making a framesaw

Making a framesaw (also known as a swedesaw) is a slightly more involved process than making a wilderness bowsaw but creates a better, and more durable saw. The idea is that three sticks (in the shape of an ‘H’) are braced with a bow saw blade along the bottom of the uprights and then tensioned by a corded windlass at the top. There are, of course, many ways to interlock/dovetail the uprights and cross-strut but here is one of the simplest ways to do so when you are making this on-site, outdoors with minimal tools.

Here is a quick pictoral guide as to making a framesaw frame from the resources around you – in that way you do only need to carry a blade and some cord with you. It should only take 30 minutes to make.

Harvest wood, strip bark (optional), saw slots in the uprights to locate the saw-blade, mark the centre points for the cross-strut then carve two conical holes to locate the two pointed ends of the cross-strut; notch the top of the uprights for the tensioning cord and two notches at the bottom of the uprights to help secure the placement of the bolts. Assemble and tighten tensioning cord – this in turn tensions the whole frame and stiffens the blade – keeping the bolts securely in their notches

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