DIY No Miter Cut Picture Frame

You don’t need fancy tools or pro woodworking skills to build these elegant black picture frames, and you can change the artwork in an instant using only tape. We thought about re-grinding the backs of band saw blades to create narrower blades, but modern band saw blades are more brittle, and we don’t like having the line of teeth off-centered. Well, I had decided to make my own a long time ago, but never got around to it until now. The last part of the saw support is to finish them on the table router carefully stopping before the tenon joint locations. The base configuration for these frame saw blades is unsharpened and undrilled; these blades will need to be jointed, set, and sharpened and drilled for the hardware before use.

By the way, longtime woodworkers may recognize this model saw as that favored by the late, great woodworking teacher, Tage Frid, who used it for everything from dovetails to heavy ripping. Lean firmly against the handle of the saw frame causing the frame to flex and the other end of the saw blade to enter into the clamp and tighten. It is for cutting curves – fitted with a narrow, tensioned blade – that English and American cabinet makers used Frame saws. I use a frame saw for re-sawing solo, and it does work wonderfully up to a point. The saw is functional now (I’ve done a test cut), but I’m not quite finished yet.

This is just a test fit to make sure I can tension the blade without having to cut slits in the ends of the frame. I’m also on the edge of building one of those resaw-style frame saws and a matching kerfing plane, following the Tom Figden design and the Bad Axe kit ( ), but lord, now the gears are turning! When using this type of saw you need to be careful not to over tension it as you can deform/stretch the holes in the blade.

Rotate the saw table clockwise to the opposite 45-degree setting and adjust the stop block to cut the longer frame side to length. For most firewood you might split with a small axe, however, the difference between 18″ and 24″ saw is not limiting unless you head to the far north. I’ve never used a frame saw for joinery, I have used an old buck saw for cutting firewood, the thinner blade is an asset for either one I’m sure.

This little saw cuts wood, but its greatest function is that it reminds us that our craft is fun. Since the nails are inserted from behind, the huge advantage of an underpinner is that the nails are not visible from the front of the frame. Sure there are many ways to make an effective saw while in the woods, starting only with a saw blade. Consider building your own bow saw with specialized hardware and handles It’s a fun project and a good way to build your tool kit at low cost.

Inspired by the great toolbox created by Tom Fidgen in his book Made By Hand” and crossed with a classic popularized by Roy Underhill we will make a toolbox capable of taking all your necessary tools on the road, offer some work holding assistance, and not break your back moving it around. Custom framers will probably have an electric powered saw to perform this task.

I built a little turning saw years ago but never really mastered the use of it. It has been hanging on the wall of the shop for quite a while…nice to look at. All this discussion of frame saws might inspire me to take it down and try it again. The first frame saw I built employs a 28” rip-tooth blade I bought at a mail order tool store. Of course the holly grail for frame saws is the one depicted by André Jacob Roubo in his multi-volume work, L’Art du Menuisier (The Art of the Joiner), published between 1769 and 1774. We have completed our saw for just under $5 and compared to our $95 Pax 12 tenon saw, we have just as good a cut and with much better speed.

Afterwards, I realized that it would have been a lot easier to clamp the board flat to the bench with the uncut end hanging off the end, and just work the saw sideways for that last little bit. I had some trouble getting the saw to cut straight at first, but I was able to fix that by removing some of the set on the right side of the saw blade with a diamond stone. Please tell us if you find errors and we will make every effort to correct them as soon as possible. The bucksaw blade supports require a slot to be cut in them to accommodate the blade when the saw is folded.

They use them mostly perpendicular to the grain, letting the huge area of the saw register a very smooth cut through the wood. I would like to add another alternative to Sean’s list: buy a really good (long) bow-saw blade and make a bucksaw frame for it out of wood. To get these small kerfs, you need to tilt the saw at a diagonal, and this is precisely where the wedges and/or stress-relieved wood will get in your way. This OLDTOOLs denizen attended a shaker box making class, and saw Gil Chesbro’s bowsaw making class (see below) going on at the same time.


I’m in the process of milling the wood, and to make efficient use of the wood, I decided to resaw 4/4 boards so that I can use one slice for the sides and shelves, and the other slice for a panel in the rear of the bookshelf. The saw reciprocating in an exact vertical plane, however it sometimes can be more prudent to use the saw perpendicular to the work. Quality jused nailers can be found and in fact this is what the Picture Frame Guys was using when we first opened our online store. At the end of this threaded rod I used a needle file to make a grove that would except a flat head screwdriver to unscrew the rod.

And if your other half sees you using one, well… nothing else will make you look this manly, just pop a roll up behind your ear. If you would like anyway to use the Japanese blades in a Putsch frame, you will need to alter the mounting system using two of the blade holders listed near the bottom of the page, and you will also need to extend the middle beam a few millimeters or perhaps more simply make a new one. From there I went to an oblong shape and rasped finger cutout in an effort to make it comfortable. We find that the many of the ordinary frame saw blades offered today often have too much set in the teeth, and have not been very well sharpened.

Sliding upon the floor of the mill, which being suffi­ciently narrow to pass through the inside of the vertical or moving saw-Frame, will carry the tree through and subject it to the action of the saw. The saw blades for the ECE saws can, when they are the same length, be easily exchanged to match the task at hand. And I get the fun by making it and the satisfaction that I made it” for free on top.

Also, because they relatively easy to make (compared to wood), they are also much less expensive. For one the blade tension allows for a thinner blade and because it is stretched I found that it gave a straighter cut than say with my tenon saw. Plus, I find pushing is more natural and comfortable than pulling, and I am not flexible enough to use the Japanese saw in it’s traditional way. The reason for this, of course, is that the weight of the frame will influence the cut.

I got mine, sans blade, from a ‘flea’ market, and the saw has proven to be a great tool, after I ‘armed’ it with a length of bandsaw blade. Last winter, Shannon Rogers of the Renaissance Woodworker published several blog posts about building and using a Roubo frame saw. Left a bit of space between for saw kerf and some wiggle room for when the pieces move after ripping. Then the 2.0mm blade cuts the thinner slot where the bucksaw blade attaches to the frame.

In use, a bow saw is blade is tensioned by first sliding the toggle away from the stretcher, then turning it so the string twists and thus is shortened, and finally sliding the toggle back to rest against the stretcher. When I did my joiner apprenticeship most of our frame saw were pretty dull, and unfortunately I turned to japanese saws rather than learning to sharpen them… now I wish I had taken the time, and then really gotten to know the tool.

So if you are carrying a blade with the intention of making a saw in the field if necessary, the type of saw you intend to make has a significant bearing on the decision of what length blade to carry. Update (12/13): Those brass pins from Gramercy are so smooth that the saw frame wants to rotate around them a little too easily. Oh, and saw benches are all but useless for rip sawing… A veneer style vise would be MUCH more usefull. I think it would be easyer to lay claim to the idea of metal saw blades than the design of that buck saw. I’ve had building a frame saw for re-sawing on the back burner for a while now.

I agree with Ian s the two/one man saw is the way to go. They are designed and made to cut through wood efficiently and quickly and in the right hands will cut through a 6 inch log in seconds. If you want a solid bow saw that captures the best of the early 19th century tradition, we urge you to consider getting one of our original Gramercy Tools bow saws.

Therefore, for a given tooth size, it’ll cut wider section of a harder wood compared to a softer wood – right up until the force needed to move the saw exceeds that available. If you’ve seen any of the many great projects to come out of the Hay Shop you’ll have no doubt Ed and the others in the shop have mastered many uses of the frame saw. This picture shows the old method of ripping, using a frame rip saw on the push stroke and a pair of Saw Tables or benches.

I believe that you should make it from a wood that you enjoy, sand it to 400grit then rub it over with a nice tactile wax. On the smaller frame I used the same stain that I used on the desk refinish jacobean”. However on examination we found this is because the toggle was spending most of its time twisting the rope, not bending the frame. You are holding the saw with both hands balanced evenly on both sides of the cut instead of with just one hand to the side of the body. All things work together…” I have recently been watching videos from a Chinese craftsman about making tools.

I can’t imagine the price tag on a bandsaw that can make this resaw cut, nor the space it would take up in my tiny shop. I’ve read lots of conflicting opinions about whether this tool is easier than making friends with a guy who has a band saw. This is true for a bow saw and coping saw but no less so for their big, motorized relative, the bandsaw. The logs should be sawn on two sides before they are fed into the Logosol-Laks frame saw so that the lumber is edged before it is cut into boards.