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  • Band saw substitute?

    When one has no bandsaw, what saw would be suitable to saw through, and cut curves in, wood 3" thick for a "blank", as many woodcarving books want one to do in preparation?

    I've a scroll saw, but it certainly can't handle anything that wide.

    Many thanks!


  • #2
    Using a straight hand saw, you could make a series of parallel cuts in the waste wood, cutting up to the curved line of your blank. If the grain runs parallel to the curved line, you could simply snap off the pieces of waste wood. Otherwise, you would use your saw to cut each piece near the curved line.

    cuts.jpg

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    • #3
      You could try a coping saw but I'm not sure a coping saw will handle something that thick.
      Keep On Carvin'
      Bob K.

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      • #4
        If it is tough for coping saw or small for the Hand Saw - suggest a Steel Saw with a Round Carbide blade. It will be rough but can go around corners. It has limited throat. I have a Meat saw that is deeper but hard to find good blades. Thinking of making some out of band saw blades for it. It was a Grand-Paw Butcher during depression. That and designed and did the center square of his home town. Hard worker. Martin

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        • #5
          Of course the best advice is to figure a way to get a bandsaw. Look for a used one on eBay. Let all your friends know you're looking for one. I bought mine used 70 years ago. With minimal maintenance it has served me all these years. It is the most useful power tool I own. Phil

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          • #6
            Another alternative is a big gouge and a mallet. If you clamp the blank, you can remove a great deal of wood quickly with a large, deep gouge.

            Best Regards,
            Bob Duncan
            Technical Editor, Woodworking/DIY

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            • #7
              I've used pallin's suggestion a lot. It is quick. Cut a bunch of gills in the wood with a bow saw, some sort of a hand saw.
              I'll suggest the cuts be no more than 1" apart, maybe 1/2". Smash off all the fins. Blocks were 12" x 4" x 30" tall.

              A 30 oz lead core mallet and a 5/35 is no good from the start. BUT, after the raw shaping with the saw, very rapid progress. Very rewarding.
              My sequence is a 9/15 then a 5/35 then a 2/30.

              Expensive, but a sculptor's adze is the right tool some days. Stubai makes a 7/75 and you need a tennis ball as a mandrel for sharpening.
              The elbow adzes from the Pacific Northwest carving tool style function like a "bandsaw on a stick." But, expensive blades, once again.
              Brian T

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              • #8
                You can make a bunch of slices like explained above. But I find just cutting off whatever waste wood I don't need as quickly as I can works for me--usually a combo of sawing off corners with a hand saw and taking of the rest with a wide deep gouge. Now if you need to put the cut off back on so you can cut the other direction, well then the only choice is a fret saw or a coping saw.

                Bob L
                Last edited by Just Carving; 08-14-2018, 06:29 AM.

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                • #9
                  But he's talking about basswood 3 inches thick!

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                  • #10

                    I just thought of another alternative. If you have a drill you can drill holes in strategic places and then connect with a saw or chisel/gouge away the remainder.

                    Bob L

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                    • #11
                      Pallin's comment on waiting for a bandsaw is good advice. Even a small 9" saw could handle almost 90% of carving I do. I got a 14" saw because I use it for other woodworking projects.

                      Usually, you can pick up a 9" saw at one of the big box stores for around $125.00. Don't know what your budget is, but it might cure $125.00 worth of frustration in doing it some other way.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by pallin View Post
                        Of course the best advice is to figure a way to get a bandsaw. Look for a used one on eBay. Let all your friends know you're looking for one. I bought mine used 70 years ago. With minimal maintenance it has served me all these years. It is the most useful power tool I own. Phil
                        Many thanks to ALL of you for your advice. There is no floor space in my house (and I've no garage) for a bandsaw, whether 9" or 14" so a bandsaw is out of the question. Neither do I have access to a bandsaw.

                        So, I will decide which of the recommended solutions will be most appropriate on a case-by-case basis.

                        Once again, thanks to ALL of you for your well-meaning and experienced suggestions.

                        Best2u,
                        Mike

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                        • #13
                          Could take the piece to the local high school wood shop and have them cut it, for a small donation to their pizza fund. I've taken very large pieces for the business to a local HS and they did an excellent job and the shop teacher was glad to give the students something "different." FYI
                          Bill
                          Living among knives and fire.

                          http://www.westernwoodartist.com

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                          • #14
                            The 8-9" are bench top machines.

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                            • #15
                              Once again, MANY thanks for the suggestions, guys, really appreciated!

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