A Strategy for Woodworking #37: The Right Saw for the Job

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Blog entry by Gary Rogowski posted 12-01-2014 04:30 PM 1880 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 36: Discontent Part 37 of A Strategy for Woodworking series Part 38: Sanding is Evil »

Choose your tools wisely for the job. For a plumber, the sawz-all is king because demo can be fast and messy. Not so much for dovetailing. That requires a different touch.

I have many tools at hand. Which one I grab depends upon many factors. When I cut dovetails, how picky do I want to be? How do I want the joints to look? How much noise and dust can I stand that day? And for me most of all, how late is the project? I have many options to use from my Japanese dozuki to my Lie-Nielsen back saw to the router. I put away the sawz-all for dovetails.

All my tools are used by hand and with a watchful eye but the results will vary as will my sense of satisfaction. I have many router cut dovetail boxes around the Studio. They’re nice. They took a modicum of skill which I possess. I have a few hand cut dovetail pieces round my house. Those I look on with a different sense of pride. Not a better sense, different.

We do this work as much for ourselves as for the customer. Pick the right saw for the job.

The Northwest Woodworking Studio

-- Gary Rogowski...follow my podcast at and twitter @garyrogowski

4 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117340 posts in 3781 days

#1 posted 12-01-2014 04:42 PM

What no chain saws? we are in the north west. :)
All kidding aside you point is well taken,”To thine own self be true” can be modified to, To thine own woodworking be true.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View DocSavage45's profile


8725 posts in 3046 days

#2 posted 12-01-2014 05:59 PM


One of my first DVD’s was at least 14 years ago with you demonstrating techniques with a router! You’ve come a long way baby! LOL! Me not so far but I’m climbing the ladder now, and makin shavins, and a lot of mistakes.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View lmnebinist's profile


1 post in 1476 days

#3 posted 12-01-2014 07:44 PM

Roofers (slate-see recent posts)used chainsaw in creative ways. One as an area specific thickness planar. A facia board would fit flush due to a little extra stucco on one small area. Instead of chipping away the stucco, he moved the tip of the saw back and forth on the board in that area to help nudge it into place. Another to cut the overhanging lathing before adding the slate. A little rough but it worked and it was really fast. They were a pleasure to watch.

View Texcaster's profile


1287 posts in 1878 days

#4 posted 12-01-2014 11:11 PM

You might enjoy this. A real sawzall man. Note, many violins say Stradivarius somewhere. The fiddle being worked on is very different from the one in the opening shot. David Burgess is one of the best.

-- Mama calls me Texcaster but my real name is Mr. Earl.

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