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How to Use a Coping Saw (Read 2512 times)
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How to Use a Coping Saw
May 31st, 2009 at 3:10pm
 
I bought a coping saw from Harbor Freight locally.  It has a fixed end and a swivel end.  One can only get the blade to rotate slightly relative to the bar, and then for only an inch or so before it begins to twist back the other way.  Is this meant for some special application? It seems ill suited for use as a luthier's tool.   

My principle interest is in how one uses a coping saw to cut curves in thin wood, such as spruce and cedar.  I had a challenging time with some thin poplar yesterday.  The wood wants to crack and split while one is sawing.  I did not clamp it, because I was afraid the thin, brittle wood would break.  I also do not want to leave indentations in the surface.

Can anyone give me a Coping Saw 101 course?   Undecided

Thanks!
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unkabob
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Re: How to Use a Coping Saw
Reply #1 - May 31st, 2009 at 4:27pm
 
Coping:
I looked at the picture on the Harbor Freight site and I suspect that the handle un-screws if you hold the tab and frame with the other hand.
1 Unscrew the handle to relieve the tension on the blade.
2 Rotate the blade to the desired angle at both ends.
3 Hold the frame and tab at the right angle and tighten the handle to tension the blade.

That is my best guess.

Always cut close to a support on thin material.

Masking tape can reduce splintering. Tape the line and mark on the masking tape then cut and remove the tape after.

Use scrap wood between the vise jaws and your work (no marks).

Bob
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Coping
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Re: How to Use a Coping Saw
Reply #2 - Jun 1st, 2009 at 2:56am
 
Mahalo nui!

I appreciate your comments.

The Harbor Freight saw is constructed so that the end opposite the handle has a square hole in the frame that receives the part that holds the blade, which is also square.  That provides for 90 degree increments of rotation of the tip.  The only intervening adjustment is by shifting the lever on blade holding component near the handle.  I'm tempted to get a a different saw, one with a much wider range of adjustment on both ends in the manner more typical of coping saws.  That was the basis for my curiosity with regard to whether this was a special purpose saw (used for cutting thick, crown molding at a fixed angle rather than curved work).

Thanks again!
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unkabob
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Re: How to Use a Coping Saw
Reply #3 - Jun 2nd, 2009 at 2:15pm
 
Coping:
Most coping saws that I have used rotate at both ends and have a tab at both ends so that you can cut at any angle.

Bob
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