When a furniture builder needs to resaw a thick slab of wood into thinner boards, the go-to tool is typically the bandsaw. But what did folks do before power tools and electricity?
Woodworker Shannon Rogers runs The Renaissance Woodworker, a website documenting his projects. One of those projects answers the resaw question above. Rogers took some drawings done by Andre Jacob Roubo—an influential 18th-Century Parisian master cabinetmaker—and recreated his frame saw. This monster tool is unlike anything most of you have ever seen, and uses a 48"-long blade that's four inches deep. Check it out:
With this saw Rogers has managed to cut veneer slices as thin as 1/8", and when cutting across 24 inches of wood, clocked himself at a cutting depth speed of one inch per minute. And when he tried doing boards of lesser width, he found this surprising fact: "I realize that my 14" bandsaw is pretty underpowered, but I know I can resaw a typical 6-8" wide board faster than it can. I have timed it and my hand method beat the bandsaw by 2 minutes on a 7×24 piece of old growth heart Pine for drawer sides. I’m not a super sawer, I chose the right tool for the job."
And speaking of the right tool for the job, Rogers can use Roubo's contraption for jobs that one could ordinarily not perform at all without access to some serious production machinery:
What I think is most exciting is that this saw isn’t just something for the diehard hand tool woodworkers to get excited about. Even the deafest power tool user can’t help but see the benefit of a tool that will allow them to work with really wide and/or thick lumber that only the most expensive, industrial sized machines can handle.
It is a lot of fun to use, and not that tiring since the power comes from your legs primarily.
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