Country Lore: Homemade Buck Saw

The author reports this easy-to-make buck saw design has reliably served his family for years, and should for you as well.

| June/July 2009

For decades, my family has used a simple homemade buck saw to cut green logs and brush. It’s been a workhorse and has proved superior to any store-bought saw we’ve owned. Its thin blade, stretched tight by a string-tensioning system, slices easily through the toughest timber. The saw’s square frame maximizes the effective cutting length of the blade, and its long handle permits two-handed sawing and helps prevent barked knuckles. And to top it off, the saw breaks down into a compact package that easily fits in a pack or car trunk.

Recently, I set out to build a second saw, using the original as my pattern. Like the prototype, the new saw has a frame of three-quarter-inch-thick red oak. Ash, hickory, or any tough hardwood should work as well. The saw uses a cotton string — sold as a refill for chalk-line reels. This string is resistant to stretching and has proved strong enough to hold up over the years.

The saw features a 30-inch raker-tooth bow saw blade, available for about $5 at hardware stores. You can easily adjust the design to accommodate longer or shorter blades simply by changing the length of the crossbar. Click here to see a diagram of the buck saw plans.

Supplies for Making a Buck Saw

Material: red oak


Tom Duchesneau_1
6/3/2009 9:34:32 PM

Sounds very simple to build. And those are the best kind of tools. Tom

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