Shannon Rogers’ Big French Saw. Dang.
Shannon Rogers of the Hand Tool School brought along his 48”-long Roubo frame saw to the Saturday meeting of the Chesapeake chapter of the Society of American Furniture Makers, explained its details and (most importantly) let us try it out during lunch.
It was so effortless to use (as long as you used your legs to propel it) that I wanted to resaw the entire board.
Shannon has put a lot of effort into understanding this saw and tweaking it to track a line. He found that a 4”-wide blade tracked better than a narrower one, and he worked with a blacksmith at Artisan Iron Designs to make hardware (beautiful hardware) to tension the blade.
The blade is from Blackburn Tools and closely resembles the one shown in “l’Art du Menuisier” by A.J. Roubo.
Shannon made the case that this particular saw design makes resawing by hand much easier. After trying out the saw, I completely agree. After using panel saws and frame saws with narrow blades to resaw boards, I can assure you that Shannon has this saw figured out.
So yes, I ordered a blade from Blackburn Tools and tensioning hardware from Artisan Iron as soon as I walked back into my hotel. I’m going to make my saw from hard maple and use (sorry to ding you, Shannon) slotted screws to attach the hardware (my only aesthetic complaint about the saw).
You can watch Shannon’s saw in action in this video.
— Christopher Schwarz