Three main methods for holding the blade balanced
1. Tension by itself. Many Best Coping Saws, both good and poor, depend solely on the frame to tension the blade and keep it in place. Since the frame’s two arms stretch out, the blade’s opening is too wide. To bring the blade into the picture, you must squeeze the arms close, which slightly tensions the blade. The friction will then be increased by rotating the handle clockwise, which pulls the frame’s arms closely together.
If the structure is rigid and maintains its original form, this would function perfectly. After a few months, several coping saws with lightweight frames lose their form. The limbs are bent inward and remain that way. I have some vintage saws from the early twentieth century that still have excellent blade tension. As a result, certain critical metallurgical information has been overlooked or overlooked.
2. It comes to an end. Some saws have fixed detents or stops in the frame that help the blade stay aligned at the toe and heel. This remedy will or may not be effective. Some modern coping saws have detents that are too shallow to accommodate anything, forcing you to depend solely on the frame to support the blade in place.
A saw with stops has the disadvantage of not always working well when you need the blade to rotate as you cut, such as when cutting curvaceous fretwork in thin materials. The pauses are simply excessively harsh. Either of these saws is certainly for you if you don’t need your coping saw for fretwork.
Pulleys are number three. To hold the blade balanced at the toe and foot, some older coping saws made for fretwork use an innovative set of pulleys or rollers. To hold the blade aligned, the Jones Patent saw by E.C. Atkins uses a thread that runs across the saw’s frame. A chain is used in the Fenner Patent saw. (Both are shown below.)
You may think I’m going to take you on a wild goose chase in search of one of the aforementioned saws, which can be costly, unusual, or both. And for those who choose antique or well-made instruments, this is a viable choice.
But what if all you want is a functional coping saw? I’ve been tinkering with this theory for at least five years, trying to find the right affordable coping saw and the easiest way to change it to make it functional.
This saw can be transformed into a blade-clamping beast with the inclusion of two bits of 25-cent hardware from any hardware shop. Two 5/16″ split washers, also known as “spring lock washers,” are needed.
I’ve used a variety of washers, including wave washers and serrated-tooth washers, in my research. While these help the saw, I find that the wave washers wear out too fast, and the serrated-tooth washers keep the blade from turning in just one direction.