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My first dovetail saw

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Forum topic by markedwardsims posted 04-13-2011 04:17 PM 1944 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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markedwardsims

50 posts in 1380 days


04-13-2011 04:17 PM

Hello all. I have been reading for a couple of weeks now about handcutting dovetails. I’ve read… I’ve watched videos… now I think it’s time to get my hands dusty and give it a try. I wanted to see if I could get some advise on purchasing my first dovetail saw. The questions that come to mind are: New or old? What size? How many teeth per inch? Brands to go with? Brands to avoid?

Thanks so much!
mark


14 replies so far

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zfrme66

22 posts in 1298 days


#1 posted 04-13-2011 08:31 PM

Hey Mark,
Your gonna get many many opinions about which saw to get. Lots of folks swear by the Lee Valley saw, which is a great saw for the money. I happen to have a Lei-Neilsen saw which feels good in my hand and is an accurate saw. I guess it’s like chisels, you really have to see and feel it in your own hands to see if it’s right for you. There has to be dozens of makers of fine dovetail saws. You just need to find the perfect fit .
Hope this helps
Bob

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DonH

489 posts in 1504 days


#2 posted 04-13-2011 09:38 PM

Hi Mark

I have some very expensive dovetail and other back saws as well as the Lee Valley saws. Buy the LV saws as you wont be sorry – they perform as well as any other saw I have tried or own. They sell a package of a cross cut saw, and two dovetail saws (one very fine teeth which is useful in starting a cut in tough wood). Check out their catalogue.

-- DonH Orleans Ontario

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markedwardsims

50 posts in 1380 days


#3 posted 04-13-2011 10:48 PM

Thanks guys for the input! I never thought about the DIY route, but I definitely like the idea. I just checked out the LV website, so I’m going to consider going that route. I think I’ll stop by Woodcraft on my way home and see what they have, although I don’t think they sell LV stuff. I’d really like to get my hands on something before I purchase. Can anyone comment on Crown saws? Also, is it just a preference of western vs. Japanese saws? If there is one that might be better for a beginner, let me know.

View Dwain's profile

Dwain

323 posts in 2546 days


#4 posted 04-13-2011 10:54 PM

I think the LV saw is getting great reviews. It is a very good saw for the money. There are more standard dovetail saws out there that are more expensive, but will also last you a lifetime. I bought mine from Medallion Tools. I am extremely happy with my purchase. Wenzloff, Adria, Lie Nielsen are all great choices. Expensive, but a one time purchase. I am very happy with my saw. I don’t believe it would make sense to build your own saw at this point. Get a good saw, find out what you like, then try building your own saw. It will alleviate a lot of future frustration.

-- When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there is no end to what you CAN'T do

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JuniorJoiner

448 posts in 2127 days


#5 posted 04-13-2011 11:48 PM

The saw I recommend when I teach dovetails is
http://www.leevalley.com/us/wood/page.aspx?p=55600&cat=1,42884 their cheap razor saw, nice thin kerf, easy to start, and when your learning how to saw, not too much cash.
it is the saw I use everyday in my shop. and cuts wonderful dovetails. Just learn how to cut dovetails right
.ie, do not learn from videos made by tool salemen

-- Junior -Quality is never an accident-it is the reward for the effort involved.

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Napoleon

788 posts in 1496 days


#6 posted 04-14-2011 08:39 PM

Look at mafes blog. We made a test over that with different saws :)

Rob cosman teach very well so everyone can understand it.

-- Boatbuilder&blacksmith

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Bertha

12951 posts in 1380 days


#7 posted 04-14-2011 09:38 PM

Are you dead set on a Western saw? I’ve got both and prefer a pullsaw. I even like my $20 Lowes pullsaw better than my LN for dovetails. Maybe I’m just weird.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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Napoleon

788 posts in 1496 days


#8 posted 04-14-2011 09:43 PM

Betha then ill buy your ln saw :D i loooove it :D

-- Boatbuilder&blacksmith

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Bertha

12951 posts in 1380 days


#9 posted 04-14-2011 09:48 PM

^it’s a nice saw, don’t get me wrong! Very comforting to hold, for sure. I learned on a Dozuki and it’s just hard to un-learn, however pretty :)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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Napoleon

788 posts in 1496 days


#10 posted 04-14-2011 09:50 PM

Dozuki is a wery good saw,i used the japanese saws and still do,but i had to own the two LN saw:D

They cut fast and clean,but in difficult wood the dozuki rules :)

-- Boatbuilder&blacksmith

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Bertha

12951 posts in 1380 days


#11 posted 04-14-2011 09:56 PM

^couldn’t agree more:)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View mchuray's profile

mchuray

81 posts in 1685 days


#12 posted 04-15-2011 01:38 AM

Well I’m going to commit a little heresy by suggesting that you try a ZONA saw from the local hobby shop for $10-$15 before you buy one of those rather expensive saws. New, these saws are very sharp and will cut through any wood with a very small kerf and make an accurate cut. I’d limit my cuts to 1/2” wood until I get the hang of cutting dovetails though. These are tough little saws. Their drawback is that they really cannot be sharpened. As the old Chuck Yeager Air Combat program said: “Its the man not the machine”. Learn how to do doveltails, then you will know what you want in a saw. Zona saws look like the ones Junior Jointer recommended, but LV $11.95 shipping is a killer.
Mark

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markedwardsims

50 posts in 1380 days


#13 posted 04-15-2011 04:29 PM

Thank you all for your advise. I have a Bakuma cross cut saw that I like a lot, but it’s for rough cuts only. I’m definitely open to an eastern saw. It sounds like a small model saw or a razor saw might be a god choice to learn the craft. I like Mark’s Yeager reference, it’s so true. I’ll be practicing. Hopefully I’ll have some project gallery worthy stuff to post in the near future. Thanks again, all!

View Chelios's profile

Chelios

567 posts in 1752 days


#14 posted 04-16-2011 03:29 PM

LV has a $24 pull saw. 05T0203 – Dovetail Saw- It is is my opinion the easiest to start using. I have a LN progressive pitch http://www.lie-nielsen.com/catalog.php?grp=1237 I also like lot but there is just not a comparison to be made for the value.

The $24 pull saw is faster and more accurate for more cuts- it seems to stay sharp where the LN needs sharpening. I do not regret the LN purchase at all though $135.

best

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