These saws were metal cutters—indispensable to the clockmaker and watchmaker and to metalworkers in general. They were employed to cut slots in screw heads, to cut bolts or rivets to a desired length, and probably to cut or remove some of the bars in the pierced clockplates used by the Dominys. Blades for these frames fit into a slot and are held in place with a pin. Notches cut into the front end of the frame enabled the blade to be raised or lowered. A blade of the same size must be used in each of the frames—a principle consistent with seventeenth- and eighteenth-century practice. Because the blades of these saws were quite thin, it was necessary to maintain tension on them or they would buckle and snap. The winding stick, pins, and adjusting screws on the different frames serve to keep tension constant.
Frame saw, 1760-1812. Nathaniel Dominy IV (purchaser, user), Felix Dominy (user, 1817-1835). Steel. 7.3" (L). Museum purchase with funds provided by Henry Belin 1957.0026.424