Large Frame Saw - Part 1


As I was planning my workbench and looking at some of the oak that has to be cut,  I thought a large frame saw might be nice to help with the large rip cuts that will be coming my way. Plus who could turn down owning a saw of this size! I had purchased the hardware for  this saw prior to acquiring my Foley retoother, so I am using a saw blade from Blackburn Tools, instead of stamping my own. The blade is  forty-eight inches long, four inches wide, .042 of an inch thick and stamped at three and a third points per inch, purchased unsharpened . The blade holding hardware was procured from Artisan Iron Designs, and is beautiful to say the least (above). After I had all the parts, it was time to design the saw. There is a design on Blackburn Tools website, but I decided to design something of my own. So I sat down and drew up a full scale half of one of the arms (top). I wanted through tenons and to carve some scrolls on the ends. I haven’t carved much before, and would like to get more into carving. A project for the workshop is the perfect place to get some practice in. I did a just rough sketch of the scroll for now, I will do a more detailed drawing as I get to that part of the project.

Using the low angle jack plane on the handle stock.Jointing the handle.Jack planing the stretchers.Jointing the stretchers.The stretchers width marked with a marking gauge.Using a frame saw, to make a frame saw.All the stock prepared.

For the stock, I decided to use ash. I cut the stock up in to all the various parts and started planing them. The stretcher stock is quite long on this project, at 60 inches, which is quite large for my present bench. I really can’t wait to get my new bench up and running. I planed the stretcher stock to 1 5/8 inch thick, which is the inside size of the blade holder. This will be the thickness of all the stock used in this project. The arms were made to 1 3/8” wide. I next prepared the handle stock, making it to a finished size of 24 inches long, 3 inches wide. The slideshow above shows various parts of the process. 


Next it was time to lay out and cut the mortice and tenons. I wanted through tenons 2 1/2 inches long,  and 11/16 inch thick. First, I had to mark a line where the inside of the stretchers would be on the arms. This line would determine the one wall of the mortise for the stretcher. I then took the respective stretcher for each arm, and marked the width of the through tenon on the arm. I then marked the length of tenons on two of the stretchers. Then set your mortising gauge up to the desired thickness of the tenon. To centre the tenon, I judge centre, then check it on the stock from both sides. If it is not centre, adjust it to half way between the two points just found. I marked both the mortise and tenon with this gauge, from the face sides, on both arms and two of the stretchers (top left). I then put the gauge aside, as I will be using it later on the last two tenons. I then drilled out the mortices with my brace and bit (left, bottom). Then the rest of the waste was removed with a few hand chisels (below). Then tenons were cut next, then were cut with a handsaw, just slightly too wide, I want a nice surface on then tenons, so I will finish them down to the line next. I then finished the tenons down to the marked line with a wide chisel leaving a smooth surface (bottom).


After the two mortises and tenons were cut, I test fitted all the parts together to get an exact length that I wanted for the stretchers (below). I then marked the length to the mortise, which was 50 inches and added the length of the mortise (2 1/2 inch) to give me to total length of the stretchers, which is 55 inches (with both tenons). I then marked and cut the last mortise and tenons like the previous ones. Then I put all the mortices together (bottom). Note, the tenons will be through the arms when they are shaped. 


Well that is it for this instalment, next time when I will be shaping the arms, carving scrolls and rounding over stretchers. 

© Shane Larson 2018