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Simple & Rugged Ultralight Saws


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Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 29 total)
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  • #3665986
    David Gardner
    BPL Member

    @gearmaker

    Locale: Northern California

    Free shipping to CONUS for BPL members. Made to order, turnaround time about 2 weeks. PM me if you want one.

    15.5″ blade carved from Corona pruning saw, ultralight at 4.6 oz., unlimited depth of cut, extremely rugged, incredibly fast cutting (7 sec. through douglas fir 2×2), great for any kind of wood, and compared to a bow saw very compact and no assembly required. $75

    10.5″ blade carved from Corona pruning saw, ultralight at 3.1 oz., unlimited depth of cut, extremely rugged, very fast cutting (11 sec. through douglas fir 2×2), great for any kind of wood, and compared to a bow saw very compact and no assembly required. $60

    8″ blade cut from Japanese nokigiri pull saw, super ultralight at 1.9 oz., unlimited depth of cut, no assembly required, good for smaller branches and great for bone and antlers. $45

    #3669308
    David Gardner
    BPL Member

    @gearmaker

    Locale: Northern California

    New and improved! Same prices, same deal for BPL members.

    11″ with hard plastic sheath:

    8″ with hard plastic sheath (less than an ounce!):

    #3686054
    David Gardner
    BPL Member

    @gearmaker

    Locale: Northern California

    Now offering color choices for sheath, sheath tape, and grip: blue, green, yellow, red, black. The sheath tape can be SUL ripstop nylon sail repair tape or more robust duct tape, and if you want duct tape the choice of colors and designs is almost limitless. Color schemes can be matching, like all blue or all green, or contrasting, like yellow with green tape (highest visibility), green with yellow tape, etc.

    Still free shipping to the lower 48 for BPL members.

    #3692144
    David Gardner
    BPL Member

    @gearmaker

    Locale: Northern California

    Now available with cork handles and a variety of colors for the grip! Choose from black, blue, yellow, red, blaze orange/yellow/green, etc. Any color that Plasti-Dip comes in.

    Still free shipping to BPL members in CONUS.

    15.5″ $85

    11.0″ $70

    8″ $50

    + $15 for cork grips

    #3697246
    Bill in Roswell
    BPL Member

    @roadscrape88-2

    Locale: Roswell, GA, USA

    Hi David. Been in the market for a UL saw. Deadwood in the southeast runs from pine/hemlock (soft) to oak/hickory (hard+). Which type of blade do you find best for a variety of wood?

    #3697274
    David Gardner
    BPL Member

    @gearmaker

    Locale: Northern California

    Hey Bill –

    The 11″ and the 15.5″ are identical with the exception of the length, and are great for everything except bone or antlers. 11″ is lighter and more packable, but if you’re expecting a lot of heavy cutting – like bushcrafting – I’d go with the 15.5″

    The 8″ is good on bone and antlers and is insanely light.

    I’m shipping this one today:

    I’ve reinforced the tip of the sheath so the blade doesn’t poke through, soften/bevel the back edges of the blade, and include a retainer “scrunchy” to keep it in the sheath.

    #3697299
    matthew k
    Moderator

    @matthewkphx

    I’m enjoying watching your design iterations, David. All these little tweaks add up to a very refined product.

    #3697302
    Kattt
    BPL Member

    @kattt

    I will be ordering one! How durable is the cork handle?

    #3697303
    matthew k
    Moderator

    @matthewkphx

    Katt – info on how David is making them. I suspect they are quite durable but david can answer better, of course.

    https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/cork-grip-for-sul-saws/

    #3697309
    Kattt
    BPL Member

    @kattt

    Thanks @matt! I may have to wait a few weeks but since I plan on getting out with my new titanium wood stove I’ll be needing one :)

    #3697316
    Kevin Babione
    BPL Member

    @kbabione

    Locale: Pennsylvania

    I have one of David’s saws and it cuts really well and I can confirm that the sheath (and the patented “Hair-Tie Restraining System”) keep the rather nastily-sharp teeth completely enclosed.  I was worried about damage to my pack but it stayed sheathed and I won’t have any concerns on future trips.

    If you’re planning to do a lot of wood cutting on a trip then I would suggest the cork handle option.  It wasn’t an option when I bought mine, but I believe it would make it a little easier on the hand if it’s getting a lot of use.  I didn’t have any issues, but I only made about a dozen cuts about 2/3’s through some 3-4 inch diameter logs (we then broke them the rest of the way).

    #3697419
    David Gardner
    BPL Member

    @gearmaker

    Locale: Northern California

    @matthew k: Thanks man. I try.


    @Kattt
    : Based on information from others who have made cork grips I think they will be very durable. But since I’m not 100% certain my cork grips come with a lifetime (mine) replacement warranty if they fail.


    @Kevin
    Babione: Dude! You gave away my trade secret blade retention system!

    #3697952
    Ethan A.
    BPL Member

    @mountainwalker

    Locale: SF Bay Area & New England

    I have one of Dave’s saws and they are a lightweight marvel. It’s one of those lightweight items you take out to share with people to show them what’s possible and they can’t believe it can do the job until they try it. Use it smart as they were intended and they’ll last you fine.

    #3697953
    Ethan A.
    BPL Member

    @mountainwalker

    Locale: SF Bay Area & New England

    I have one of Dave’s saws and they are a lightweight marvel. It’s one of those lightweight items you take out to share with people to show them what’s possible and they can’t believe it can do the job until they try it. Use the saw as it was intended and it’ll last you fine.

    Dave is a gifted mechanical innovator, from lightweight pieces of gear like cookware and saws to 3-wheeled custom car builds. He’s got a design and prototyping lab in his head.

    #3697958
    David Gardner
    BPL Member

    @gearmaker

    Locale: Northern California

    Wow Ethan, thanks man.

    #3700322
    David Gardner
    BPL Member

    @gearmaker

    Locale: Northern California

    Just picked up some new materials

    Here is a better link for choosing colors for the Plasti-Dip rubber coating on the grips.

    #3701133
    David Gardner
    BPL Member

    @gearmaker

    Locale: Northern California

    Shipping today:

    #3701152
    Tipi Walter
    BPL Member

    @tipiwalter

    I’m no expert on saw steels but I know alot about Corona saw blades and longevity.

    When new these blades cut thru wood like butter—but then over time the saw seems to lose its angled kerf making sawing more difficult.  “Kerf” meaning the groove channel the blade makes thru the wood based on the slight angle of each saw tooth.  Over time this angle flattens out and the saw doesn’t cut as fast—requiring more labor.

    Has anyone tried to adjust tooth angle with pliers on a Corona blade?  I used to do it all the time on bow saw blades but they have much bigger teeth.  I need to get out my needle nose pliers and try it on my many Corona folding saws.

    Oh and btw—Corona blades rust really fast so they require frequent coatings of oil.

    #3701181
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    Has anyone tried to adjust tooth angle with pliers on a Corona blade?
    The proper tool for this is called a ‘saw set’. They do not seem to be produced any more – cheaper to throw away and buy a new saw from China I guess. However, you can sometimes find a second-hand one on ebay. Yes, I bought one and yes, it works well. Add a fine triangular file for sharpening.

    Do not confuse a proper ‘saw set’ with what is called ‘saw set pliers’. The latter are a very poor alternative. I doubt they will give repeatable results.

    Equally, do not be confused by ‘sets of saws’ – often sets of hole saws. All very misleading.

    For more info, see
    https://www.fine-tools.com/G10001.html

    Cheers

    #3701182
    David Gardner
    BPL Member

    @gearmaker

    Locale: Northern California

    Hey Tipi,

    Thanks for that information!

    Do you happen to have one of those old bent Corona blades laying around? I’d happily pay the cost of sending it to me. I’d like to take a close look at it. If that works would you PM me please?

    I’m surprised that the teeth are bending and losing their kerf, because this is the toughest steel I’ve ever worked with. Makes a joke out of Cobalt bits, can barely drill it with ceramic bits. I’ve been using the same one for 7 years now I think for car camping and backpacking and it’s still sharp as heck, but then again I’m probably only sawing 5-6 logs a year. If you are able to bend it with pliers I would really like to know. I think there’s some kind of machine the pros use to do it after they resharpen the teeth, to get the kerf back to original width.

    I wonder if it’s that the widest part of the outer edge of the teeth is wearing down a bit. Bending the teeth outward a bit on a worn saw blade would compensate for that, and work like you describe to “re-widen” the kerf and keep the sides of the blade from rubbing against the cut wood and dragging on the blade.

    The blade I’ve been using has had an occasional touch of rust that rubbed away with a bit of oil. But again, my use is limited to camping and to mostly dry wood for fires, somewhat different from the usual and intended use of frequent cutting of green wood. As I understand it, there is a trade off when going to SS alloys that don’t rust at all but don’t hold an edge as well. I think my dad told me that when I was a kid. Never looked it up and I know there are some incredible new alloys available now that weren’t around back…in…the middle…of the last century…OMG.

    #3701183
    David Gardner
    BPL Member

    @gearmaker

    Locale: Northern California

    Roger, thanks for that! I’m going to try to find one of those tools on eBay or wherever so I can offer resetting and resharpening services for my saws.

    Like this?

    #3701187
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    Exactly.
    However, note that such tools are designed to handle a wide range of tooth sizes. You will need to adjust it to suit your saws.
    You will first need to figure out HOW to adjust it to suit! Experiment.

    Cheers

    #3701425
    David Gardner
    BPL Member

    @gearmaker

    Locale: Northern California

    One “Vintage Stanley 43 Saw Set Tool” on the way:

    Seems like they are still making such tools:

    #3701445
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    Oooh – a magnifying glass has been added! NOT a silly idea.
    Less keen on the zinc alloy: I think the old ones were all steel, but no matter.

    Cheers

    #3701496
    Dave @ Oware
    BPL Member

    @bivysack-com

    Locale: East Washington

    I learned as a Tenderfoot in Boy Scouts the way to ruin a bow saw blade is to allow a log to pinch the blade and flatten the teeth. My guess is improper sawing technique causes the problems with sharpness. Folks use sawbucks for a reason.

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