Tuesday 6 July 2010

Frame saw

Frame saw, and rotating metal blade holders

At last I have found a way of making a frame saw where the metal blade holders that hold the saw blade can be rotated. I thought about getting them manufactured, but that would be expensive. Problem solved when I bought very large split pins.

The saw can be used with any band-saw or other types of  blade. Cross cutting is easy and bow-saw blades for green wood can be used. With rip sawing just release the tension on the frame and turn the blade 90 degrees around.

Normally I would use 2 hands when ripping, but the camera was in my right hand.

The pins are 10mm diameter 8cm total length. If using very wide blades then a hacksaw will have to be run down the split to widen the gap. I have to do a bit of work on the pins before use, like cutting each side to equal length and drilling a hole through them. I can tell you that drilling the hole is not easy, just as locating the centre punch on round stock accurately is not easy.
I have bought a good quantity of these pins and will be selling them ready to use, with washer and pin to hold the blade in the split pin. The price is £9.50 including postage to UK and Europe only, let me know if you want them posted to the USA and I will get a price for postage. The pins will come with basic instructions, but not a plan or cutting list, the size of your saw will depend on the length of the blades you use. The beauty of frame saws is that you can make them any size or shape you like, depending on the job in hand.

Above is the detail of the joint, a simple mortice and tenon, which holds the cross bar in place.

What about blades? I hear you ask. Old band-saw blades are great, they do not need to be new, so ask any woodworker who uses one to save their old blades for you. They are easy to cut; I just fold them where I want the cut and hit the bend with a hammer on an anvil and unbend the blade, and that's it. Remember to hammer the cut flat, and give it a few strokes with a file. To make a hole use a centre punch and then drill, the metal will be soft enough.

Most band-saw blades are designed for dry wood, so if you are cutting green wood buy some bow saw blades designed for green wood.

Later in the year I will be selling these wholesale, in proper packaging, with full instructions.
Email me if you are interested.


  1. Nice looking saw Sean. It's interesting and pleasing to see old tools slowly making a come back. I remember using saws like that one that belonged to my father. Good bit of lateral thinking on the pins too. Good luck with the selling of them.

  2. Brilliant use of material (split pin) to solve a problem.

    Nice work!

  3. what stops the blade from rotating when you use it?

  4. Cheers guys
    Daz, the blade will not rotate because of the tension put on the blade when the wing nuts are tightened. To rotate the blade just loosen the tension and rotate and re-tension.

  5. Very clever idea to use the split pins (cotter pins). I wonder if filing or grinding a little flat area on one side of the pin would make it easier to position the punch and the drill.

  6. Steve, you are obviously cleverer than me, great idea, thank you.

  7. Sean,

    Proper Job! I was thinking of making a frame saw to use up some old blades - but it's currently in the list of jobs - when I do I will advertise your pins,



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