Frame Saw Build #3: Template me this, Curve me that.

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Blog entry by PurpLev posted 10-24-2011 08:25 PM 8835 reads 5 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Blades are in, Conceptual design is out Part 3 of Frame Saw Build series Part 4: Stainless Steel Blade Clips »

Using my previously made SketchUp model I made a full sizes printed template using the following steps:

1. Setting up a Parallel view:

The default view in SketchUp is “Perspective” which allows us to view things in 3D which looks ‘real’ due to the perspective view but for printing we want to be able to see the drawings in 2-D as if they were printed on a flat paper (which is what we about to do). In order to do this you need to go to the menus under “Camera” and select “Parallel Projection” (to go back to the default view just click ‘Perspective” in the same menu). Now if you have things in view they may start to look weird as you are trying to see a 3D view in 2D – confused yet?

Now since we are interested in printing a 2D image, seeing things in broken 3D won’t help much, so the next change is to go and select a 2D camera direction in “Camera” → “Standard Views” → “Top” (or “front” depending on how your drawing is oriented in the 3D space – either facing up, front, or sideways). This will give you a view like this (albeit with different geometries based on what you are trying to print:

NOTE: For printing purposes, SketchUp will print whatever is presented in the SU view which means that if you are zoomed out and have a lot of empty space around your model – SketchUp will print that empty space and your 1 page print could instead result in a 20 pages print of 19 empty papers, and 1 with actual geometry on it. So before printing anything from SU make sure your view is zoomed in on what you would like to print as close as possible without any empty areas around your model – change the dimensions of the screen if necessary (make it narrow, or wide to eliminate as much empty space as possible)

2. Setting up Printing 1-to-1 ratio:

In order to print your drawing/template in full size (1” in drawing is 1” on printed paper) go the menus under “File” → “Document Setup” and uncheck the “fit view to page” as this will print the entire view to 1 page which will be not fullsize. Also change the dimensions to be 1” in drawing equals 1” in model to set it to print fullsize prints as can be seen here:

notice also that it will tell you how many pages (according to your printer setup) it will require to print the model in view. If you have empty spaces (as mentioned above) you will see this number pretty high. As you adjust the zoom on your model to eliminate empty spaces around it in the view you may see this number go down.

3: Optional – Setting pages alignment graphics:
Since my printout requires 2 pages, I drew freehand (no need for measurements or precision here) some cross lines that would help me realign and tape the 2 pages properly so that the template will be true. Also I printed a 1”x1” square divided to 4 1/4” areas. This helps me take a ruler to the printed template and verify that the print is indeed fullsize and the measurements are true.

At this point I printed the template making sure to set the printer to NOT fit print into page or do any other stretching or any sorts.

Using spray glue I stuck the template on a leftover piece of pine and bandsaws it as close as I could to the lines:

I did a couple of templates before this one and used 3/4” plywood. I found the plywood to be harder to shape than the pine and decided to use the pine this time around since I had scraps of it lying around from building TWW rocking horse and I must say it was much easier to shape and work with.

Next step for me was to shape the wood to the cut lines slowly slowly using a belt sander:

and using a spindle to address the tight curves:

Looking back, I should have done the tight curves first and then eased off the transition to the flatter areas with the belt sander.

As for the straight edges I used the TS and a sled to make sure everything was inline and perpendicular to one another:

Now that the template was ready I milled some stock and roughly drew the template on it to give me some reference lines to drill the holes:

Before shaping the frame and taking it out of square (sort of) I wanted to drill all necessary holes first as it is easier to position a square board then a curved one. Using 1 board as a measurement setter I drill the holes using a 1/4” drill for the handles, the stretcher and the mortises for the cross bar then using the same drill setings drilled the other part as well:

With the holes out of the way it was time to cut the shape out. I put some carpet tape on the template (2 sided tape) and positioned both board and template upright so that the flat reference lines on the bottom of both are aligned (and perpendicular to the holes drilled earlier) and stuck them together:

It was then off to the bandsaw to remove as much material as close to the line as I felt comfortable followed by the router table with a template bit to transfer the shape to the frames. I had terrible blow outs which I suspect was due to the material and the unusual grain orientation, but I take full responsibility for this mishap, and if I work with this material again I would cut closer to the line with the bandsaw leaving less material for the router bit to engage with, or use a fence on the RT to take the bites in steps (I think I took less then 1/8” cut here which was still enough for it to cheap off the material.

no picture of that!

I did clean some off by sanding through it (luckily I made the template extra thick so had some material I could take off without compromising anything) and one area which was beyond cleanup I cut a square mortise and added a replacement block which I will later trim down to size/shape:

As for the cross support, I milled some mahogany to same thickness as the frame and sized accordingly to width and transferred the mortise lines to cut the tenons as well as rounding off the showing ends:

deepening the mortise to accommodate for the tenon on one side:

And the other:

...and I’m Done! next I will machine the blade to size, and some pins to hold the blade as well as a tightening rod for the top.

In case you are wondering the material thickness is 1-1/4” which is on the thick side, but I am still planing on shaping it down and rounding it over which will leave it slightly thinner where needed, but still hefty were it requires it to be.

Thanks for reading,

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

14 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35153 posts in 4638 days

#1 posted 10-24-2011 08:42 PM

Great looking work. Nice job on the build so far.

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

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 2892 days

#2 posted 10-24-2011 09:05 PM

I Really enjoy walking through your builds. Great job so far. You scetchup skills are enviable. (I am a pad and paper boy)

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View moonls's profile


412 posts in 3224 days

#3 posted 10-24-2011 09:23 PM

Nice job Sharon. I’m saving this post just for the sketch-up info which I’ve yet to learn. Even looking at the frame at this stage, I can tell that it will be beautiful as well as practical.

-- Lorna, Cape Cod

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 3236 days

#4 posted 10-25-2011 03:40 AM

Very pretty. You going to make the hardware or get some from Grammercy? I really like their blades for the bow saw and the ones from Traditional Woodworker for the 15 in ones.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View PurpLev's profile


8548 posts in 3886 days

#5 posted 10-25-2011 03:44 AM

Thanks guys,

David – I am going to make the hardware from stainless steel. I was going to order the blades from traditional woodworker, but since I had other things to get from highlandwoodworking I ended up getting their 27” blades and will be cutting them shorter to be 19”

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

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 3236 days

#6 posted 10-25-2011 05:50 AM

Highland are good people. I ordered some blades for mine from them for my larger frame saw. I also have their smaller one (that comes with the japanese style blade.) I did prefer the blades from Traditional woodworker though. I keep a rip blade in the long saw and a crosscut in the shorter one. I did not really like the rod tensioners though and switched them to cord.

The hardest part is cutting the holes. Some people just use and old bit and let it overheat and take the temper out of the bade for drilling. If you don’t want to go that way, you could go with a diamond bit with lots of water and time. They normally are punched out in the factory.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 3950 days

#7 posted 10-25-2011 06:01 AM

An informative and interesting blog, thank you for posting this.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View PurpLev's profile


8548 posts in 3886 days

#8 posted 10-25-2011 06:17 AM

Thanks David – if you posted on my previous blog entry I would have gone with traditional woodworker for the blades and bypass the trimming of the blade process :) oh well. thanks for the info on the hole. I figured they were hardened and was planning on starting with a 1/8” bit or less and stepping it up. we’ll see how it goes.

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

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4217 days

#9 posted 10-25-2011 02:07 PM

Hi Sharon,

Very nice workmanship on everything, from the drawing on.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View mafe's profile


11771 posts in 3327 days

#10 posted 10-25-2011 09:54 PM

It will be wonderful when you have shaped it up, I like to see your systematic work process, and that you then follow it so methodical, it makes me feel a little messy.
I used to draw in AutoCAD think I have to take up Sketchup for models.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View PurpLev's profile


8548 posts in 3886 days

#11 posted 10-26-2011 03:21 AM

Thanks Lee. nice to see you around.

Mads- I used ACAD in the past among other 3D apps, and while I found SketchUp quirky to get used to at first I now think that it is the most useful for woodworking applications as it has built in tools that are intuitive for product designs (woodworking related) which really simplifies things. you should check it out. PM me with any questions you might have (should you have any).

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

View mafe's profile


11771 posts in 3327 days

#12 posted 10-26-2011 12:25 PM

Thank you.

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View sIKE's profile


1271 posts in 3992 days

#13 posted 10-27-2011 08:06 PM

nothing better than making your own tools! thanks for showing us how Sharon!

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

View Brit's profile


7605 posts in 3080 days

#14 posted 10-27-2011 08:30 PM

Great blog PurpLev. You can’t beat Sketchup for visualizing your projects. That’s a nice chunk of maple. Looking forward to the next installment.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

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