Shop made Fidgenian Frame saw – part 1


The next traditional saw on my list to build is a frame saw. You might remember that I have completed a 12″ bow saw and a 700 mm Roubo-esque cross cut bow saw already. After some research I decided to use Tom Fidgen’s (The Unplugged Woodshop) design as inspiration for my version. Tom is an icon of note as far as I am concern and that was enough reason for me. He produced two excellent videos on how he built his frame saw (see the link profided if you are interested.

For this project I chose Kershout (Pterocelastrus tricuspidatus) which is ridiculously hard with a specific gravity of > 1 (it sinks in water). The third picture show the end grain of a small piece. I tried to count the year rings and got to about 120. This gives you an idea of how slow it grows and why it is so dense.



The usual lamination process I have to endure to make up stock with appropriate dimensions.



The rough stock before work started.



Living in Africa means I have to cobble together my own hardware for the saw. A scrap piece of mild steel angle iron seemed to fit the bill. As you can see I am no welder, but we all have our little problems.




My shop built Jack plane came in handy to square up the parts.




I have been struggling to saw off smaller pieces of stock like this perfectly square. Since I received my holdfasts I tried this approach and it improved my accuracy immensely being able to see the two lines you are sawing. You then flip it over and repeat on the other side.



Dual tenon design, ala Mr. Fidgen.




I like making a small notch with my chisel to start the crosscut saw.



My shop made bow saw removed the waste between the two tenons.



Dual tenons necessitates dual mortises.




Now the fun part will start. Shaping the saw will be the topic of the next riveting installment in this series.


2 thoughts on “Shop made Fidgenian Frame saw – part 1”

  1. Nice work Gerhard. With wood that dense, that thing must be heavy!!! You won’t have to worry about applying any downward pressure when using that saw.

    1. Jonathan,
      At the moment it is so heavy I struggle to pick it up! I will have to get rid of quite a bit of timber to get it into a range where a mere mortal can use it.
      Thanks for your comment.
      All the best

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