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tuning a cheap dovetail saw

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Forum topic by harum posted 02-07-2016 05:02 AM 611 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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harum

216 posts in 1108 days


02-07-2016 05:02 AM

I am looking for an advice on how to get this dovetail saw working: Two Cherries/ Robert Larson, 10”, push stroke. It cost me $15 and wasn’t cutting well out of the box. I jointed it slightly, then sharpened with a XX slim taper file: please see the blade after sharpening on the photo with an inset at 2x zoom, the heel is on the right:

With sharp teeth, it cuts pretty well now, except that starting a cut is really hard because on the push stroke the teeth bite into the surface of the wood and don’t move, unless quite a force is applied, at which point I start loosing the control of the angles and the direction. Would resetting the saw help me with starting the kerf? Or should I sharpen the saw more?

Another thing: even though the brass back is straight, the blade is slightly curved along the length—how to fix this?

Would greatly appreciate any suggestion or reference. Thanks and best wishes, h.

-- "If you're not counting the ripples when throwing pebbles in the water, you're wasting your time."


9 replies so far

View David Taylor's profile

David Taylor

326 posts in 552 days


#1 posted 02-07-2016 05:10 AM

You may want to try and add a bit of rake to the first couple-few inches of teeth. 90 degrees is correct for rip teeth, but tipping that back a few degrees at the toe may help you start a bit easier.

-- Learn Relentlessly

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harum

216 posts in 1108 days


#2 posted 02-07-2016 05:21 AM

Thank you, David! Will try adding a rake, and maybe some fleam, to the toe.

-- "If you're not counting the ripples when throwing pebbles in the water, you're wasting your time."

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

5765 posts in 951 days


#3 posted 02-07-2016 06:10 AM

That would help. A very very light hand at the start will help as well.

I’m pretty sure you need to stone the sides of the teeth after sharpening. I found this very helpful.

http://www.vintagesaws.com/library/primer/sharp.html

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Tim's profile

Tim

3118 posts in 1426 days


#4 posted 02-07-2016 01:37 PM



Another thing: even though the brass back is straight, the blade is slightly curved along the length—how to fix this?
- harum

If it came to you that way, return it.

If that’s not an option try this:
https://logancabinetshoppe.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/straightening-a-backsaw/
And this Paul Sellers video may help
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzc4tQ5CRxk
If it were the back that was bent, try this:
http://lumberjocks.com/Brit/blog/30858

View harum's profile

harum

216 posts in 1108 days


#5 posted 02-07-2016 04:02 PM

Appreciate all the replies! Thank you for the references, Tim! Yes, it came with a straight back but slightly curved blade. I went to the nearest Woodcraft to see their selection of cheap dovetail saws; all their 20-40 dollar dovetail saws had curved blades, some really badly. I wanted to ask them about the bent blades but I had already irritated them enough by pointing to the rubbery plugs of polymerized tung oil in every bottle of their Woodcraft Tung Oil. So I just left without buying anything. Again.

There’s another thing: my every cut consistently arcs slightly to the left deviating from the straight line. I bought the saw through the internet, so returning it is not straightforward. Will try tweaking it and then practicing.

-- "If you're not counting the ripples when throwing pebbles in the water, you're wasting your time."

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TheFridge

5765 posts in 951 days


#6 posted 02-07-2016 04:18 PM

The arc is on the face of the board as you’re cutting down?

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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bandit571

14596 posts in 2148 days


#7 posted 02-07-2016 04:19 PM

Too much set to the left side of the plate. Run a stone along the teeth on the left side of the saw. Go from heel to toe. Once or twice, make a saw cut to check if more is needed.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View harum's profile

harum

216 posts in 1108 days


#8 posted 02-07-2016 04:25 PM

TheFridge, yes, the arc is on the face when I cut down starting on the end grain. Bandit571, thanks for the tip.

-- "If you're not counting the ripples when throwing pebbles in the water, you're wasting your time."

View harum's profile

harum

216 posts in 1108 days


#9 posted 02-10-2016 03:29 AM

Bandit571, thanks for the suggestion; I ran a stone a few times on the left side and the cut straightened up. It’s no longer an arc. Interestingly, this also solved the problem with starting a kerf: it’s very easy now, like it should be.

-- "If you're not counting the ripples when throwing pebbles in the water, you're wasting your time."

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