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brian kelly
03-31-2005, 10:39 PM
I purchased a Frame Saw last year, the big one.:confused:
I had read through a book,by Anthony Guidice, promoting the virtues of developing hand tool skills. The author recommended buying some hardwood and crosscutting and ripping through about one hudred cuts to develop the ability to cut straight, accurate lines. Well two or three hundred cuts later I still do a more accurate job with a regular craftsman handsaw. Does anybody have some additional advice on the use of a frame saw ?

John Meikrantz
03-31-2005, 10:52 PM
The best advice I would give is to tell you to take the Guidice book with a grain of salt. He has some good info in there, but some is very strongly opinionated, and not necessarily correct, i.e. the sawing section. Bow and frame saws work well for some, but they are not always the best suited for the task at hand. Tage Frid was also a big bowsaw fan, but I don't think he would be quite as "religious" about it as Mr. Guidice. Guidice also gives out some blatant wrong information on saw tooth patterns, saying that rip is really the only way a saw is properly filed. Just mentioning the Guidice book among some galoots gets them all riled up!

Anyway, just my $0.02. Take it for what it's worth!

John

Bob Smalser
03-31-2005, 11:16 PM
The author recommended buying some hardwood and crosscutting and ripping through about one hudred cuts to develop the ability to cut straight, accurate lines.

Incomplete advice.

Completely counterproductive if the sawblade isn't tuned to track straight....and none out of the box are that I've found.

Do a search here on saw filing/sharpening for some guidance, then ask if you need further help.

Mike Holbrook
04-01-2005, 6:34 AM
I have struggled with the same problems with a bow saw. I tried one after Tage Frid did a seminar at Highland Hardware in Atlanta. I am using Japanese type saws at the moment.

One of the problems with the frame type saws is the teeth. I think you will find that most of those who use these saws have learned to sharpen and set the teeth for better performance. Recently, however, Japanese type blades have become available for frame saws. I have been considering giving a frame saw with the newer style blade a try. These new blades are not cheap though and I have such a long short list :)

Check out the new blades:

http://www.tools-for-woodworking.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=6047

Derek Cohen
04-01-2005, 7:39 AM
My logic (in the absence of owning a frame saw) says that there is a trade off with a thinner japanese blade over the (I assume) thicker Western blade. While the thinner blade requires less effort to cut, the thinner kerf is more likely to bind as you cut deeper.

As Bob has said, the most important ingredient in saw set up lies in its sharpening. A poorly set saw will be difficult to keep on track, and this applies as much to an expensive Japanese blade as an inexpensive Western blade. It is usually not possible to do much about the sharpness factor of new, induction hardened blades (they are sharp), but frequently these blades arrive with poorly set teeth. It is possible to tune these with a little "stoning" on a diamond stone.

It is only with a tool that can cut straight that you can practice cutting straight.

Regards from Perth

Derek (making a bowsaw this weekend!)

Mike Holbrook
04-01-2005, 9:37 AM
Actually I believe the main advantage of many of the modern Japanese saw blades is they do not require one to set teeth or sharpen in order for them to cut well and clear the kerf. I think there are more salient issues in regard to saw blades binding in the kerf than the thickness of the blade. The "western" tooth design has more trouble cleaning the kerf which is alleviated by offsetting the teeth and widening the kerf in relation to the thickness of the blade. The argument can be made that this method wastes wood and makes a needlessly wide kerf.

Some new Japanese blades are thicker at the teeth and narrower at the back, accomplishing the same result as the offset teeth on the "western" blades. A close look at the teeth on Japanese saw blades reveals the relative complexity and increased number of very sharp cutting surfaces compared to western blades.

In the end you buy gear to set teeth and sharpen Western blades, which is not required with the Japanese blades. Japanese saw teeth are usually so hard, impulse hardened, that setting and sharpening is almost impossible. Impulse Hardening hardens the teeth harder than an ordinary file while leaving the rest of the blade with its normal flexability. Japanese blades are manufactured with razor sharp teeth that stay that way for very long periods of time. Since these blades usually have more TPI and as many as 4 cutting angles along the length of their teeth, they tend to leave a smoother surface with less wear and tear on the teeth.


From a reviewer at Highland Hardware:
"The heart and soul of this saw, though, is its Japanese blade. It's impulse hardened, and the tooth profile allows fast, clean cutting in any direction through wood with very little set. In fact, the 12 tpi Turbo-cut blade cuts farther with every stroke than the 5 tpi blade I've carefully refiled and set for my own Continental Frame Saw."

Derek Cohen
04-01-2005, 11:11 AM
Mike

I suspect that you have missed my point. The link you provided was for a bowsaw (see pic 1), not a deep frame saw. Here is a frame saw (see pic 2)

A frame saw is designed to resaw timber (see pic 3) and, consequently, is expected to make very deep cuts. A narrow kerf is more likely to bind than a wide kerf. What I am wondering about (the point I was trying to make earlier) is whether Japanese blades, which their narrow kerf (from minimal tooth set) may do better at shallow cuts (such as in dovetails and tenons) but be poorer at the deep cuts involved in resawing. A thicker Western blade with greater set (possible also with LESS teeth to clear the gullets more easily) might be expected to do a better job here.

I would be interested in hearing from those with experience in this area since I plan to build a couple of these saws shortly.

Regards from Perth

Derek

Mike Holbrook
04-01-2005, 1:50 PM
Hmm, I did not realize that you were thinking about a deep frame saw. I believe if you check the link you will see that the saw I am referring to is a "Classic 700 Frame Saw with Turbo-cut Blade". Highland Hardware is calling the saw you are referring to a frame saw not a bow saw. Bow saw may be a better or more clear term for such a saw but I frequently see just about any saw with a frame referred to as a frame saw.

I think the original question was concerning hand tool skills with a bow/frame saw not resawing timber. I find this question comes up pretty often with those who read the work of Frid and Guidice. These two authors strongly encouraged new woodworkers to learn to use bow/frame saws. Most of the people I know who have tried to learn to use these saws have been frustrated because they did not know how to sharpen, set and tune this type saw. It can also be difficult to locate good quality equipment for tuning these blades.

I think we are here to discuss methods and techniques with hand tools, apparently we are talking about two different but similar tools. The common element still seems to be saw blades and saw blade design. I believe that improvements have been made in the design and manufacture of saw blades that impact the use of bow/frame saws pretty heavily.

I hesitate to continue calling blades Japanese vs Western as many "Western" manufacturers use "Japanese" type blades in their "western" saws these days. The newer vs classic blades are designed to be used as is then replaced whereas the more classic blades require tuning to be efficient and accurate.

My point for Brian is, the newer blades for bow/frame saws should perform much better without requiring the purchase of additional sharpening, setting tools. A bow/frame saw with this type blade should require less skill to master and cut noticeably quicker.

Chris M Pyle
06-24-2010, 6:46 PM
Has anyone else had experience with frame saws, and in particular the highland hardware 700 and 400?

harry strasil
06-24-2010, 7:55 PM
I have never read a book by either Guidice or Frid but rather go to reading material from the past, so I have no problems at all with either a framed saw or a bowsaw, as I use each for what they were originally designed for.

Tony Shea
06-24-2010, 9:25 PM
Sice we are talking about both these saws in the same post and links to some blades for these bow saws, I am going to throw a question out there.

Does one think that if I built a Frame Saw for resawing, would the blades that highland has listed for their bow saws be a viable option for using in a frame saw? Maybe the the Continental Frame Saw Rip blade with a 5TPI. Blade length is 27.5" long. They don't list the width, which I would think a wider blade would be better for resawing?

Blade Link (http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/continentalframesawripblade.aspx)

harry strasil
06-24-2010, 9:29 PM
That blade looks to be about 2 inches wide, it should work well, but you might want to touch it up a bit by giving alternate teeth a little fleam angle. My opinion!

David Kirtley
06-25-2010, 1:29 AM
The blade is just shy of 1 1/2 in wide. (I just measured mine)

Rick Rutten
06-25-2010, 9:28 AM
What about fasteing hardware? I have a dremel so maybe something like the tutorial mentioned earlier with carriage bolts might be OK. What about something typical to hacksaws only bigger? In the pictures above from Derek that is what it looks like on the bow saw. Can't tell about the frame saw.

Rick

harry strasil
06-25-2010, 9:58 AM
Bow saws have the web fastened with pins into the bottoms of the handle, and the tension is obtained by the tension twine or turnbuckle at the top.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v81/irnsrgn/wood/bowsaw2.jpg

Turning Bow Saws have the web attached into devices that can be rotated at the bottoms of the handle, and tension is by the tension twine or turnbuckle at the top.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v81/irnsrgn/wood/bowsaw3.jpg

Frame saws have the web attached at the middle of the end bolsters with a movable attachment that also is the tensioner.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v81/irnsrgn/wood/frameripsaw.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v81/irnsrgn/wood/newframesaw001.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v81/irnsrgn/wood/newframedsawfinished.jpg

harry strasil
06-25-2010, 10:05 AM
FWIW, an ordinary Hacksaw, is a form of framed saw, and also bowsaw, and a turning saw.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v81/irnsrgn/smithing/hacksaw.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v81/irnsrgn/smithing/widmersaw.jpg

Brian Ashton
06-25-2010, 9:52 PM
FWIW, an ordinary Hacksaw, is a form of framed saw, and also bowsaw, and a turning saw.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v81/irnsrgn/smithing/hacksaw.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v81/irnsrgn/smithing/widmersaw.jpg


"Ordinary hack saw"... Oh ya those are really ordinary saws ;) Did you make them? What ever the case they have a nice style to them

harry strasil
06-25-2010, 10:18 PM
The first picture is of my personal Hack saw, that I copied the design from an old craftsman made saw that I saw somewhere.

The Last picture may be of some importance, I don't recall the story behind it, but I saved the picture because it was representative of some of the tools our blacksmith forefathers made, and it look well made.

Peter Cobb
06-25-2010, 11:03 PM
Hi. First post after some time silently lurking.
I'm a complete beginner with bowsaws (received mine about 10 days ago from highland woodworking), I did get several pointers from an "American Woodworker" article by Yeung Chan. (Google books has it free online)
Wondering what sawblades the OP got as Guidice (opinionated as always) states that most need resetting to optimize performance.

I got the cheap frames (two) with one of each kind of blade (the W Putsch blades) and am slowly improving in being able to cut to the line with them, although nowhere near the 50 and 50 suggested cuts.

I got one of each kind of blades because I mainly work in pine (seems sensible to learn on cheaper material) and want to rip and cut without fiddling around. I can always swap in the fine joinery blade when (if ;) ) I ever get that comfortable with them.

How far off are you? Is it constantly going one way or unpredictable? Playing with the tensioning system until it cuts well and setting the angle at 10-20 have helped my wandering blades. Have you tried those variables?

Cheers,
Peter

PD Just noticed I'm answering a 5 year old question. Duh. OP probably splits the line systematically or has burnt them in frustration by now..

Rick Rutten
06-26-2010, 12:32 AM
Harry I am wondering if one of the flutes on your original saw doubles as a bottle opener.

Rick

harry strasil
06-26-2010, 12:38 AM
Ok, I am blind in my right eye, so I almost always cut to the right of the knife line, not a pencil line, I get comfortable (usually setting on a stool), and just get started straight and saw away, if you get started across the top first, then lower the blade on the side toward you, you will cut straight along the line and also the line on the opposite side.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v81/irnsrgn/wood/10002-jrveneersaw.jpg

As to why my webs saw faster, straighter and easier: I am making a very narrow kerf.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v81/irnsrgn/wood/sawcut001.jpg

if you have a sloppy wide kerf, the blade will take some doing to make it cut straight, and you will be removing almost twice as much material as I do.

harry strasil
06-26-2010, 12:41 AM
harry i am wondering if one of the flutes on your original saw doubles as a bottle opener.

Rick

flutes -- ??????- you lost me there!

harry strasil
06-26-2010, 12:46 AM
Ah, it just hit me, you are referring to the decorative almost scrolls on my Hacksaw.

And No, I don't partake of beer, wine or other spirits, Just Pepsi, I was a 2 fifths a day alcoholic when I got out of the Navy, I went cold turkey that day in 1965, and haven't fallen off the wagon yet. besides, I can't stand the smell or taste of beer or wine, but the hard stuff, now that goes down smooth. Well, it did at one time.

David Keller NC
06-26-2010, 1:02 PM
Brian - You don't say whether you're trying to make straight cuts with a bowsaw or a framesaw. While it's possible to make short, straight cuts with a bowsaw (as in Frank Klauz's dovetail operations), it's really not designed to make straight, long cuts. That's a better job for a hand-saw of the traditional design like a Disston. These saws have been around for a very long time - depending on your interpretation, back to the Egyptians, and there's probably a good reason that bowsaws, framesaws, and handsaws co-existed for so long.

Specifically, one would normally choose a hand-saw for a ripping or cross-cutting operation where a long, straight cut through relatively thin wood is desired (1/2" - 2" thick). One would choose a bowsaw for curved cuts in relatively thin stock, or for very short straight cuts (as in dovetailing).

A frame-saw, however, was designed for re-sawing relatively thick material. But (significantly) most illustrations I've seen from the 17th and 18th centuries show this as a 2-man operation, with the log/plank held upright, and two individuals doing a push-pull operation. Straightness of resaw is achieved by both individuals "steering" the blade along a marked cut line.

A significant improvement to the frame saw resawing operation was achieved when better steel making techniques in the 18th century allowed one to make an 8' long pitsaw that is internally tensioned rather than tensioned by an external frame. Again, though, using a pitsaw is a 2-man operation, with co-operative steering of the blade to achieve accuracy on both the top and bottom of a log.

That doesn't mean that you can't make any of these saw designs work for a purpose that another design was intended for (for example, using a turning bowsaw to make straight rip cuts), but there's good reason that 18th century woodworkers and toolmakers refined different, co-existing designs for separate purposes.

Tony Shea
06-26-2010, 4:50 PM
Thanks a bunch Harry for all your pics and descriptions of your saws, very informative and helpful in my quest to make myself a frame saw. The last picture of you sawing is great, really puts in perspective of the size of your saw and technique you use to control its' cut.

Also, congrats on not falling off the wagon for so long after realizing your problem. I am a lucky man in that alcohol and its' buzz is of no iterest to me. But I am also a recovering addict of a different nature and know exactly what it's like as I have been on the wagon for 8 years now and counting. Thank god for woodworking as this is now my new addiction which actually can cost just about as much. Wood and tools just never get old and learning new techniques from very willing teachers on this site is just incredible for me. Thanks again all for the help on this topic.

David Kirtley
06-27-2010, 11:25 PM
I have the 700 and the 400.

I replaced the tensioner of the 400 with line and a toggle. The 400 has the Japanese style blade. Seems nice so far but I have mixed feelings about the Japanese tooth pattern. My other blades (regular contractor pull saws) are prone to snagging and bending out teeth.

I had one of the 700 before and it was hard to tension well enough. Starting up a workspace again and now that I have converted the 400 to twine, I am much happier so I bought another 700 with plans on converting it as well.

I also just built a little 12in turning saw with the Grammercy Tools kit. So far so good.

john brenton
06-28-2010, 11:23 AM
but I'll give my greenhorn $0.02 anyways. I have two frame saws, one being a bow saw and the other being the larger frame for resawing.

For the blade on the bow saw I used the teeth from a Stanley hardened tooth saw from the bargain bin. I just cut the desired size from the saw with a pair of tin snips. The teeth are very hard and don't need to be set or joined...and it works push or pull (just turn the saw around!)

For the large frame saw I cut the blade from an old rip saw, again with tin snips. The blade is thin and basically sucked as a hand saw...the handle was set really low and it just was a lot of work for little payoff...but on the frame saw it is awesome. It kept pulling to the right so I just ran my saw jointer across the top a few times, resharpened and its good to go.

john brenton
06-28-2010, 11:27 AM
but I'll give my greenhorn $0.02 anyways. I have two frame saws, one being a bow saw and the other being the larger frame for resawing.

For the blade on the bow saw I used the teeth from a Stanley hardened tooth saw from the bargain bin. I just cut the desired size from the saw with a pair of tin snips. The teeth are very hard and don't need to be set or joined...and it works push or pull (just turn the saw around!)

For the large frame saw I cut the blade from an old rip saw, again with tin snips. The blade is thin and basically sucked as a hand saw...the handle was set really low for a rip saw and it just was a lot of work for little payoff...but on the frame saw it is awesome. It kept pulling to the right so I just ran my saw jointer across the top a few times, resharpened and it cuts straight.

I think what the author was talking about was a muscle memory thing. I know that in Fung Fu (or something like that) they say that it takes doing a certain movement X amount of times to achieve muscle memory...either that, or the author was trying to give guys like us a little hope that if we are doing a bad job now its because we need practice. Either way, that is a real broad brush to paint with...sometimes you pick something up right away, sometimes it takes longer.

Andrew Nielsen
06-28-2010, 10:53 PM
After reading Guidice's book I diligently order 4 long blades (4tpi, 5tpi,
8 tpi and a narrow 8 tpi for curves) and have made a few prototype bowsaws (not framesaws) without ever coming a final design.

What I have found is that to cut a nice straight line you must go very slowly or the blade wanders easily. This frustrated me after everything I'd read purported the speed of bowsaws. I've put the bowsaw down for the minute and am using a ryoba and dozuki which are much easier to handle without much practice.

For what it's worth I quite enjoyed the book, feel that he makes some good points and openly admits his way isnt the only way. I actually downloaded his book in PDF format (after borrowing it from the library) so if you're curious do a google search.