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Scroll Saw or Japanese Handsaw for Dovetails

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Forum topic by BklynJames posted 08-31-2018 07:14 PM 1463 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BklynJames

3 posts in 82 days


08-31-2018 07:14 PM

Hi All,

Looking to do a small project to get some more experience with Dovetails. First question is what do you prefer scroll saw or Japanese handsaw, or both?

What are the other ways you do Dovetails? Tablesaw Jig? Only Hand tools etc.

I apologize if I posted to the wrong forum or if the question is redundant.

Thank you,


16 replies so far

View Andre's profile

Andre

2145 posts in 1984 days


#1 posted 08-31-2018 10:15 PM

The Only “Real” way to cut Dovetails is with a hand saw, Japanese or western saw are acceptable, and with mallet and Chisels. All other methods are cheap imitations! Anyone who says differently are not True Craftsmen.
Totally your choice, heck I hear some hacks even use Routers and some sort of jigs!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

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BklynJames

3 posts in 82 days


#2 posted 08-31-2018 10:38 PM

Thank you for the reply Andre

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

8492 posts in 2755 days


#3 posted 08-31-2018 10:43 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrAAglKLPh8&t=42s

Japanese hand saws work for me but dovetails elude me.

Good luck now and welcome to LumberJocks.

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10515 posts in 1664 days


#4 posted 09-01-2018 02:24 AM

I like western style. I’ve tried pull saws. Didn’t like the action. I did try a cheaper one.

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

View JayT's profile

JayT

5935 posts in 2389 days


#5 posted 09-01-2018 02:58 AM

I tried a Japanese saw, but found I prefer a western style saw. I also use a magnetic saw guide that helps with both accuracy and speed. Chisels to knock out the waste.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

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TheFridge

10515 posts in 1664 days


#6 posted 09-01-2018 01:49 PM

I tried a scroll saw just to try it. I only tried it after a lot of practice with handsaws and Handsaws were a a lot quicker than you might think.

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

View fuigb's profile

fuigb

516 posts in 3136 days


#7 posted 09-02-2018 01:55 AM

Handsaw, then clean up with chisels.

-- - Crud. Go tell your mother that I need a Band-aid.

View AESamuel's profile

AESamuel

87 posts in 1401 days


#8 posted 09-02-2018 04:44 PM

Can’t imagine why you would use a scroll saw for dovetailing? Japanese saws are really nice and I love them. I have been using Japanese and western saws since I started woodworking, if you have been using western saws only for a while then the transition may take a while. I find pull saws to use much less energy, and high quality ones are very affordable. Gyokucho are highly recommended!!

View Andre's profile

Andre

2145 posts in 1984 days


#9 posted 09-02-2018 05:42 PM

http://www.leevalley.com/en/Wood/page.aspx?p=70898&cat=1,42884,42898&ap=1
I have this saw and a 28 tpi Dozuki from Lee Valley, very affordable and work great.
Find I work slower with the pull saws, little more careful?

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View OpensideFlanker's profile

OpensideFlanker

11 posts in 486 days


#10 posted 09-02-2018 06:57 PM

Completely agree with the hand tool recs. Recently had a friendly race to build a box from scratch against an accomplished machine-based fellow. Beat him rather handily. Used the Klauss method of cutting the tails by eye only and then matching up the pins. I would surely have lost if we were to produce 10 boxes but mass production wasn’t the point.
I also really like the cut of the Japanese saws but like to look at the critical faces of the dovetails (the ones that show) when cutting, and those margins are on the away side from me when I use Japanese saws. With a western say, I can really steer my kerfs along my gauging lines.
Get some scrap and spend a Sunday just cutting dovetails. You will rapidly learn the basics. Just make sure you mark VERY CLEARLY on which side of the gauging line you are supposed to saw…...

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BklynJames

3 posts in 82 days


#11 posted 09-02-2018 07:31 PM



Get some scrap and spend a Sunday just cutting dovetails. You will rapidly learn the basics. Just make sure you mark VERY CLEARLY on which side of the gauging line you are supposed to saw…...

Funny, Im doing that now and the scroll saw is not something I would use again, but my Dovetail saw seems to stay on target. Also found out about marking everything clearly…!!!

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

5150 posts in 3421 days


#12 posted 09-02-2018 09:06 PM

I have made dovetails with the saw/chisel method just to see if I could do it. I’ve also done them with a router/template method. That’s about it. I don’t use dovetails very often as I prefer other types of joints; but, since the Japanese have been doing dovetails with a pull saw for a very long time, I tend to think that is the best method to learn. A Japanese pull saw has a very thin blade with fine teeth. I have several “pull” saws that I use for everything. A pull saw will always give you a straight cut, once you get used to using them as opposed to the western style saw which binds and buckles on the “push” stroke. Although I grew up with the push saw, I discovered the pull saw and it is my saw of choice.
P.S. I would try both types of saws and see which one suits you best.

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10515 posts in 1664 days


#13 posted 09-02-2018 10:15 PM

Yeeeah… I’m gonna have to severely disagree about the always straight part. I did have cheaper ones but they were definitely nowhere near as forgiving as a western style. Not to mention I personally don’t like bits of fluff obscuring my line.

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

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2684 posts in 3100 days


#14 posted 09-02-2018 10:50 PM

Scroll saws are great at cutting curves and not so easy to use to cut straight cuts and sharp corners as are needed to cut dovetails..

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website> craftingcouple.com

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

1814 posts in 1976 days


#15 posted 09-02-2018 11:30 PM

Someday I’m going to get myself a proper Japanese pull saw one that can be sharpened. Once they get dull I lose my interest for fine work.
My favorite Dt saw I bought from Mike Wenzloff. He really makes nice saws or use to?

-- Aj

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