Getting rid of the Schwarz syndrome

As previously mentioned, one of the few remedies for the Schwarz syndrome is building a workbench. This weekend, I have worked hard at going through therapy and have made some progress.

I have done some practice with my bow saw, and finally managed to make the saw cut where I want, not where it wants. I had previously  equipped this saw with a japanese blade, and consequently, the saw was cutting too fast for me. After some test cuts, I found out how to make the saw not only cut fast, but also to cut where I wanted Рthe key was probably not to apply any pressure at all, but to let the saw work with its own weight and only steer it gently. Of course, that is a rather common insight, but, considering the large and quite heavy frame as opposed to a japanese saw, some practise was required to put this into practice.  With this new-gained skill, I was able to cut those massive tenons considerably faster than with my Ryoba.

Excavating those mortises was also sped up considerably with that large auger bit – but fine tuning and fitting the mortises was still a lot of work. Four more mortises remain – those in the bottom side of the top. And after those, I’m not going to do mortises of this size ever again. That is, until the Schwarz syndrome relapses.

After finishing the joinery, I did a final smoothing of the base using my large jointer with a rather fine setting and my smoothing plane and drawbored the side trestles together. Drawboring is quite impressive: tap-tap-tap-THUD, and you realize, that this joint is not going to loosen ever.

I faced a problem when I wanted to assemble the complete base: I had no means to pull the whole assembly together. The joints of the long stretchers were rather tight and I didn’t want to buy 1.20m long clamps for this single purpose. The father-in-law came up with this simple and brilliant mega-clamping solution:

As mentioned before, I was not inclined to joint the three beams for the top by hand. A short trip to the local cabinetmaker and his massive jointer solved this issue. I had the feeling that this guy was a bit amused by my project, especially with the low-quality carpentry wood that I use… Anyway, he kindly offered to help me with the glue-up, using his large hydraulic frame press (I’m not sure about the technical term, what I mean is something like this)
An hour later, I came back with a jointed, glued and thickness-planed top, ready for assembly.

So far so good, thank’s for reading!


~ by Michael on July 19, 2010.

5 Responses to “Getting rid of the Schwarz syndrome”

  1. Lookin good Michael. Epic really. I’m keen to make a bow saw. Are you happy with the jap blade? I’ve heard a bandsaw blade is the way to go.

    I used a similar technique for the base of my roubo. A bit more modern though using rachet straps. Worked well.

  2. Thanks, Dan!

    Making a bow saw is probably worth the effort, I find that, with a bit of practice, my bow saw is superior to my other saws. But then, I never used a proper back saw. That japanese blade is really impressive, compared to the old blade. I bought it from here:
    And as I mentioned, it cuts almost too fast. A band saw blade would probably work fine, though.

  3. Ah ratchet straps, what a great idea! ::puts ides in hat:: I’ve got a truck full of those. My Schwarz feels better already.

  4. Excellent post! Especially appreciate your mention of those Japanese saw blades. I’ve yet to build a frame or bow saw, but want to do so, and it sounds like this would be the blade to have! I’ve been looking for a solution to cut thick stock, as my ryoba really has a hard time staying on track. I’d been eyeing the larger Japanese saws (more like logging saws) but this would probably do just as well, for a bit cheaper.

    Looking forward to seeing the unveiled product!

  5. I have built 1 frame saw with the Gramercy kit (really a large coping saw) and have purchased a japanese blade for a larger one (400 mm) and intend to use it for joinery and additional feed back on how it works for that purpose?

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