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Choosing 1st Jointery Saw

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Forum topic by uMinded posted 07-01-2013 05:59 PM 2117 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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uMinded

104 posts in 1314 days


07-01-2013 05:59 PM

Hello all, I am just a weekend woodworker and I want to start working on good hand skills before defaulting to a power tool and a jig for everything I do.

I have done a ton of research and the three styles of hand saws I have seen are:
Japanese – Pull stroke
Western – Push Stroke
European – Bow Saws

They all seem to have advantages but I have a very small hobbies budget every month and can’t afford to buy a dozen different kinds of saws.

I would like to work on simple furniture from the standard hardwoods everyone likes to use, things like coffee tables and the like. But I would also like to make dovetail boxes and more intricate work on things like ebony and purple heart.

Out of all the videos I watched Frank Klausz and his bow saw was the most interesting to me. I like the idea of making my own frames (I’m thinking birds eye maple and hickory) but I can not find decent place to buy blades.

Gramercy Tools – 12” fret saw style blades (To thin for jointery work, would wander all over..)
traditionalwoodworker.com – 24” blades (Only 5 & 9tpi?? What about 20+ for jointery??)

Where else can I get higher tpi and width blades?

We have a Lee Valley in town and I have oggled their saw section but their are so bloody many of them I have no idea what to use, and the prices range from $25 to $250 each!

Any advice for a first timer?


20 replies so far

View Pete Pedisich's profile

Pete Pedisich

138 posts in 2108 days


#1 posted 07-01-2013 06:14 PM

Hi, I see that you lean towards a bow/frame saw, but these are not the easiest to manage when staring out. Instead I suggest a decent Japanese style saw or a Lee-Valley Veritas molded spine saw, these are the best values out there in my opinion, and are easy to learn on giving good results quickly.

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uMinded

104 posts in 1314 days


#2 posted 07-01-2013 06:47 PM

Veritas makes several splined saws:

Gent’s – Bow stile handle
Carcass – Traditional handle
Dovetail – Just a shorter carcass saw for more rigidity?

They all look to have the same tooth profile so I would lean to the Gent’s style so I am use to holding a bow style saw by the time I build one.

The reason I lean to a bow saw is I have seen an entire piece of furniture created using just the one style of saw and with the proper blades it was amazingly fast as well. Most of the traditional and japanese style saws are for fine details it seems and you would have already cut everything down with power tools.

I imagine instead of a 12” bow saw a set of spined traditionals would be more appropriate for control.

View Loren's profile

Loren

8301 posts in 3109 days


#3 posted 07-01-2013 07:17 PM

Bow saw. I made my own. Instructions were in a FWW
article by Yuen Chan. I used a 22” butcher saw blade,
stoned off most of the set and refiled it for ripping. Cost
me about $10 to make it. It’s a superior saw for carcase
dovetails and tenon cheeks. For small dovetails it’s
a bit unwieldy.

If you want to rip boards you’ll need another blade or
another bow saw with more set to the teeth than
you want in a joinery saw.

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

15660 posts in 2468 days


#4 posted 07-01-2013 07:19 PM

I think that you’ll find that with a Gent’s saw the teeth are not aggressive enough for use on hardwoods and it also lacks some depth In the plate. Everything you can do with a gents saw you can do with their carcass saws in my opinion. Ive got both the rip and the xcut and really enjoy using them for all kinds of joinery.

If you want to dive deep into handsaw land, search for LJ Brit’s “saw talk series”. Im much more knowledgeable for reading it.

Good luck and may the galoot be with you.

-- rock, chalk, jayhawk

View JayT's profile

JayT

4773 posts in 1673 days


#5 posted 07-01-2013 07:29 PM

Never tried using a bow saw. For precision work, I’ve got a good quality dozuki pull saw that is a pleasure to use. I’ve found I like the pull saws much better for fine work, but think I am going back to Western saws for everything else.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

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waho6o9

7172 posts in 2038 days


#6 posted 07-01-2013 07:36 PM

+1 for Loren

Here’s the one I made. I like the way it works and the thin kerf is very nice.

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Loren

8301 posts in 3109 days


#7 posted 07-01-2013 07:44 PM

I’ve used a dozuki for small dovetails. It cuts accurately
but slow (mine isn’t a new hybrid, “rip” dozuki). The
annoyance as with all pull saws is there’s always dust
obscuring the layout lines as you cut.

View uMinded's profile

uMinded

104 posts in 1314 days


#8 posted 07-01-2013 08:00 PM

Has anyone used Lee Valley’s “Japanese Traditional Ryoba Saw”? It looks like it would be a good first buy as it is a rip and cross blade in one.

View JayT's profile

JayT

4773 posts in 1673 days


#9 posted 07-01-2013 08:02 PM

That’s a sweet bow saw, wahoo. Did you do a blog on its construction?

there’s always dust obscuring the layout lines as you cut.

That’s why I’m going to go back to western saws for some work. especially ripping. For fine cuts, it isn’t as much of an issue and I like the thin kerf.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

View crank49's profile

crank49

3981 posts in 2432 days


#10 posted 07-01-2013 08:05 PM

If you haven’t tried a Japanese Dozuki pull saw, you are missing a very rewarding experience, in my humble opinion. They also make a guide for Japanese pull saws that will let you do all sorts of other cuts with them; even ripping. There is a video of this in action somewhere. If I can find it I’ll link it on here. Possibly at Japanese Woodworker. –
There are a couple of simple inexpensive saws at Home Depot, and other stores as well, that are very useful for working with dovetails. 1.A coping saw is great to carve out the waste between pin & tails. 2. Marples small trim pull saw. It can even do a decent job of cutting pins and tails if you are very careful, but it is really too flexible for your only dovetail saw since it has no back.
You can pick up both of these saws for less than $20 total and they are not just “one trick pony” tools. I use mine all the time.

edit: found image of the Japanese saw guide. My flash player crashed, but you can search “Z saw guide video” and there are tons of u tube videos.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

View Loren's profile

Loren

8301 posts in 3109 days


#11 posted 07-01-2013 08:26 PM

I recommend avoiding the plastic handled ryoba saws as
the blades tend to be thinner to balance the weight
of the lighter handle.

I like these:
http://www.japanwoodworker.com/product/155608/gyokucho-912-double-edge-ryoba-razorsaw.aspx

Ryoba saws lack a back and are not suitable for cutting
tenon shoulders in furniture. In carpentry where
tolerances are looser they are great for joinery.

This old guy sells a range of Japanese saws at good
prices. His range does not include a double-edged
ryoba though.

http://www.tashirohardware.com/Tashiro_Hardware/Home.html

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

7172 posts in 2038 days


#12 posted 07-01-2013 08:30 PM

http://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/extra/images/bowsaw/Gramercy_bows_full_8x14.pdf
http://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/store/more/bowsawplans.html

Thank you JayT. I didn’t do a blog, however, the above website is kind enough to
give you free plans and you can purchase the parts there as well.

Or, you can purchase a ready made bow saw.

I like the journey of making one myself.

Judging your projects and fine fleet of marking gauges, you’d make a top notch one.
Looking forward to seeing yours on the project forum. I did use cross pins in the handle to
hold the blade holders though.

View uMinded's profile

uMinded

104 posts in 1314 days


#13 posted 07-01-2013 08:43 PM

I wonder if I can use band saw blade stock for custom bow saw lengths. Theirs a place in town than custom welds band saw blades and it would be extremely affordable seeing I would only be getting 12-24” at a time instead of 105”

Their not the thinnest blades though. I hear the japanese style saws cut like lighting because of the ultra thin kerf.

View Loren's profile

Loren

8301 posts in 3109 days


#14 posted 07-01-2013 08:46 PM

The problem with band saw blades is they tend to have
too much set and in the ones with ripping teeth, they
are too aggressive and hard to start the cut.

I’m not saying don’t look into it, but the teeth are
often really hard and not easy to reshape. Removal
of set would be done with a saw set, not a stone
like you can do with a butcher saw blade.

If you want a blade for cutting rougher curves,
3/8” band saw blade is great for a bow saw. For
that matter maybe 3/8” would be good for ripping
too, just not fine joinery.

View crank49's profile

crank49

3981 posts in 2432 days


#15 posted 07-01-2013 09:36 PM

http://www.popularwoodworking.com/article/get-a-consistent-set-on-your-saw-with-paper

Interesting article here about removing saw set down to a consistent .002”

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

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