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8th day and still going!

DSC_0359My frame saw came out fine, I mean really fine. Functionally, cost wise this could be another of those “Poor-man’s” tool things I have been blogging on. DSC_0309The blade was worn out and so cost nothing as it had already paid for itself many a dozen times over. The wood was also scrap. So, if I said 50 UK pennies (75centsUSD), that would be tops. I cut and filed the teeth so 1/20th of £4 for filing with a Bahco saw file.

DSC_0322I expected the saw to work fine, how could it not, it’s just a hand made saw? Cutting an 18″ tooth pattern at 12PPI took about an hour tops and then filing for sharpness took 5 minutes more. Setting took abou ten minutes and making the frame saw itself is about 3 hours.

I cut tenons in oak and in spruce and pine and it worked in these woods equally well. the pine was a little tougher to track at first, but when I removed the set a little it cut pristine kerf as thin as any tenon or dovetail saw. I configured the pattern to cross and rip pattern in the same saw and that gave me both cross and rip cut so a single saw works for both very well.

DSC_0345Everyone gathered around in a circle at the close of the day in what seemed at first like an intellectual consideration of brainstormers, but actually we were getting ready to go to dinner and we wanted to make certain we all got there. Phil gave directions and having had a such an intense day, it’s as if someone turned the faucet of activity off. We ended up at the Spicy Vijon in Bangor and had a good unwind before the really big day tomorrow when the real pressure comes.

I have really enjoyed this workshop and look forward to the ones upcoming in New York in two weeks. DSC_0280We have a two-day beginner class as a primer on hand tools for those who want the experience  and then, the week following, we have the nine-day hands-on workshop the same as this one but in the New York School of Woodworking, which is held at the Maple Wood Center for crafts in Greenwich where the school is hosted.

DSC_0301I am looking ahead always to try to improve education for woodworkers and what better way to do that than to hear from my friends in woodworking. Thank you all for your input on every level. it gets harder for me to anwer every email, comment and response to our different endeavours but please rest assured, I still read every one that comes to me.


  1. Ed on 21 April 2013 at 7:44 am

    I hope it is okay to share this. It is a lesson learned about safety. I was using a frame saw for a cross cut, holding the saw just like you were holding it in the top photo. The saw caught in the kerf for a moment just as the cut finished with the result of the saw falling forward. I struck the corner of the work with my flexed knuckle and damaged the tendon in one finger. It took about a year to heal. Now I wonder if the D handle on more common saws actually provides some protection for the knuckles. It also seems that keeping the pointer finger along the D handle seems to help keep the other knuckles better protected by the handle. Those are just speculations but what isn’t speculation is to be aware of this possibility of striking the knuckle with the frame saw (or any saw perhaps) and to be aware it can cause more than just a skinned knuckle.

    • Paul Sellers on 21 April 2013 at 12:34 pm

      I really appreciate you taking the time to write of your experience. Safety is always a personal issue and helping one another out with possible injury concerns is everyone’s responsibility. Thank you so much1

  2. Paul Sellers on 21 April 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Ours are more turning saws because since the mid 1700 we have been making stiff backed tenon saws and so these worked well for joinery. I know in mainland Europe this was not the case. That being so, frame saws were more European and not English or British as they were also in the US where mainland Europe and people from Britain played a part in developing the US and its industry.

  3. stonehaven on 21 April 2013 at 2:15 pm

    What motivated you to make a bow saw? You are one productive fellow!

    • Paul Sellers on 22 April 2013 at 3:42 am

      I wanted to see if I could teach my students to file their own teeth in steel plate. They could. Then I wanted to see that they could reconfigure teeth to specific tasks like cross cut and rip cut, passive rip, passive crosscut and hybrid saws. The rest is history. All I needed was the right steel and the bandsaw blade was it. It cut quite readily with a saw file for shaping. That was all that would be needed. All I needed then was a frame to hold it. I have made them before so this then put us in the realm of a reasharpenable blade instead of throwaways. I already used it pretty extensively in trialling and it is acceptable as is. I am going to harden the plate and anneal it now to see how it works.

  4. ScottV on 23 April 2013 at 7:27 pm


    Please consider doing a Turning Saw project video for your WWMC site.



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