Frame Saw Build #2: Blades are in, Conceptual design is out

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Blog entry by PurpLev posted 10-18-2011 04:33 AM 9627 reads 2 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: design considerations - blades Part 2 of Frame Saw Build series Part 3: Template me this, Curve me that. »

I got my shipment from highlandwoodworking earlier which included the frame saw blades. I couldn’t resist and tried them on some cutoff material to see how well the cut and even freehanded without them being stretched tight they performed real well.

I got 2 blades, both 27.5” long. 1 is a 5 TIP for cross cutting and the other 9 TPI for ripping and joinery. Yes, the cross cut blade has a lower TPI but what makes it a cross cut blade is the teeth geometry. In this picture you can see the blades with their teeth next to each other and while the cross cut teeth are larger and less per inch (which normal intuition would argue against) the geometry making a cross cut blade is such that the teeth are sharpened like shark teeth, or like pyramids with equal sides where as the rip blade (which in this case has higher TPI and smaller teeth) geometry is more like a wave with a shorter cutting edge and a gullet formed from the rounded front of the tooth, and a longer back of the tooth. Also what is not seen in the picture is the difference in set each blade has:

First thing I did was placed them on the workbench to assess how big the saw would be if using the blade as is and I must say it would be way too big for my current needs so the blades will need to be cut. the question is – how much. this pictures shows the blades next to my dozuki:

So, back to the drawing board. I made 3 versions of the saw as I will build it. one with the shorter 15 3/4” long blade (this would be the same as the saw highlandwoodworking is selling as the 400 series). another with a 19+” long blade which is a 500mm blade, and one with the blade as it is now at 27 1/2” long which is just too big and not suitable for my general needs which are general cuts and joinery.

Since once I cut the blade down I cannot elongate it back up I think I will start with the 500mm long blade version as it seems very balanced to the eye and might work out just fine and I can always shorten it to the ~16” version if I feel it is too long.

And so, I have the blades, and I have the material I want to use for the sides which is 6/4 maple I got from LJ buddy Len (Dusty65):

For the stretcher I think I’ll use mahogany as it is lighter in weight than anything else I have (I don’t have cedar which would be lighter still) and might add a nice contrasting color to this saw (not sure if this will work well for this application, but we’ll wait and see).

Next I’ll print a full size template on paper. transfer it to a 3/4” plywood which I’ll shape carefully to match the profile and then use that on the final milled maple to make the parts..

Any feedback is greatly appreciated now before I start making cuts (which won’t be at least until this weekend… or will it…)

Thanks for reading,

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

7 comments so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18311 posts in 3728 days

#1 posted 10-18-2011 05:25 AM

I will be interested to see how these turn out. I have a blade I got for making a frame saw, but it was set aside when I got busy with contracts.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Karson's profile


35128 posts in 4453 days

#2 posted 10-18-2011 06:19 AM

Some great looking blades Good luck on the build

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Dale J Struhar Sr's profile

Dale J Struhar Sr

495 posts in 3183 days

#3 posted 10-18-2011 03:05 PM

The blades look great. Have fun with the build.

-- Dale, Ohio

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2746 days

#4 posted 10-18-2011 03:08 PM

Those are some stout looking blades. That monster 20+ in your sketch is a beast! I’m excited about this project.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View spunwood's profile


1202 posts in 2889 days

#5 posted 10-30-2011 09:34 PM

What a cool project!

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

View Brad's profile


1139 posts in 2793 days

#6 posted 08-29-2015 03:36 PM

PurpLev, can you tell me if your blades can be resharpened? Or do you have to replace them when they get dull?

-- "People's lives are their own rewards or punishments."

View PurpLev's profile


8539 posts in 3701 days

#7 posted 08-29-2015 05:10 PM

PurpLev, can you tell me if your blades can be resharpened? Or do you have to replace them when they get dull?

- Brad

these are re-sharpenable blades. you can either sharpen them yourself if you learn the process (not terribly difficult – and then you can also always sharpen/set the blades to your liking), or you can give it to a local sharpening service of your choosing.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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