Stonemasonry in 30 objects: A frig-bob saw

Apr 14, 2023

Stonemasonry in 30 objects.
Week 22/30 – A frig-bob saw

This is a single-handed stone saw, used during the 1800’s at quarries and workshop as a primary saw. It’s not a delicate tool and as the saw teeth broke and wore, masons filed it and recut the teeth, so a frig-bob saw would gradually shrink over the years getting thinner until no longer serviceable. The older, thinner ones were put to good use in undermining, cutting in the narrow spaces as block stone was removed from the mine and at AF Jones, one remaining saw is occasionally used on the soft Bath stone it was designed to cut.

These soft-stone saws, like most traditional stone saws and drags have teeth cut as straight, non-angled edges to scratch though stone, unlike their wood saw counterparts which have their teeth angled to help cut cleanly through timber.

The brief video here shows Roy Champion, one of our master masons cutting through Bath stone, and the images show the typical length of a frig-bob saw.

This first the first 19 posts in this series can all be found on our LinkedIn profile – or use  #stonemasonry30

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