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The Frame Saw Part Two


In part one of the Frame Saw series,

I  assembled the hardware, and started working on the frame components.

I used 8/8 walnut for the frame parts and some off the shelf hardware, for the blade brackets.

This video pick-ups with the final sanding of the parts, after which, an oil/varnish finish is applied.

The saw was then assembled for the very first time and a test cut follows.

Frame Saw and Kerfing Plane

Frame Saw and Kerfing Plane












You’ll notice in the video,  I used two clamps to elevate the frame and draw it together while assembling.

These days, I don’t find this step necessary as I’ve gotten used to taking apart and re-assembling the pieces.

You’ll also notice, (if you look closely) that the tensioning bolt on this first, front bracket was off centered.

This was my prototype, and when I drilled it, the metal bit I used in my brace kept wandering on me.

This didn’t seem to interfere with the performance but I did eventually replace it.

In use, the saw performed as I hoped.

The two handed grip makes sawing much easier, and the thin saw plate, has less resistance and friction.

The Kerfing Plane and Frame Saw are a great duo worth spending the time to make.

These two tools will open an entirely new world of possibilities in the hand-tool only wood shop.   ( Tweet that )

The stock I resaw in this video, is the same piece of birds-eye maple I used to test drive the Kerfing plane.

In the next video series, you’ll see both the Frame Saw and the Kerfing Plane in action.

I’ll break out some of the specifics on using these tools in later posts.

Until then-

enjoy part two of the Frame Saw.







  1. Posted by Julio Alonso Diaz on Mar 14th, 2014

    WOW ! Tom what can I say ? stunning work, absolutly precise, well done.

  2. Posted by Salko on Mar 14th, 2014

    Oh I miss woodworking so much it’s the only thing that makes any sense. Its a pity we have become a nation of imports. Money just doesn’t grow on trees anymore but on mass production of feces.

    Keep it up Tom your an inspiration to us all.

  3. Posted by Bill on Mar 14th, 2014

    That’s great stuff Tom. What is the length of the blade you are using there?


  4. Posted by David Gendron on Mar 14th, 2014

    Sweet Saw, Sweet Work!!

  5. Posted by stephen melhuish on Mar 14th, 2014


    applied logic to a task that is carried out with great aplomb, this and the history of them can’t help but spin us all back to our predecessors…….those deep saw pit eras when wood was worked by giant hand tools and men built from blisters and sweat….thanks for continuing to provide us all with the joy of your labours.

    The silence in your videos in terms of the lack of the spoken word still haunts me and allows the mind to absorb the subject at it’s own visual pace.

    A question on design considerations here Tom. I notice that in your book you mention within the ‘For your safety’ box that you say that you plan to make a number of different frames with varying sizes and saw plates….how important do you consider the weight of the frame contributes towards the handling and ease of the cutting?….I just wondered with very dense woods to veneer, would a heavier frame gain some merit?

  6. Posted by Aymeric on Mar 15th, 2014

    Really nice work!
    In vintage frame saws, the tenons/mortises of the side arms are usually set horizontally, yours are vertical. Is there a reason?
    Thanks for your input

  7. Posted by tom on Mar 15th, 2014

    Thanks Bill, this plate is just over 25-in. I have a 36-in. and another 31-in. on it’s way.
    As I get more use out of the new one, I will post impressions and feedback.


  8. Posted by tom on Mar 15th, 2014

    thanks for the comments and question.
    I think a heavier saw frame would certainly help although I’m only speculating.
    I’d be curious to know or hear if anyone has done extensive testing to see if a frame a few pounds heavier drives the teeth down any faster or easier.
    Remember, speed kills! ; o
    A faster saw may be more difficult to control….and as you know, I’m never in too much of a hurry! LOL.
    But that’s a great question and an interesting topic.
    I have another saw plate I’ve been experimenting with as well as another one on it’s way from Bad Axe.
    I’ll be posting my tests in the coming months and will fill you in on the details.

    all the best,

  9. Posted by tom on Mar 15th, 2014

    thanks for the question!
    I wasn’t aware that the tenons on vintage saw frames are usually set horizontally.
    I can only guess that the maker thought they’d be stronger that way?
    I will try them that way on my next frame and do some experimenting.
    That said, I tighten the hell out of this frame and haven’t had any issues.
    Just curious, where did you come by the information that says vintage saws usually have tenons set horizontally?
    thanks again for the feedback ~; )

  10. Posted by Aymeric on Mar 17th, 2014

    Tom, most of the vintage framesaw pics I looked at seemed to have single tenons with the side arms set horizontally. These are huge beasts of about 6ft long by 3ft wide, 2 to 3 men used to operate them. I even saw one with round through tenons! the smaller versions about 4-5ft by 2ft also have single tenons or through dovetails/tenon. The best example of the dovetail/tenon framesaw is on Mike Siemsen’s blog who copied a Swedish framesaw that has this kind of joinery. Mike opted for a single tenon for his framesaw but the vintage saw has beautiful joineries that you can see here : pics, at bottom of page.

  11. Posted by tom on Mar 17th, 2014

    Thanks for the link Aymeric,
    much appreciated.

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