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The Frame Saw Part One

March 11, 2014

If you followed my last video series- The Kerfing Plane part onetwo and three,

and assuming you’ll make one of these fine tools to use in your own shop,

then this next video series should be of interest to you.

The Frame Saw.


The frame saw handle, finely shaped.

Although the frame saw is often associated with sawing shop made veneer,

the truth is, you’ll get just as much use out of it for general resawing and ripping tasks.

If you’re like me, you prefer to purchase 8/4  stock whenever you can;

furniture and cabinet parts are rarely made to anything close to this thickness so you immediately have some choices to make.

The kerfing plane and frame saw combination makes this kind of resawing accurate and effortless.

( well, not quite effortless -; )

Yes, shop made veneer is possible, but simply resawing thicker material is more likely to appeal to most users.

This first video begins with the hardware, and finishes off with shaping the frame.

There isn’t much to this design so I recommend you spend your time making the handles comfortable to use.

It still baffles me why wood workers make frame saws with only those little rounded corners to hold onto?

If you plan on doing any amount of resawing- make some handles!

They give feedback similar to rowing a boat or dare I say- using a Nautilus machine at a gym.

( not that I’d know anything about that! )

Some people write about frame saws and make them sound like the –be all and end all- of resawing.

The truth is, they’re not.

At least not in this scale.

I’m not going to sit here and tell you you’ll be resawing 14-in. wide planks all day with the saw I designed here.

It’s simply not the intended purpose.

These tools are designed for small to mid sized furniture parts, the scale of furniture I prefer working in.

Pieces in the 6 to 8-in.  (sometimes 10-in.) range are perfect for this size saw.

The Medicine Chest or Valet project from my book, The Unplugged Woodshop are great examples.

As always, I’ll break out some more details in later posts-

but until then, enjoy part one of the frame saw.


The music in this video was a piece I put together using samples and loops from the Mac.

Nothing special, just some rhythms and samples to create a mood behind the visuals.

Some of the tools used in the video are:

Wire Bender

Low Angle Jack Plane

Bevel-Up Jointer Plane

Bad Axe Backsaws


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