Working midsize bowsaw for curved cuts

  • For practical use or shop decoration

  • 15"-16" saw blades, can be
    purchased or use 
    ​bandsaw blade cut-off

  • Example pictures: Birdseye Maple and Claro Walnut

  • Cheeks (uprights) are made from 2 doweled halves

  • No mortising or drilling required, all parts can be cut on CNC

Traditional Bowsaw

Some tips and instructions:

  • ​The bottom side roughing toolpath for the cheeks is done with a ¼” endmill bit for speed reasons, everything else is done with 1/8” endmill and 1/8" ballnose bits. To save the bit change one can of course go to 1/8” (much slower) but then the allowance should also be reduced to save the unnecessary cutting time.

  • Both .crv files reference z-zero from the material surface for all top side toolpaths and from the spoilboard for all bottom side toolpaths. The toolpath for the spoilboard dowel holes (flip alignment) is also referenced to the spoilboard as z-zero

  • The dowels for flip alignment as well as for the cheek gluing are all 5mm bamboo rods (a.k.a. marshmallow sticks). This can be increased to regular ¼” dowels but it will take some essential material away.

  • The handle pins are 3" x 5/16" (M8 x 80mm) partially threaded and decapitated brass bolts (easy to slot with a hacksaw) with the threads glued into the handle. But regular partially threaded 5/16 steel bolts (hex or carriage) would work just as well.

  • If the blade is only 15" long (can be purchased from, the pin length extending from the handles should be 1/2" longer

How to use it properly:

  • 16.25" Strip of 15tpi bandsaw blade

  • Ends 1/2" annealed red hot to soften the hardened steel

  • Drilled with 1.2mm bit

  • Small finish nails hammered in with interference fit.

  • ​Clipped to fit the brass pins

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  • Front and rear handle are also glued from 2 halves and capture the brass pins

  • Sanded and buffed on the lathe (could be done in a drill press as well.

  • Single model .crv files with tabs

  • 2-sided 3D carving

  • Download also contains .stl and .dwg files
    and full-size images

  • Windlass toggle locks with button into
    ​stretcher part. Hemp twine as bowstring.

  • FEA for 1000N (225 lbs) string load 

  • Max stress ~25N/mm^2 (3600 psi)

  • Sufficient safety factor 4-5