Build a Frame Saw Part 4: Shaping the Arms and Finishing the Project - Popular Woodworking Magazine
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Once the “H” frame parts were ready the time came for some ergonomics and design. My handle is quite simple, it includes a few curves that can be cut with a band saw or a coping saw, or chopped out with a chisel. Build a Frame Saw

I decided to use a chisel because I wanted to emulate what my students would be doing once they start the project. I believe that a chisel would give them more control than a coping saw. To help in preventing unintentional over-chopping, perhaps even splitting the arms, I cut a few relief kerfs every inch or so.

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After I finished chiseling I used a rasp and a file to fine tune the design, then I cut the kerfs for the hacksaw blade. I used a rip saw first and then I enlarged the kerf with the hacksaw blade itself.

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After driving holes for the saw’s pins (in our case we used screws) and cutting the twine tensioning key, the saw was ready. I showed my students the saw with one arm in the “raw” while the other arm was completed to help them visualize the project’s progression.

About the blade: The saw blade that I installed in my prototype is a Nicholson hacksaw 12” blade, 18TPI. It is inexpensive and thin, which is an advantage when sawing wood.

I wish one of the saw manufacturers would have offered a 12” blade with Japanese teeth, or even just a Western pattern; this would enable the owners of hacksaws to comfortably saw wood and would also provide my students with a pretty good blade, making this saw project a winner among beginners and seasoned woodworkers alike.

Later this spring I promise to show a few of my student’s saws, which they are currently working on.

Build a Frame Saw

Click here to read part 1

Click here to to read part 2

Click here to to read part 3


Click here to download the frame saw drawing…

 — Yoav Liberman

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Showing 2 comments
  • indelicatow

    This is an excellent project for new woodworkers, whether young or older. Thanks for showing all the steps, I plan on making one in the future for myself.
    Did you have any luck finding 12″ blades for wood? I did a quick search, and it appears there might be a few options that could work ( Not sure on the quality though, if you have already looked for ones.

    • Yoav Liberman
      Yoav Liberman

      Thanks for your comment and the link. I did see this saw blade while I was looking for blade options and concluded that it will probably not be a great blade for woodwork because of its teeth arrangement. Since there is no information on the product page per the blade’s TPI I had to rely on the provided image. The image show something like 3 or 4 TPI which is way too aggressive for woodworking, but quite adequate for tree pruning etc. Having said that I am intrigued to try it so I might order it and see how it performs.
      Good Luck builing the saw. If you feel comfertible sharing images of it once completed, please email them to me at:

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