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Project by GnarlyErik posted 09-01-2013 03:11 AM 7663 views 28 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Redneck Resaw

This is my ‘Redneck Resaw’ rig. I sometimes need stock wider than my bandsaw can produce by resawing for things like intarsia work, I came up with this rig. It is a sort of bow saw, except the blade is set at 90 degrees to the frame. Using it is a little labor intensive, but it gets the job done. Besides, I seldom need more than two of three feet in length, so this works for me just fine.

The frame is oak, as light as possible while still keeping the needed strength, with notched end joints. A regular 30” bow saw blade is utilized, bolted on one end to a toggle fitted to a notch in the end member (note – this toggle should be fitted before the frame is assembled). The other end utilizes a U-bolt/toggle combination which enables the blade to be tightened as much as you wish within the frame limits. The U-bolt passes through a metal doubler backing up the end member on its end. Both toggles have slits keeping the saw blade properly aligned. The detailed photos show how this is done.

It an even longer saw is needed, a modified band saw blade (2-3 TPI or less) could be used. The 30” length if fine for most uses since I seldom require anything wider than 20” wide. Properly used, this will produce wide, thin stock down to about 1/8” thick, depending on the material, which can then be planed or sanded to the desired finish thickness.

In use, the stock is first prepared by planing one side flat, then running a kerf on each edge of the stock on the table saw, at or near the desired thickness. Then, the stock is clamped end up, at about a 15 degree angle in the bench vise and the real work begins. The redneck resaw is carefully introduced into the upper kerf and the cut begun, making sure the keep the blade aligned with the lower kerf until the blade reaches it. After that, it is just a matter of sweat effort (‘Norwegian steam’ in boat parlance) with the saw kerfs keeping the blade positioned – under a watchful eye. I have found it is sometimes necessary to use long, thin wedges to keep the kerfs opened up because of the clamping pressure, particularly near the end of the cut. See sketch:

-- "Never let your dogma be run over by your karma!"

15 comments so far

View hunter71's profile


3562 posts in 4637 days

#1 posted 09-01-2013 03:25 AM

MMM, neat idea.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View shipwright's profile


8816 posts in 4248 days

#2 posted 09-01-2013 05:04 AM

Elegant solution Erik.
I like it.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View hoss12992's profile


4181 posts in 3343 days

#3 posted 09-01-2013 05:25 AM

That is cool! Love the idea and design. Great job

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View ptofimpact's profile


394 posts in 3767 days

#4 posted 09-01-2013 11:49 AM

Ingenious, great idea and work, thanks for sharing.

-- Pete in NC

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 3457 days

#5 posted 09-01-2013 12:23 PM

Good idea using the TS to make kerf lines to follow.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Tim's profile


3859 posts in 3412 days

#6 posted 09-01-2013 05:48 PM

You reinvented the Roubo frame saw from at least the 1700s, which isn’t a knock at all. It was a good idea then and it still has uses now, such as cutting wider stock than you have equipment for. Kerfing with the table saw should definitely make for less work, as most of us these days aren’t up for that much hard labor. Good idea. A box saw blade is a crosscut pattern (or at least combination) so it would perform better with a rip blade, but it’s cool that works. Bow saw blades are easy to get and cheap. I definitely want to build one of these.

More similar links:

View GnarlyErik's profile


367 posts in 3585 days

#7 posted 09-01-2013 06:42 PM

Hi Tim. Thanks for your comment:

I have heard it said, “There’s nothing really new under the Sun”, and have found this often to be true in the case of hand tools. This saw definitely would be better with a wider, more robust blade, like an old-fashioned tree faller’s two-man cross-cut saw. But, not having that, I used what I could quickly lay my hands on.

My frame resaw idea comes from the old-fashioned pit saw, most of which did not have a frame, though some did. The frameless ones had handles at right angles to the blade. All were guided to a line or batten on each side of the stock, which was usually adzed off to a flat on top and bottom. There’s a legend about those pit saw men; The guy underneath in the pit (apparently called the ‘box man’) was usually the junior man of course, and had to deal with being covered by falling sawdust all day. If the senior guy on top (called the ‘tiller man’) would not do pit duty, or gave the guy underneath too much lip, the junior guy might sometimes be inclined to climb up and take an ax to the guy on top. I’ve heard it was not all that uncommon in the old days for the tiller man on a pit saw to die that way.

-- "Never let your dogma be run over by your karma!"

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3743 days

#8 posted 09-01-2013 07:55 PM

Great project—love that phrase “Norwegian steam ”!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4784 days

#9 posted 09-01-2013 10:59 PM

Beautifully made saw and very useful for those large pieces. If I’m not mistaken, the top and bottom pit sawyers in England where called the ‘top dog’ and the ‘underdog’ respectively.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Tim's profile


3859 posts in 3412 days

#10 posted 09-01-2013 11:37 PM

I’d heard tiller man before because the top guy does the steering to keep the saw on the line, but not sure I’ve heard box man before. I suppose different areas had different terms. I’ve also not seen a frame pit saw like that, very interesting. I like your U-bolt hardware on this a lot too, Erik. It’s a much cheaper way to go.

View GnarlyErik's profile


367 posts in 3585 days

#11 posted 09-01-2013 11:57 PM

Thanks for your comment Stefang -

I don’t know if the English terms for pit sawyers were ”’Top Dog’ and ‘Underdog’ or not:

There seems to be some discussion on that, but I sure do like the notion! The hardware for holding a log in place for sawing are called ‘dogs’, so it sure seems reasonable.


-- "Never let your dogma be run over by your karma!"

View CFrye's profile


11478 posts in 3290 days

#12 posted 11-20-2013 03:13 PM

Erik, I wanted to thank you for this post. I had seen it some time ago and filed the knowledge away. I had opportunity to use the technique (with the table saw and a hand saw) to resaw a piece of Brazilian Cherry. It worked great. Glad I found the post again to thank you! It is being added to my favorites. Love this website!!

-- God bless, Candy

View GnarlyErik's profile


367 posts in 3585 days

#13 posted 11-21-2013 01:15 AM

Glad you liked my post Candy. There are lot’s of great ideas to be found on the Lumberjocks site. There seems to be a good mix of amateur and professional wood workers posting to the site. I have made a living working with wood my entire working life, and I learn something new each time I visit the site.

If you can’t find good ideas and tips here, I don’t where you can! Good luck with your endeavors.


-- "Never let your dogma be run over by your karma!"

View GnarlyErik's profile


367 posts in 3585 days

#14 posted 11-21-2013 01:19 AM

Double posted – deleted!

-- "Never let your dogma be run over by your karma!"

View lumberdog's profile


249 posts in 4718 days

#15 posted 03-02-2015 01:38 PM

Great job on the saw, i like the way you connected the blade to the frame. I have wanted to make one of these, now that i have seen it done this way it has given me the desire to go ahead and get-er-done.

-- Measure twice, cut once, then force it to fit.

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