The Frame Saw
I love nearly every part of working in a wireless wood shop and that includes most of the initial milling of rough lumber. The one part of hand work I don’t enjoy so much is re-sawing. I typically buy most of my lumber in 8/4 thickness, so for any projects requiring thinner stock I need to resaw it down to the correct thickness. I enjoy scrub planing rough lumber, and even like flattening boards by hand, but when it comes to re-sawing I find it mind numbing and boring. Maybe it’s because while planing I’m constantly thinking about the grain direction, but when sawing all I’m doing is trying to keep saw between the lines – boring. What I would like to do is get this process out of the way as soon as possible, but with only an 8 tpi hand saw, it tends to take quite a lot of time – not any more! Enter the frame saw:
The saw plate and hardware is the 31.5″ frame saw kit from Bad Axe Tool Works and the design is based on Tom Fidgen’s frame saw from The Unplugged Woodshop just elongated to fit the lengthened saw plate. The wood is 8/4 Ash that I had leftover from the Workbench build just quickly finished with an oil varnish blend (equal parts satin varnish, BLO, and mineral spirits).
Construction was pretty straightforward and is just like you see in the pictures. The two side supports are connected to the top and bottom with a dual mortise and tenon joint. No glue was used (the tension on the saw plate gives the strength needed), so I can tear it down and store it flat if need be. I spent quite a lot of time on shaping the handles, which angle backwards and downwards, because I wanted it to be comfortable. I used a plane tote as a template and set out with a few rasps to shape it.
I’ve only used it a few times since completion, but I’m really happy with the way it turned out. The handles turned out great and as much as I want to get through this part of milling quickly, I could comfortably use this for hours. It just eats through wood and makes fairly short work of smaller re-sawing tasks. I’m still practicing sawing in a straight line – it is very difficult to steer once the kerf is set, but adding a shallow kerf with a hand saw (I’ll be adding a kerfing plane at some point) makes this much easier. I also don’t plan on sawing veneer with this saw, so for coarse re-sawing tasks the accuracy isn’t completely necessary.