|Review by John||posted 03-31-2012 10:18 PM||3588 views||0 times favorited||4 comments|
I am making the transition to more handwork and want to master (or come close to it) hand cut dovetails. Since I recently fell in love with my Japanese Ryoba that’s been collecting dust for years (here’s a great review on it http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/129 ), I unilaterally decided to turn Japanese … I mean pull it … the saw that is… errr, nevermind.
Lee Valley has this saw for a lower price than replacement blades on their other saws, I thought it looked like a good place to start – website here: http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/page.aspx?p=32936&cat=1,42884
I cut a dovetail by eye and while it’s not beautiful, it looks better than I thought my first dovetail would look and cutting 90 degrees perpendicular was nearly on the nose and practically easy.
My initial impressions are pretty fantastic – the pics posted are, in order, my first ever hand cut dovetail, the small amount of tearout on the near side of a piece of maple (no tearout at all on the far side) and a dollar bill folded twice that was a tight fit in the kerf, which at about .017” is right in line with the 16-thou in LV’s description.
Negatives: – the blade is not replaceable, it is brazed on just inside the handle – the tang is a little loose in the handle (which is how I was able to determine the braze), but once in use I did not notice and play – no hole to hang it, so I drilled a little hole at the end of the handle and added a piece of string
- cuts fast and straight
- the steel back stiffens it nicely, the Ryoba flexes too much for me to get a tight cut at my current skill level
- super thin kerf and almost no tearout
- nice long handle allows for two-handed use and is still very controllable
-- John - Central PA - http://affyx.wordpress.com