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Reciprocating saw to round bowl blanks?

Jay's picture

Has anyone used a reciprocating saw instead of a band saw to round bowl blanks?  I am in a situation where I cannot acquire or keep a band saw, but I could purchase a reciprocating saw.  I have been doing it by hand until now, but would love to find a way to speed the process up a bit.  Do you think this would work, and if so, what specs would you recommend for a reciprocating saw that might handle this chore?



RalphBarker's picture

Round vs. roughly round (post #170617, reply #1 of 2)

The issue, I think, with using a reciprocating saw (various types from sawsall types to jig saws) is that the end of the blade floats free. As such, cuts, particularly on thick material, won't always be "true" (consistently square to the surface). And, there is an issue of how long of a blade is available for the particular saw. A good bow saw is another alternative, but requires the patience associated with hand sawing.

Then again, for turning purposes, one only needs the blank to be roughly round to begin with. How rough is a matter of the size of the blank, what one's lathe can handle in terms of off-center mass, and how slow it can turn during the true-up process..

roc's picture

How about an Axe ? Just kidding. (post #170617, reply #2 of 2)

Though there are some here that could make it work I am sure.

Ever read the book The Power Of One ?  One of the copper miners cuts perfect bowling ball size spheres from wood in his spare time to relax.  HE USES AN AXE AND HOLDS THE BALL BLANK IN HIS OTHER HAND !  He has piles of them.  Yah . . . he's nuts.  But a talented nut !

I have the largest, older, electric (not battery) one of these

And I can tell you it gets right down the road on steel or wood.

A great, great tool !  Not sure if your bowl blanks can get in there.  Take a blank to the local industrial supply and try it.

A nice, sharp, quality, coarse tooth, panel saw should  go pretty fast as well and easy to make work on most applications. I leave this link incase you are not sure what I mean

And last but not least what do you think of an electric chain saw?  I had one of those for a while and it worked fine.  For wet wood.  Have to be pretty sharp for dryish wood though.


I have one of these

but find it best for the limited things it was designed for like cutting into a wall etc.  Not so great for free form sculpting as it were.


Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. Abraham Lincoln ( 54° shaves )