Saturday, August 27, 2011

Emergency/survival notes: saw test

Yeah, I mean those wire saws that come in versions ranging from 'cheap piece of crap that can't pop a balloon' to 'can be used to cut through jail bars' (like the one Chuck Yeager used) quality. There's a gun show this weekend and Dad came up for it. While there ran across a table carrying these:
That's right, it's Commando! and everything! In any case...
No visible teeth to it, it's a braided-wire saw
hooked to two big rings using heavy swivels. Doesn't feel very sharp, so wasn't sure how well it'd work. So, to the yard.

I've got a piece of oak pruned from a tree, about 1.5" diameter and thoroughly seasoned, hard as hell. So clamped it in the vise
hooked my thumbs through the rings and started sawing. It took about three minutes(yes, I forgot to find my watch to time it accurately) to cut through by this method; hooking it to a flexed piece of branch to make a bow saw would probably work a bit faster, but it did indeed slice through.

Second test, had a piece of 1x2 handy, which is a fairly soft wood, and tried it; took maybe 30 seconds to slice through.

So this appears to be a pretty good quality saw for cutting wood, and will coil up small enough to make for easy packing/storage. After I regain strength I'll try to find a piece of metal more suitable for a test than most of what I've got out back and give that a try.

Added: Mattexian noted in comments that it's best to use a branch to make it a bow saw: flex the branch and hook the loops at the ends. In fact, the back of the package shows just that; didn't have anything immediately available that fit the bill so did it the quick & dirty way


Carteach0 said...

Liking the vice as much as the saw!

Firehand said...

Picked up that vise early in the forging career; made a repair, made the mounting bracket. I've been using that thing for more than 20 years now.

Got it at a flea market; no way I could afford a new one or one at a store; BLEEP! those things are expensive!

Windy Wilson said...

I had one for a brief period when I was in the Boy Scouts. As I recall, mine broke because it got kinked and caught cutting a piece of wood by hand as you described. Making a bow to hold it taught is I think recommended for long life.

Mattexian said...

Making it into a bowsaw is the recommended way of using it, otherwise you're gonna bend the wire back and forth until it breaks (and yet this is how folks think it's supposed to be used).

Firehand said...

Should have noted: back of the package does show using a limb to make the bow portion; nothing immediately available to do so with, so went with the 'quick & dirty' method