Bucksaws Galore: Making Expedition Equipment In-House

by Paul Kirtley

Four bucksaws

Folding Bucksaws Galore. Photo: Paul Kirtley.

At Frontier Bushcraft we are very lucky to have a talented team of people with a diverse range of skills.

As a team we have an ethos of rising to a challenge and finding a solution from within. Rather than reaching for a wallet or phoning a friend, we first work out what we can do ourselves. This is a group mindset that comes from working closely together in the field without outside assistance.

As a team we also identify and recognise people’s strengths.

So, when it came to needing some folding bucksaws for Frontier expeditions, such as the French River or the Bloodvein, we looked to the talent within the team to come up with the goods.

And come up with the goods they did.

Folding Bucksaws

The bucksaw, with its blade tensioned by a windlass is a very old design of saw, often seen in museums.

You can see one at work in the latter part of this great old Swedish woodworking film. The saw features from around 12:00 onwards.

In-House Woodworking Skills

Henry is a talented woodworker and, amongst other things, has worked as an architectural model maker. Henry set to work on producing four beech-framed folding bucksaws.

Below are the fruits of his labour:

Folding bucksaw

Single folding bucksaw assembled. Photo: Paul Kirtley.

Detail of top of windlass

Fine detailing at the top of the windlass. Photo: Paul Kirtley.

Bucksaw detail

Detail of the blade support. Photo: Paul Kirtley.

Windlass and frame detail

Detail of where the windlass sits against the main support of the saw. Photo: Paul Kirtley.

Four folding bucksaws stacked

The fruits of Henry’s labour: four folding bucksaws. Photo: Paul Kirtley.

Canvas and Leather Slip Cases

Chris loves making his own outdoor equipment and particularly enjoys canvas and leatherwork. He has a vintage sewing machine that he works with.

It was to Chris we looked to make some cases for the saws.

Folding bucksaw slip cases

Folding bucksaw slip cases made by Frontier Bushcraft team-member, Chris Hall. Photo: Paul Kirtley.

Detail of leather and canvas work

Detail of Chris’s leather and canvas work. Photo: Paul Kirtley.

Ready To Go (and For You To Use)

Henry has just delivered the saws to Frontier HQ and they look and feel great.

They are ready for deployment on our wilderness expeditions and we hope that if you join us on one of these trips, you’ll enjoy using these great tools as much as we will.

Four folding bucksaws in cases

Ready to go – the four folding bucksaws in their cases. Photo: Paul Kirtley.

Want to Make Your Own Folding Bucksaw?

Back in 2011, Henry wrote a tutorial on how to make these folding bucksaws. You can find it on my personal blog:

How To Make a Folding Bucksaw

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Paul Kirtley is owner and Chief Instructor of Frontier Bushcraft. He has had a lifelong passion for the great outdoors and gains great satisfaction from helping others enjoy it too. Paul writes the UK's leading bushcraft blog as well as for various publications including Bushcraft and Survival Skills Magazine.

 

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Austin Lill

I’m currently making one to Henry’s sizings from his ‘How to’ blog entry…it will hopefully work but it won’t be a pretty boy one like his! Perhaps he could blog how to make a rough and ready one in the field (with the v shape support?) to help us mortals not feel so bad :D

Reply

Paul Kirtley

Hi Austin,

We can certainly do this. It would be taking after Mors Kochanski’s design (which is the one I think you are referring to) but it’s not difficult to construct and makes good use of the jam knot too.

It’ll still look pretty though :)

Reply

WoodsmokeBob

Good work! looks just like one i made last year (although mine was made from American Oak) Even same canvas for the cases! All the Best. Bob.

Reply

Paul Kirtley

Hi Bob,

Yes, it’s a venerable yet timeless design. I’m sure we’ll be using these for years to come. I bet the oak looks lovely…

All the best,

Paul

Reply

Henry

Hi Austin,

Good to hear you are making a buck saw. As I mentioned in the “How to make a folding bucksaw” article the most simple field version is a heat bent hazel branch, curved to shape with a saw blade fitted in the ends. Never the less I am planning to make a prototype of a field version and will blog about the results.
Cheers Henry

Reply

Paul Adamson

Great combination of skills and a really nice product. I’m sure they will perform well.

Reply

Paul Kirtley

Hi Paul, good to hear from you. We’ll let you know how we get on with them.

All the best,

Paul

Reply

Jon Bishop

Hello, I am interested in purchasing one of your folding buck saws. Do you have them for sale? Thanks, Jon

Reply

Paul Kirtley

Hi Jon,

Thanks for your message and your interest in the bucksaws. The saws featured in this article were made by Henry Landon, one of our instructional team, for use by our instructors and clients on Frontier Bushcraft courses and expeditions.

If you’d like to make your own saw, Henry wrote a great tutorial as a guest article over on my blog here:

http://paulkirtley.co.uk/2011/how-to-make-folding-bucksaw/

I hope this helps.

Warm regards,

Paul

Reply

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