Time saving summary: Small Roubo frame saw blades and hardware kits are now available. These new 27″ and 32″ versions complement the capabilities of the original 36″ and 48″ versions. Blades and hardware are available separately, or as a complete kit (if you have visited these pages in the past, you may need to refresh them to see the new versions). -Ed.
When demonstrating my Roubo frame saws at shows, there are several common reactions and comments. “That’s why they make bandsaws” is a frequent disparagement, usually uttered by older men wearing a plaid shirt and suspenders. If I ask them how much it would cost to set up a bandsaw to resaw a 14″ or 16″ board, the snarky smile usually fades.
Another common reaction is one of shock at the size of my largest version of this saw (with a 48″ long blade, this one most closely resembles the saw described by Roubo). While proper technique turns this size into an asset in most situations, it is also a deal killer for many. And while I have always offered a 36″ version as an alternative, the fact remains that there is a niche for even more diminutive saws that can be used in tighter spaces and on smaller work.
With this in mind, I have designed and am now selling blades and hardware for two smaller versions of my Roubo frame saws. These new kits are available with 27″ and 32″ blades (up to now, 36″ and 48″ blades were the only options). These smaller blades are paired with a scaled down version of the full size hardware. Details for the new (and old) blades and hardware are summarized in the tables below.
Thank you for offering these niche products! I am building the big saw, but smaller versions would probably find use as well. Could you comment on the hardness of the blades? Are they harder than other saw blades, and could that be alleviated by dehardening them with heat? I have done the drilling which was tough on the hardened bit I had access to, but havent filed the blade yet, so I cannot yet compare to other saw sharpening.
The blades are made from 1095 spring steel, hardened and tempered to Rockwell C 48-51. This is the same steel and hardness that most modern manufacturers of high quality saws use. It is also pretty similar in hardness to the steel that Disston and Sandvik used in their saws. Drilling and sharpenig these blades will be similar to the ones you have done in the past.
The carbide spade bits I sell work very well fro drilling holes. You can also use a masonry bit, but you’ll want to sharpen the tip a bit first. I have not tried to heat the blade before drilling them, but a small torch would probably work for doing that.
Thank you for the informative answer!