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Frame Saw

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Project by Craig Ambrose posted 1759 days ago 5130 views 14 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Another project I’m working on involves re-sawing, so I made this frame saw. It uses a blade from an E.C.E. bow saw, sharpened for ripping. The frame has single through dovetails at the corners, and the ends were shaped into comfortable handles using a draw knife, rasp and file. The blade is mounted using into bolts which I hacksawed a slit into to take the blade, and drilled a cross hole for a small machine bolt. One end is fixed, and the other has a wingnut for tightening.

More importantly, it works magnificently. Getting the rip configuration on my blade was a revelation enough, but having the big symmetrical frame saw body really lets me track a line pretty well. Yet another motivation to throw the noisy machines out of my shed.





15 comments so far

View AaronK's profile

AaronK

1389 posts in 2068 days


#1 posted 1759 days ago

nice work. this is the first time i’ve come across this type of saw – does the balanced design work better than a bow saw for this type of application (resawing)?

also:
what wood did you use, and what type of hardware is in it, and where did you purchase said hardware? thanks!

View stefang's profile

stefang

12600 posts in 1938 days


#2 posted 1759 days ago

That is a great saw and it looks very well made. It reminds me a little of a ripsaw I saw in a drawing from the 15th or 16th century ( I was very young then). The saw was very similar, but it had several blades. The drawing showed two men cutting several slices of veneers at the same time by sawing through the log lengthwise with the log standing vertical and sawing from the top down. I love this kind of stuff. I hope you do more of it.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112001 posts in 2181 days


#3 posted 1759 days ago

Nice work

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Craig Ambrose's profile

Craig Ambrose

47 posts in 2176 days


#4 posted 1759 days ago

AaronK, yep the balanced design absolutely does work better than a bow saw. Don’t get me wrong, I love my bow saws, and they are very nice to saw with for the first 10cm or so, until the central wooden bar hits the work piece. Then, you need to change the blade angle so that the wooden bow hangs off to the side of your work. This makes you unbalanced. It’s hard on the hands, and it’s harder work to track a straight line. I’ve tried various angles, from the minimum needed to clear the wood, to going fully horizontal, and none are perfect. I still use a bow saw for crosscutting planks, as this is rarely a problem, and even for joinery in larger work. I’m going to get hold of an american style rip saw for ripping planks though.

The frame saw, however, really excels at re-sawing. The two handed movement isn’t the most powerful sawing position, but what it does give you is heaps of control. The width of the saw helps you balance in the same way that a tight-rope walker uses a long pole.

You don’t need any fancy hardware, just the blade. Most people use old band-saw blades. Personally, I’d recommend buying a blade like mine, just to get that little extra blade depth to keep the cut straight. The hardware holding the blade in place is just a couple of bolts. At one end I used a carriage bolt, so that the square end would go into the wood and stop any twist. It has no nut on the other end, just a hacksawed slit for the blade, and a tiny little bolt through a hole that I drilled through the bolt. The other end is a regular bolt, with the head sawn off. Where the head would be is the slit and tiny bolt hole. The other end goes through the wood and then has a wing nut on it for tightening. Easy.

The one mistake I made was getting a little excited when I’d dovetailed the corners of the frame, and glueing it up. Save the glue until last, so that you can drill both holes together and get them to line up perfectly. Get the blade hardware and stuff all working and do a trial assembly, then glue it and give it a final planing and shaping of the handles.

View spud72's profile

spud72

303 posts in 2098 days


#5 posted 1759 days ago

I Like it. You do nice work

Guy

-- Guy,PEI

View badger's profile

badger

62 posts in 1949 days


#6 posted 1759 days ago

looks fantastic.

Did you use a plan, or just wing it?

-- "I'm just a simple man trying to make my way in the universe." -- Jango Fett

View AaronK's profile

AaronK

1389 posts in 2068 days


#7 posted 1758 days ago

interesting. im having a little hard time visualizing though – would you be able to post close up pics?

View Craig Ambrose's profile

Craig Ambrose

47 posts in 2176 days


#8 posted 1758 days ago

Here’s a great site with someone else’s frame saw, which I followed for the fastenings. They’ve got close up pics of the bolts.

http://www.hyperkitten.com/woodworking/frame_saw.php

Note that it’s really important to do the hacksawing into the bolt as straight as possible. My first shot gave me a slight kink to the blade and I re-did one end until I was happy with it.

View AaronK's profile

AaronK

1389 posts in 2068 days


#9 posted 1757 days ago

cool, thanks! i figured it had to be something like that, but couldnt quite get the pieces to connect in my head.

View Scrape's profile

Scrape

21 posts in 1421 days


#10 posted 1421 days ago

With the right side blade, can you cut curves too? Not small curves like you’d use a coping saw for, necessarily. I make instrument necks by hand, and would essentially want to use the bow saw as a band saw replacement.

-- Rob "Scrape" French, Missouri

View Craig Ambrose's profile

Craig Ambrose

47 posts in 2176 days


#11 posted 1421 days ago

Rob, yes certainly, in fact I’ve got the ECE turning blade too, which is just right for the sort of thing you’re describing. However, I’ve never used in in this saw, I use it in my regular bow saw. I don’t think there’s a need for anything as wide and bulky as this saw for any use other than resawing.

View Scrape's profile

Scrape

21 posts in 1421 days


#12 posted 1421 days ago

Craig,

If you can imagine making a long taper (about 18” or so, too deep for a bow saw), almost parallel to the edge of the board (i.e. similar to resawing), and then curving that cut at the end, that’s what I’m looking to do.

-- Rob "Scrape" French, Missouri

View Craig Ambrose's profile

Craig Ambrose

47 posts in 2176 days


#13 posted 1421 days ago

I’d still use a bow saw, just turn the blade 90 degrees. Admittedly, this saw has more balance when used horizontally like that, but the downside is that you need clearance on both sides of the board. If the bow saw still doesn’t have enough clearance (if you’re cutting a taper that’s wider than 6” or so at it’s wider point), I’d consider making a bigger bow saw.

View kokako's profile

kokako

6 posts in 1260 days


#14 posted 1257 days ago

Very cool. Can you tell me were you sourced the blade? Im in NZ too…

View Craig Ambrose's profile

Craig Ambrose

47 posts in 2176 days


#15 posted 1256 days ago

kokato, I ordered them from this place in Australia:

http://www.mytoolstore.com.au/brands/E.C.Emmerich.html

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