool.

If you go into production, of course, then a water jet or some other high tech cutter is warranted.

Edited by Bolster on 12/07/2013 11:29:00 MST.

David Gardner
(GardnerOutdoorLD) - M

Locale: Northern California
Re: Progress. on 12/11/2013 18:17:49 MST Print View

I use a 6" circular bench grinder and a Dremel with cutoff wheel and grinder. If I get into knives I'll check out some belt grinders.

Here's the latest on the Corona MAX 18" pruning saw:
stock

Stock saw with handle

before

Handle removed, marked for cutting and grinding

cut

Excess cut off, handle anealed for drilling

finish

Drilling and grinding complete, ready for Plasti-Dip

As you can see, I got the weight down from 8.5 oz to 3.7 oz. The Plasti-Dip will add back a couple tenths of an ounce. Went from 18" of teeth to 15".

Cutting time on the test 4x4 = 20 seconds. Now that's a saw!

Edited by GardnerOutdoorLD on 12/11/2013 18:19:24 MST.

Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
Re: Re: Progress. on 12/12/2013 10:31:28 MST Print View

Another beautiful looking saw.

I notice you seem to prefer cutting down the height of the saw blade versus keeping the height (or more of the height) and slotting out the blade (like you do with the handle). Is this preference due to performance or manufactorability? Using a grinding wheel it would be somewhat painful to slot out the entire blade. Doing so, you would probably still end up with a heavier saw and I am not sure how much it would improve performance.

David Gardner
(GardnerOutdoorLD) - M

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Re: Progress. on 12/12/2013 10:57:19 MST Print View

Thanks.

After experimenting with drilling/slotting versus cutting down, the cutting down process is much more manufacturable. At least, until I get to the point where I ramp up to water jet cutting or similar. I like the appearance of the slotted blades and they may perform marginally better, but it's too much work (and too many dulled drill bits).

The handles are relatively easy to drill and cut out because I can anneal the entire handle without worrying about de-tempering the blade and teeth.