Frame saw sometimes refers to a woodworker's bow saw.
A frame saw or "sash saw" is a type of rip saw and sometimes called a whipsaw. It consists of a relatively narrow and flexible blade held under tension within a (generally wooden) rectangular frame (also called a sash or gate). The blade is held perpendicular to the plane of the frame, so that the wood being cut passes through the center of the frame. Frame saws were operated by hand or powered in a sawmill.
It is unknown how early Framed Pit Saws came into use however there is an Italian Fresco from circa 1300 depicting their use.
A more modern development from the 18th Century is the Open Pit saw which resembled a large hand saw with no frame, A Till for a handle at the top and a Box for a lower handle. This form of Pit Saw is still in use in rural underdeveloped countries as a means of illegally harvesting protected trees.
The Frame Pit Saw was the mainstay of resawing before stiff, unframed two-man saws called a muley or mulay saw, circular saws, and band saws took over. In some early sawmills a frame saw was powered from a water wheel, wind mill or other rotary motion through a crankshaft and connecting rod. It is now largely obsolete, though woodworkers who eschew power tools still make them for personal use in many sizes and styles of assembly.
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- Sloane, Eric (1964). A Museum of Early American Tools. New York: Wilfred Funk. pp. 66–70.
- Mercer, Henry (2000) . Ancient Carpenter's Tools: Illustrated and Explained, Together With the Implements of the Lumberman, Joiner, and Cabinet-Maker in Use in the Eighteenth Century. New York: Dover Publications, Inc. pp. 21–28.