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I Forge Iron

How to forge a saw blade?

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One of the projects that I want to tackle is to make some wood working tools, among them, a bowsaw. I am curious as to how I could make a blade of uniform thickness without building a rolling mill and without starting with stock of the appropriate thickness. The only thing I could think of would be some type of dies for a Smithin' Magician, but I don't have one of those. Is there a simpler way that doesn't involve making a lot of intermediate tools?


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Been done for thousands of years "by hammer and hand, and eye). Only needs to be close, not perfect. Once you file and "set" the teeth you'll have room for a lot of variation. Rub it on a flat piece of granite to knock off the high spots. Just do it! If you don't try to get too aggressive with the hammer, you'll be surprised how even it comes out.

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You could make a stop plate for your anvil. Take a piece of steel the correct thickness + a bit for cleanup and cut an outlined rectangle from it that you can bend the short ends down to sit on the sides of your anvil leaving the two long sides going across your anvil with just enough room for your stock to fit between then and then use a hammer with a face larger than that to hammer on the hot stock (striker or holder strongly suggested).

The hammer face should be stopped by the side pieces leaving the stock within it the correct thickness.

Most people I know just take a section of saw blade and cut their own teeth into it

Note a neat trick you can do is to taper the saw blade blank so the cutting edge is thicker than the back edge helps for fine woodworking where the kerf may not be very large.

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Yes, a Flatter and Stop Blocks on your anvil would be my first thoughts. Having a Striker/Helper or a Treadle Hammer would really help.

The other thing to think about would be your final grinding/sanding. There are reasons those old "cutlers" had those huge 10 to 12 foot diameter grinding/sanding wheels. They make truing up the sides of a large knife or a saw blade a whole lot easier.


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