Build a Frame Saw Part 4: Shaping the Arms and Finishing the Project - Popular Woodworking Magazine

Build a Frame Saw Part 4: Shaping the Arms and Finishing the Project

 In Shop Blog, Woodworking Blogs

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.

Build a Frame Saw Build a Frame Saw

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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