Frame Saw and Kerfing Plane


I had been wanting a larger rip saw for some time. Doing wide, long rips with a hand saw takes some time, and I was building some nightstands involving wide rips for the drawer bottoms. I figured it was time to seriously look into a faster method of doing these cuts. I was thinking of several designs of different rip saws I’ve seen in pictures for a while and came across Tom Fidgen’s book The Unplugged Woodshop. He has a design for a frame saw and a kerfing plane. I really wanted the frame saw. Also, the kerfing plane sounded like a logical solution to helping stop the saw from going off the line, as happens easily when doing wide rips. So I ordered the saw blades and saw nuts from Bad Axe Tool Works. The blades are extremely well sharpened and the split bolts are very well made, I highly recommend you buy them.

Kerfing Plane

Construction was started on the kerfing plane first. I used quarter sawn white oak that was purchased at a local supplier. The finish is Tried and True Varnish Oil with a top coat of paste wax. It was a very fun project to build as well it is great practice at shaping and working with feeling. You want it feel nice in your hands while you use it. Below are some pictures of construction of the kerfing plane. Full construction details are available through Tom Fidgen and his book. The kerfing plane I made was also shown on Tom Fidgen’s Unplugged Woodshop site here.


Drawing the outline, cutting and shaping were a big part of this project.


Frame Saw


After completion of the kerfing plane I started the frame saw. I built this using walnut. Walnut is one of my favourite woods to work with, its easy to work, looks great and finishes well. The wooden frame is held together with double tenons, which makes this saw very strong. The wood was finished with Tried and True Varnish Oil followed by an application of paste wax. This project also involves some small metal working to do, which was fairly easy. For the metal hardware the plated parts where bathed in citric acid to remove the plating, then clean and wire wheeled. I find the plating is to shiny for me and the parts look a lot better just being plain steel. The brackets for the saw blade were cut from mild steel and painted with my asphultum paint.  This project was also shown on Tom Fidgen’s Website here, where you can also find more info on building a saw like this yourself.



© Shane Larson 2018