Swans & bones - a frame coping saw

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Project by mafe posted 03-20-2011 03:03 AM 9360 views 36 times favorited 50 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Swans & bones
a bow coping saw


Here is a link for the blog:

Do I need another coping saw? No I don’t! Then why? I wanted to and I had to!

Yes the tool maker strikes again (I know I have a serious problem).

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 a few days ago 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’).

(Only tried to carve a little balsa duck and bird with a Stanley knife years ago, otherwise I’m a novice to carving).

So a piece of teak was what I had stiff enough, and this became the basic material.

Post pictures:
1. The saw. It is wonderful light.
2. One of the swans.
3. Detail of the winding toggle (this version works half rounds).
4. Before and after raw linseed oil and antique wax, I wanted a used ‘raw’ look.
5. The swans are coming to life, not as hard as I expected, but I had to use a tool that still needs a lot of adjustment ‘the patience tool’.
6. Some teak, a threaded brass rod and a blade, that is almost all you need.

Ohhh yes and a drawing for work inspiration, as usual no measure so plenty of room for fantasy (updated).

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.

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. Democraticwoodworking.

50 comments so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18744 posts in 4239 days

#1 posted 03-20-2011 03:06 AM

A tool with style Mads, but could we expect less?? I think not!!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View patron's profile (online now)


13668 posts in 3904 days

#2 posted 03-20-2011 03:17 AM

i made one crude years ago
when i found out i could drill an old band saw blade
just put nails in the holes on the side of the frame
and tightened it up
worked like a champ

not as nice as yours however

but i’m not a pro tool maker

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View bhog's profile


2238 posts in 3253 days

#3 posted 03-20-2011 03:21 AM

Well done,display that with pride !

-- I don't drive a Prius.

View Glen Peterson's profile

Glen Peterson

556 posts in 3619 days

#4 posted 03-20-2011 03:30 AM

It’s wonderful. Another excellent shop made tool from the great Dane. i LOVE the carves swans. Beautiful work my friend.

-- Glen

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 4307 days

#5 posted 03-20-2011 03:55 AM

We would expect nothing less from you. There are plenty of home made frame saws out there, but you taken it up a notch and made one that is truly ”yours”. This is an inspiration for anyone wanting to make their own tools. Make them unique. Thanks for the post.

View swirt's profile


4401 posts in 3535 days

#6 posted 03-20-2011 03:57 AM

Wow, very elegant saw. Good stuff ;)

-- Galootish log blog,

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4809 days

#7 posted 03-20-2011 04:00 AM

Mads, that is a beautiful coping saw. Good job my friend.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 3217 days

#8 posted 03-20-2011 04:04 AM

How’s the swan sawng (forgive me I have a pun addiction)

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View MShort's profile


1798 posts in 3981 days

#9 posted 03-20-2011 04:16 AM


You are just full of surprise. Very NICE !!!

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View lanwater's profile


3113 posts in 3497 days

#10 posted 03-20-2011 04:56 AM

Very nice Mafe.

Is the neck (swans) strong enough for the tension?

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 4090 days

#11 posted 03-20-2011 05:48 AM

Super cool!

Yes, custom tools like this, really add a lot to a shop, plus they work good and are much more fun to work with.

Great design….................

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View HallTree's profile


5665 posts in 4330 days

#12 posted 03-20-2011 05:56 AM

Definietly one of a kind. It pays to go the next step and extra time. Well done.

-- "Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life" Solomon

View Robsshop's profile


921 posts in 3538 days

#13 posted 03-20-2011 06:04 AM

Yep, no ugly ducklings in that shop !! Great stuff Mads.

-- Rob,Gaithersburg,MD,One mans trash is another mans wood shop treasure ! ;-)

View Heidi Neely's profile

Heidi Neely

550 posts in 3737 days

#14 posted 03-20-2011 07:40 AM

This is fantastic Mads… I SEE why you just HAD to make one for yourself!
Love those cute little minature bird and duck carvings you did years back as well….you make me smile as always :)

-- Heidi :) “The only source of knowledge is experience”

View tswoodwizard's profile


104 posts in 3253 days

#15 posted 03-20-2011 08:21 AM

Wow Mafe; Great looking tool. Isn’t it very satisfying to be able to use the tools you’ve built with your own hands?

-- Tim B. Sweely Elizabeth, Illinois, [email protected] -------- My potential is limited only by my emagination.

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