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View Ben's profile

New Veritas Saw - a bit of trouble

by Ben
posted 02-02-2013 08:38 PM


21 replies so far

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

7742 posts in 2343 days


#1 posted 02-02-2013 08:50 PM

I pull back to start a western saw, Usually trying to sort of score
the cut line and then pulling down into the corner facing
me a little. Then I start to make push cuts.

Veritas doesn’t have a 16tpi dovetail saw listed on the
Lee Valley site. Only a crosscut saw, which generally
has more set.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Ben's profile

Ben

204 posts in 1552 days


#2 posted 02-02-2013 09:06 PM

sorry, i meant 14tpi.
thanks.

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

7742 posts in 2343 days


#3 posted 02-02-2013 09:10 PM

Too much set for what you want to do maybe.

I dovetail with a bowsaw and I have so little set on the
blade I have to wax it.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15965 posts in 1562 days


#4 posted 02-02-2013 09:23 PM

Well, I’m certainly not a wood craftsman in the true sense of the word; actually if the truth be told, I’ve done more metal working in my life than woodworking because that’s how I made my living. However, I have been a hobby woodworker for over forty years and I have loved the woodworking more than the metalworking but I’ve always been a workaholic so over that long time my woodworking has been done in stolen moments. I have always loved the hand tools more than the power tools all that time. I’m kind of an old fashioned guy anyways so it all fits. Naturally somebody like me plays around with the traditional joinery over the years. Occasionally you’re gong to play around with hand dovetails here and there and so have I. I bought the Veritas dovetail saw a while back and played around with dovetailing once again for a week or so and I liked the saw. I’m also going the get the finer cut saw real soon. However, I have learned in several books that any saw you that you buy is going to have to be sharpened and tweaked before you can get the most of it. I have not learned how to sharpen hand saws correctly yet but it is something that I intend to do, hopefully sooner than later. The same books said that if an even mediocre saw is sharpened correctly it will literally sing in your hand. The old timers new how to do these things with simple tools. All that we have to do is look at their work. Their work is a wonderful testimony to their knowledge and abilities which came after many long years of apprenticeship and hard work before they could call themselves a craftsman – let alone a master craftsman. This is just my 2 cents.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- 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 ChuckV's profile

ChuckV

2440 posts in 2222 days


#5 posted 02-02-2013 09:39 PM

I have the LN progressive pitch dovetail saw. The finest teeth at the front are 16 tpi. I am always working to improve my sawing technique. Here is what LN suggests:

The first thing you’ll need to know about your saw is how to hold it. This may seem obvious, but many people try to wrap all four fingers around the handle. The proper grip is to wrap the middle, ring, and little finger around the handle with the forefinger pointing along the brass back. You’ll discover that in doing so, you will have much better control over how your saw tracks, and it will also feel very comfortable and natural.

When starting a cut, hold the saw blade so it is flush with the top of the stock. It is not necessary to tilt your saw at an angle when cutting. Best performance is obtained by sawing slowly and evenly with very little downward pressure, using as much of the blade as possible. Your saw will track right to the line. Be aware, however, that due to the slight set, your saw will be hard to correct if it starts to cut away from the line. If that happens, it’s because you didn’t line it up properly when you started. Practice on some scrap wood to acquaint yourself with how your saw cuts. If you had a poor sawing technique before, your new saw will force you to learn the proper sawing technique. Don’t worry — once learned, it’ll be smooth cutting. If your saw seems to “grab” the wood and jump around in the kerf, you’re using too much downward pressure. Ease up a bit and take long slow strokes.

Keep at it!

-- “While the world with closed eyes sleeps, The sky knows and weeps - steel rain. ” ― Nathan Bell

View Ben's profile

Ben

204 posts in 1552 days


#6 posted 02-02-2013 10:10 PM

Thanks to all.
Following LN’s instructions actually helped a bit. Wouldn’t you know it!
Still a bit tricky to start.

View nwbusa's profile

nwbusa

1017 posts in 981 days


#7 posted 02-02-2013 10:13 PM

I own the same saw, Ben, and I also have a bit of trouble getting it started. I’m sure for me, it’s just technique and that the limitation is me, not the saw. The surface finish on my cuts is excellent, at least in white oak. Good luck with the saw, it’s a nice tool.

-- John, BC, Canada

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15965 posts in 1562 days


#8 posted 02-02-2013 10:14 PM

Did you ever look at an original Kentucky rifle and wonder how it came into being?

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- 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 Manitario's profile

Manitario

2364 posts in 1578 days


#9 posted 02-03-2013 05:05 AM

I have the same saw too, and found that it has a bit of a learning curve to start it. It definitely takes a very light touch to get it started, any downward pressure at all beyond the weight of the saw will cause it to stick in the wood. Once you get used to it though, it works well.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View JeremyPringle's profile

JeremyPringle

282 posts in 1169 days


#10 posted 02-03-2013 06:18 PM

For further help, try the nibble. I found it to be a very good way to explain it to new students.
http://www.popularwoodworking.com/woodworking-blogs/chris-schwarz-blog/video-not-sawing-but-nibbling

View tirebob's profile

tirebob

124 posts in 1549 days


#11 posted 02-03-2013 07:05 PM

What Jeremy said… That helped out my saw starting tremendously!

View Kreegan's profile

Kreegan

1452 posts in 842 days


#12 posted 02-03-2013 07:24 PM

Yeah I’m a nibbler. I have that same saw and this technique really helps with it. If you feel comfortable reshaping your teeth, another thing you might try is Paul Sellers technique. Basically shape your teeth with a 60 degree rake for the first inch, a 75 degree rake for the next inch and a 90 degree rake for the rest. This lets you start the cut more easily at the front of the saw, then as you get it established you use the rest of the saw and its more aggressive rake.

View Kreegan's profile

Kreegan

1452 posts in 842 days


#13 posted 02-03-2013 07:28 PM

This episode of The Woodwright’s Shop might help also.

http://video.pbs.org/video/1772025726/

View CL810's profile (online now)

CL810

2147 posts in 1683 days


#14 posted 02-03-2013 07:57 PM

I’m a nibbler as well. To test if your putting to much down pressure on your cut try this. Move your hand down the handle so you are gripping it without your little finger, or lower if necessary. Grip LIGHTLY. Doing this will make your cuts a lot less aggressive. If this helps then you can play with it to develop feel and then work your hand up to the position described by Lie-Nielsen.

-- "It's amazing how much can go wrong when you think you know what you're doing."

View 12strings's profile

12strings

421 posts in 1079 days


#15 posted 02-04-2013 03:14 AM

Just adding to the resounding opinion…I have this saw and usually if I have trouble, I find that I’m pressing down too much…It really cuts fast and can handle the pressure once the cut is started, but at the beginning, the weight of the saw is plenty.

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

View Ben's profile

Ben

204 posts in 1552 days


#16 posted 02-04-2013 04:03 AM

thanks guys.
yes indeed! i found the technique of resting the saw on the full end grain edge, and using only the weight of the saw to start the cut really helps tremendously. this works well for starting tail board cuts (where the line is somewhat arbirtrary), but i wonder about starting the cut in the scribed knife line on the pin boards?
seems the kerf is as bit thicker than the knive line, so it’s hard to get it to drop into the cut perfectly as the saw needs to be kind of half in the line and half off.
starting on the corner seems the only way to go here, but it’s a bit frumpy. i’m using the luthier saw to get a good kerf, which drops in the slot real easily, and then switching to the LV.
pain in the butt, but it’s a nice saw though and still faster this way than with just the luthier.
thanks!

View jumbojack's profile

jumbojack

1200 posts in 1319 days


#17 posted 02-04-2013 05:42 AM

The old man would often ridicule me for letting the saw hang up on start up. He would kind of mutter; deweight the damn saw…..deweight it. After he passed I finally figured out what he was telling me. Lay the saw on the line and let the weight of the saw rest there, then ever so slightly lift and pull. The saw is still in contact with the material but actually less than the weight of the saw. Once you have successfully completed two passes let the full weight of the saw take over. It is kinda like magic.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View ChuckV's profile

ChuckV

2440 posts in 2222 days


#18 posted 02-04-2013 07:25 AM

i wonder about starting the cut in the scribed knife line on the pin boards?

For this reason, I use a pencil line rather than a knife line. It is hard to keep the saw from following the knife line.

I know that different people use different techniques (in fact, I cut the pins first – heathen!).

-- “While the world with closed eyes sleeps, The sky knows and weeps - steel rain. ” ― Nathan Bell

View Derek Cohen's profile

Derek Cohen

181 posts in 2663 days


#19 posted 02-04-2013 03:31 PM

Hi Ben

You are demonstrating an issue with technique. There is nothing wrong with the saw.

The angle at which you saw influences the way the teeth cut. Angling the saw down makes the teeth effectively more vertical and this makes the saw harder to start. Conversely, angling the saw up makes the saw easier to start.

Read more here (in the review I wrote on the 20 tpi LV dovetail saw): http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ToolReviews/TheVeritas20ppiDovetailSaw.html

Regards from Perth

Derek

-- Buildiing furniture, and reviewing and building tools at http://www.inthewoodshop.com

View Ben's profile

Ben

204 posts in 1552 days


#20 posted 02-05-2013 03:23 AM

Many thanks again to all.

Derek: great review – thank you.
I am using 5/8” drawer sides which is why I opted for the 14tpi. However, it seems maybe I would be happier with the 20tpi? When you say it cuts slower, how much are we talking about? The 14tpi gets me down to the bottom of my cut in probably less than 10 strokes after initial purchase.

Thanks again.

View Derek Cohen's profile

Derek Cohen

181 posts in 2663 days


#21 posted 02-05-2013 03:24 PM

Hi Ben

Just a stroke or too extra needed.

Regards from Perth

Derek

-- Buildiing furniture, and reviewing and building tools at http://www.inthewoodshop.com

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