|Review by Cecil Rogers||posted 06-02-2013 04:27 PM||5567 views||3 times favorited||12 comments|
Cutting dovetails by hand has its moments of tedium. Getting rid of the bulk of the waste from the pins and tails is one of them. So, I always try to find a way to speed that up. Enter the small saws…
First, I tried a coping saw. It was a hand-me-down, and I’ll never discard it because of whom, not what, it represented. But, the simple truth is that it was horrible at removing bulk waste from dovetails. After the coping saw, I stepped up to an Olson adjustable frame saw. It wasn’t much better. The frame flexed in two different directions, I could never tension the blades tight enough, and the handle slipped off more than once. Oh yeah, the handle was tiny and always made my hand cramp up when using it also. Those two saws are shown in the pics. They are destined to become yard sale items.
Finally, I broke down and ordered the Knew Concepts 5" Birdcage Titanium Fret Saw. This is an OUTSTANDING saw!!! Rigid, light, comfortable, and you can get the blade tight… Really tight! This is a great little tool.
The first thing one notices when it arrives (besides the no name pizza box) is how light it is. After reducing it to just the saw, it seemed as if the currency to buy it outweighed the saw. That, by the way, is only a very slight exaggeration.
Anyway, I don’t know what the resellers do, but I ordered mine straight from Knew Concepts. It came with the blade in, set and adjusted, the tension lever released, and ready to go. All I had to do was flip the tension lever and use it.
All that was left was to try it out. I grabbed a piece of scrap and laid out some pins and tails, grabbed a saw and cut to the base lines. Then, I got the new fret saw and got the waste out of the way. First time I’ve ever been able to do that without the saw causing me some kind of grief. I would say this saw is worth its weight in gold, but it’s worth a lot more than that… it really weighs almost nothing.
Bottom line, if you do a lot of traditional work with dovetails, or if you do marquetry, this is a great saw. It’s a little expensive, but in my mind, it has already paid for itself.
-- Cecil, Orange Park, FL