Dovetail Saw

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Project by pastorglen posted 01-15-2011 08:05 PM 2478 views 16 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Dovetail Saw
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I was looking to upgrade to a better dovetail saw, but I didn’t want to spend a boat-load. So I decided to build it.

Side note—think about it. There isn’t a project we build that we couldn’t buy somewhere. Part of the reason we build it is to have joy and satisfaction from using our hands to make something that will last to the next generations. We should have the same approach—when possible—to the tools we use.

I read the Norse Woodsmith blog on making backsaws so many times that I thought I had it memorized. Then, after looking at a variety of options, I ended up getting in touch with Wenzloff & Sons. They have kits, but they also let you build it to your specs from scratch. My kids gave me $50 toward the saw for Christmas, and I added the cost of shipping. I ordered two split-nut screws, a folded brass back, and a .020” blade, with the teeth already cut, but not sharpened. I made my own handle (which is pictured in my icon thingy) from a piece of scrap wood with some extra nice figure in it.

The whole thing cost under $60, and I am absolutely delighted with the results. Wenzloff & Sons were a delight to work with and very helpful. I plan to buy another one this week and make tenon saw.

In the process I’ve learned how the saws are made, how to adjust them, and how to sharpen them. It was a great project that I would highly recommend to anyone interested in having a great saw for a fraction of the cost.

-- Glen, Pennsylvania, Colossians 3:23 "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men."

16 comments so far

View DaddyT's profile


267 posts in 2544 days

#1 posted 01-15-2011 08:14 PM

Nice looking saw! Ive been planning on doing the same myself

-- Jimi _ Measure twice, cut once.......@#%#$@!!!......measure twice, cut....

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4570 posts in 2070 days

#2 posted 01-15-2011 08:20 PM

Shop made tools are some of the best. Nice post

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View bigike's profile


4040 posts in 2322 days

#3 posted 01-15-2011 08:36 PM

very nice saw.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View B13's profile


463 posts in 1727 days

#4 posted 01-15-2011 08:54 PM

Great! looking saw. I like the handle shape. also thanks! for the web link

View clieb91's profile


3396 posts in 2969 days

#5 posted 01-15-2011 09:02 PM

First off Welcome to LumberJocks. Second, A very nice looking saw. I am betting that you will be able to pass that one pretty easily and for many generations. I am going to check out the links. Sounds like it could be a fun project.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1510 posts in 2599 days

#6 posted 01-15-2011 09:06 PM

Nice! I did not know you could buy a kit for these, may have to give it a try.

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 2149 days

#7 posted 01-15-2011 09:10 PM

a very good looking saw
thank´s for the link :-)
and welcome to L J enjoy and have fun :-)

take care

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 1974 days

#8 posted 01-15-2011 10:10 PM

Welcome to LJ’s! You guys are lucky, is there anything you can’t buy in the States…?

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View dfdye's profile


372 posts in 2071 days

#9 posted 01-15-2011 10:46 PM

That result looks great! Thinking along your lines, I just bought a cheap $10 oversized gent’s saw from Sears to use as a blank for a good backsaw. The steel on the cheap saw was actually decent, so I figured that re-filing the teeth and adding a nice handle would be a fun project. I am sure that my handle won’t turn out as well as yours did, but thanks for the inspiration!

-- David from Indiana --

View jeffl's profile


288 posts in 2344 days

#10 posted 01-15-2011 11:49 PM

Nice looking saw. I bought an old Disston andd plan to recut the teeth but it’s in a pile of someday projects. Welcome to L J’s.

-- Jeff,

View Maveric777's profile


2692 posts in 2110 days

#11 posted 01-16-2011 02:48 AM

Very Very Cool! Been wanting to get my hands on a few hand saws to start using in the shop. What better way than to make my own (or at least some of it). Hope my attempt comes out as nice as this one.

Thanks for sharing and for the link…

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 2093 days

#12 posted 01-16-2011 07:41 AM

Nice job. There is just something about working with a tool you have made yourself. Those guys at Wenzloff are great folks. I inquired on their website about making and fitting a handle for a saw. Mike Wenzloff just emailed me some PDF files of the templates that they use. They build some beautiful saws too. Yours turned out very nice.


-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View mafe's profile


10515 posts in 2123 days

#13 posted 01-16-2011 02:26 PM

Wauu, thats a nice saw, and you have made it!
This will get on my to do list. Welcome.
I can see they have also a full sav kit for 95 US
Beautiful saw.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View helluvawreck's profile


18711 posts in 1900 days

#14 posted 01-16-2011 02:48 PM

That is a very nice saw that you have made for yourself and I have been to their site. They had been recommended to me by Doc and other people as well. BTW, you can also get the saws they make from Lie-Nelson.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View SalvageCraft's profile


274 posts in 1560 days

#15 posted 03-01-2012 02:08 AM

Wonderful saw! ...but, how did you cut the wood you made it from?? ;)

-- Jesse --

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