Frame saws - bow saws. #3: Swans and bones – Frame saw for coping (blog)

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Blog entry by mafe posted 09-21-2012 02:18 PM 15794 reads 12 times favorited 31 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: A simple frame saw - part two Part 3 of Frame saws - bow saws. series Part 4: Swans and bones – Frame saw for coping (blog) »

Swans and bones – Frame saw for coping
Parts and Swans

I was always fascinated by frame saws (bow saw in US), when I was a boy and visited my friends uncles cabinet making shop and they were hanging there on the wall I loved the look of them, they were like practical sculptures.
And for about a year I had the dream to make a frame saw, but I kept finding other projects that came first, and felt my skills needed to grow before doing this.
But when I fell over a picture of a frame saw with swans heads, and I had no choice left, I needed to make a frame saw, and I needed to try if I was able to make a swan carving…
(I send a warm thank you to the inspirator who ironically calls himself ‘the toolman’).

Since I have postet the saw by now, I will show a picture of the saw when done before we begin the ‘tuturial’.

I call it Swans and Bones, named after the shapes.

Here is where I began, a sketch of the idea, adjusted as I went and finished up after.

I decided to go the MaFe way – recycle and parts made from standard items.
A pice of teak board, and chumk of teak and a standard coping saw blade.

Marking the width of the arms and the cross bar.

Cut the board.
This can ofcourse be done by hand.

Ohhh yes!
We need also some threaded rod, I use brass just because it is looking more beautiful when it gets old.

Do you get the picture?

Or do I need to draw it?

Marking for the cross bar.

And where the base for the blade will be.

More marking…

The curces can be added.

And the swans.

This is what I wish for.
Swans at the top, and bones at the base.




If you want to work by hand, use another coping saw…

I use the bands saw.

And take as much as I can.
Look at that terible burn…

Making a hole.

Cutting out the waste with a jeweler saw.

Or your scroll saw.

Here we are, closer and closer.

Mark up the back sides.

And the curves I want.

Same for the lower part.

Then some more cutting.

A tour on my beloved Super sander.

Knifes, carving tools, pipe and good music, how can I not be happy?

First swan starts to take shape.

After some sanding, and I am not all disapointed in the result – dam good MaFe, jubiiii.

Fragile as a swan should be, and this is my first carving ever.

Now the bone.

Ohhhh yes an one more of each!

A quick tour on the sisal wheel after sanding.

Linseed oil.

With and without.

Wet swan.

Wax, I use a antique wax to make the lines become more visual.

With and without.



For me this was a dream come true, a step on my wood travel, and I’m quite happy for the result, when I get time and energy I will work more on the bones by the blade, these I want to look more like real bones.

End of part one, part two will come soon.

Wiki bowsaw: press here
The swans nest by Hans Christian Andersen: press here
Song by Swan lee: press here
Us parts: press here

Hope it can be to some inspiration, who knows even some frame saws.

Best thoughts,


-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

31 comments so far

View mafe's profile


12643 posts in 4001 days

#1 posted 09-21-2012 02:20 PM

Just found this blog that I for some reason never posted…
Hope it can still inspire.

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View Sodabowski's profile


2392 posts in 3745 days

#2 posted 09-21-2012 02:39 PM

Dude, I will be making one of those some day too!

-- Thomas - there are no problems, there are only solutions.

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 3692 days

#3 posted 09-21-2012 02:42 PM

Mafe, you always inspire !
Congratulations on another fine piece.

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View Bricofleur's profile


1480 posts in 4105 days

#4 posted 09-21-2012 02:50 PM

Hi Mads, it’s good to hear from you! Yes, this project will inspire. Thanks for posting, finally! :-) However I remember having seen that saw! Perhaps it was in the back ground of a photo from yours.

I hope life is still good and exciting for you!



-- Learn from yesterday, work today and enjoy success tomorrow. --

View nwbusa's profile


1022 posts in 3198 days

#5 posted 09-21-2012 03:06 PM

Really nice work, well done!

-- John, BC, Canada

View Don W's profile

Don W

19746 posts in 3479 days

#6 posted 09-21-2012 03:27 PM

very nice Mads. I love the design.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3768 days

#7 posted 09-21-2012 03:29 PM


You always inspire my friend.

A truly wonderful saw

As usual great detail plus your



-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View lew's profile


13215 posts in 4667 days

#8 posted 09-21-2012 03:40 PM

A beautiful saw at the hands of a Master.
Thanks Mads.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Brad's profile


1147 posts in 3652 days

#9 posted 09-21-2012 04:15 PM

Beautiful work Mads. And an excellent pictorial of your step by step process. I look forward to seeing you use your new heirloom tool on future projects.

-- "People's lives are their own rewards or punishments."

View lanwater's profile


3113 posts in 3846 days

#10 posted 09-21-2012 04:44 PM

I love how you made the handles Mads.

I kew you are really good but now I know you are reallyyyyyyyyyyyyyy good!


-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View Jason's profile


660 posts in 4420 days

#11 posted 09-21-2012 04:52 PM

Your work and blogs are always informative and inspiring. Such a beautiful saw. I enjoyed your sketch also. You should frame it and hang it on the wall of your shop.

-- Jason - Colorado Springs

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25461 posts in 4017 days

#12 posted 09-21-2012 06:23 PM

Beautiful job on that swan saw!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 3451 days

#13 posted 09-21-2012 06:43 PM

Great post mads! Love the tutorials to break it down for us, now there’s no excuse not to!

-- I never finish anyth

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 3952 days

#14 posted 09-21-2012 06:46 PM

Very Cool !!!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View littlecope's profile


3111 posts in 4414 days

#15 posted 09-21-2012 07:01 PM

You were born in the wrong time my Friend! :)
What could be finer than a Well-Made Tool with some whimsy built-in!
As always, Fine Work Mads!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

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