Win one of my Roubo frame saws (or other great prizes)

Hand tool enthusiast James Wright (Wood By Wright on YouTube) has put together a great little contest called Tool Make 2017. I love this idea – document the process of building a hand tool, give it away to someone who’s getting started in hand tool woodworking, and become eligible to win one of these great prizes:

Everybody wins – you as a maker build your skills (and could win a great prize), the hand tool making community learns more about making tools, and new hand tool workers get some encouragement and real support.

Better hurry, though – this contest is over at the end of June. Further details can be found in this YouTube video from Wood by Wright.

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Just checking in (and an announcement for my European customers)

The last several months have been taxing on both a personal and business level; the death of my brother, an unexpected surge in orders, developing a saw sharpening class for Lie-Nielsen, and outfitting myself for upcoming woodworking shows all met in one great confluence.

Over the last several years, I’ve tried my best to turn most orders around in a week or so. The events of the last few months have stretched that turnaround time to an uncomfortable level. Now, with Handworks done, and the summer looking relatively calm, I look forward to tackling the backlog and reducing turnaround time once again (I hate running behind just as much as my customers!).

I’ll also be working to catch up on emails. If you haven’t heard from me in the next week or so, feel free to send another one. I try my best to respond to everyone, but despite spending an hour or two each day answering them, some still slip through.


Finally, I have some great news for my European customers:  Dieter Schmid Fine Tools is now carrying my Roubo frame saw kits. Shipping, import fees, and VAT on these saws has always been a sticking point, so this partnership should work well for everyone. Kits are available in all three sizes (2×32, 3×36, and 4×48); all come with sharpened blades. As always, plans and instructions/tips for use are available on my website and free for all to use.

Roubo frame saw blade and hardware.

Roubo frame saw blade and hardware.

Completed Roubo frame saws.

Completed Roubo frame saws.

Roubo frame saw closeup.

Roubo frame saw closeup.

Roubo frame saw closeup.

Roubo frame saw closeup.

Posted in Announcements | 1 Comment

Lie-Nielsen Saw Sharpening Workshop – Warren, ME

If you’ve ever wanted to sharpen your own saws, but didn’t know where to start, I can’t think of a better setting to learn the skill than at Lie-Nielsen’s headquarters in beautiful Warren, ME. Lie-Nielsen has a well-deserved reputation for being first class hosts, and this is sure to be no exception.

Lie-Nielsen Saw Sharpening Workshop, May 13-14 in Warren, ME.

Lie-Nielsen Saw Sharpening Workshop, May 13-14 in Warren, ME.

Over the course of two days, I will cover the basics of saw tooth geometry before moving on to practice filing both rip and crosscut teeth.


Lie-Nielsen Workshop – Warren, ME

Saturday & Sunday, May 13-14

9:00 – 5:00 (Saturday), 9:00 – 4:00 (Sunday)



Warren, ME 04864

Registration and further details are available on the Lie-Nielsen website. If you have any questions, please contact either myself or Lie-Nielsen.

Posted in Announcements, Saw filing, Shows | 4 Comments

New product additions

For the last few months, I’ve been working on and experimenting with frame saws. Not my Roubo frame saws, but the European style that was used by Tage Frid. Finally, and after many delays, the hardware and blades for these Danish frame saws are now ready for ordering.

Danish style frame saw made from Blackburn Tools hardware kit, blade, and plans.

Danish style frame saw made from Blackburn Tools hardware kit, blade, and plans.


Frame saw hardware:  This hardware is basic, but well-made from stainless steel for reliable performance and durability. PDF plans for the saw are freely available.

Closeup of Danish frame saw.

Closeup of Danish frame saw.

Danish frame saw blade and hardware kit.

Danish frame saw blade and hardware kit.


Frame saw blades: For far too long, woodworkers have had to choose between machine-sharpened and set Western style blades and those with Japanese teeth that cannot be resharpened. My sharpened blades fill the empty niche between those two. Made from premium 1095 spring steel, they cut as fast and cleanly as Japanese teeth, but are easily resharpened.  Ready to cut out of the box, although like any other frame saw blade, tracking is often improved by dressing the side of the teeth once the saw is fitted to the frame. Blades are also available unsharpened for those who prefer to sharpen and set their own teeth.

For now, I am making two different blades: a 16″, 9 ppi and a 24″, 6 ppi blade. Both are filed rip. If there is demand for other sizes and configurations, I will expand the range.

Please not that any blades that are ordered now will not ship until the New Year.


DVDs: I’ve added a new DVD section, with three titles for the time being. The first is Build Your Own Classic Frame Saws, a DVD I made this summer with Popular Woodworking that covers the construction and use of the Roubo and Danish frame saws.

The second and third DVDs are Super-Tune Your Backsaw and Build a Custom Backsaw, both by Matt Cianci.

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Christmas and new order delays

Well, the last few weeks have been a blur around here. I’m still not sure what happened, but I’ve been blindsided by a sudden influx of new orders. While I should be able to fill existing orders before Christmas, any orders that contain saw parts (for Roubo frame saws, Danish frame saws, or backsaws) placed after this point may not ship until the New Year. If you have any questions about when a potential order may ship, please email me at

Thanks to all of my friends, family, and customers for their support; without your help, Blackburn Tools simply would not be possible.

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DVD – Build Your Own Classic Frame Saws

This summer, I was given the opportunity to shoot a video for Popular Woodworking. Over the course of two days in coastal Maine, we filmed a video that covers the construction and use of two frame saws; the first a Roubo frame saw, and the second a frame saw like that used by Tage Frid.

The DVD will be available on my website sometime next week, along with hardware and blades for building the Danish style frame saw.



A big thanks to Billy Sims, the producer, as well as David Thiel and the Popular Woodworking editors for making this possible.

Posted in Announcements | 7 Comments

Upcoming Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event® – Edmonston, MD

40,000 square feet of architectural salvage and building supplies and home furnishings is a lot to search through in one day. Which is why I’m happy that I’ll be at the Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event hosted by Community Forklift both Friday and Saturday.


Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event® – Edmonston, MD

Friday & Saturday, October 28-29

10:00 – 6:00 (Friday), 10:00 – 5:00 (Saturday)

Community Forklift

 4671 Tanglewood Drive

Edmonston, MD 20781


Remember, the admission to this event is free, and you will have a chance to play with a lot of beautiful tools, as well as talk to other people who share your passion for them. Hope to see a few of you there!

Posted in Shows | 1 Comment

Upcoming show – Hearne Hardwoods Open House

I have attended this show for several years now, and it never fails to impress me. While the obvious attraction is the world class selection of a mind-boggling array of woods, the live music, catered foods, and guest demonstrators (I’m particularly looking forward to meeting Steve Voigt this year) makes this an event not to be missed.

The Open House runs from Friday, September 30 – Saturday, October 1; I will be there both days.


Hearne Hardwoods Open House 2016 – Oxford, PA

Friday & Saturday, September 30 – October 1

10:00 – 5:00 (Friday), 10:00 – 4:00 (Saturday)

Hearne Hardwoods

200 Whiteside Drive

Oxford, PA 19363


Admission to this event is free, you will have a chance to play with a lot of beautiful tools, talk to other people who share your passion for them, so I hope to see a few of you there!

Posted in Shows | 3 Comments

Lie-Nielsen 2016 Open House

Just a few days to go until the Lie-Nielsen Open House up in Maine…if you’re still on the fence, it’s time to hop down and get in your car. This is LN’s 35th anniversary, and it looks like they’re putting on a great celebration. With at least 30 of the finest toolmakers and top craftsmen coming from all over the nation (Happy Birthday to the US!), as well as several presentations sprinkled throughout the day, there’s something of interest for everyone.

If your Saturday evening is free, the evening lobster bake is highly recommended.


Lie-Nielsen 2015 Open House

Friday & Saturday, July 8-9

9:00 – 5:00 (both days)

264 Stirling Road, Warren, ME 04864

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YouTube videos from Wood by Wright – building a rebate-saw plane and Roubo frame saw

A little over a month ago, James Wright ordered a rebate saw-plane fence kit and Roubo frame saw kit from me. At the time, I had not heard of him, so it was a pleasant surprise when I learned that he was featuring their construction in two videos on his YouTube channel, Wood by Wright.

While waiting for those videos to come out, I had time to watch some of his work. James is dedicated to working wood entirely with hand tools, and does a great job of sharing what goes on in his shop. His natural and pleasant screen presence make for a thoroughly enjoyable viewing experience. As someone who dabbles in the blogging world, I keenly appreciate the dedication and discipline it takes to put those videos out on a regular schedule. Here’s hoping that he keeps it up for a long time to come and gains followers with whom to share the craft.

For viewing convenience, I have embedded the YouTube videos for the rebate saw-plane build and Roubo frame saw build below. Once you’re done watching these, I highly recommend visiting the Wood by Wright YouTube channel to view even more of his videos – you will enjoy them.




Posted in Product reviews, Saw making | 4 Comments