New Veritas Dovetail Saw or restored dovetail saw?

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Forum topic by MaroonGoon posted 08-04-2013 10:19 PM 1611 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View MaroonGoon's profile


280 posts in 1382 days

08-04-2013 10:19 PM

Hey Lumberjocks,
I am planning on getting a good dovetail saw soon and I read a good review of the Veritas 14 tpi dovetail saw for around 70 bucks. I want to get one that will last forever but don’t have enough of a budget right now to buy one as good as the Lie Nielsen dovetail saw. I am willing to spend 70$ on one that will last but I have started paying attention to the “restoring old saws” thread and wonder if I could get an older restored dovetail saw for cheaper that will last me just as long. I like new things so I wouldn’t mind getting a new Veritas saw but I also appreciate the qualities and “life history” of an old “antique” saw. So I am hung up on my decision, new or old? If old, would any lumberjocks have any they would like to sell or recommend a seller?

If i was to buy a saw from a lumberjock who restores saws, I know it will be taken care of and sharpened correctly. Once I get one I can see how a good saw actually feels and cuts instead of trying to learn with a cheap one you get from Lowes and not understand how a good saw should cut. I intend on learning to sharpen saws once I get one and I have Tage Frids book which goes into that and a hand tool essentials book that delves into that topic also. All I need is a saw!


-- "Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone." -- Pablo Picasso

16 replies so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

17882 posts in 1991 days

#1 posted 08-04-2013 10:33 PM

have you seen Andy's saw talk series.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View MaroonGoon's profile


280 posts in 1382 days

#2 posted 08-04-2013 10:44 PM

I haven’t actually, thanks Don. Ill check it out

-- "Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone." -- Pablo Picasso

View waho6o9's profile


7125 posts in 2001 days

#3 posted 08-04-2013 10:45 PM

Maybe have an extra rip saw in the till?

View ShaneA's profile


6429 posts in 2022 days

#4 posted 08-04-2013 10:49 PM

For $70 the veritas is nice, trusted, and ready to go. Pick one of those up. Then keep an eye out for a restoration project that won’t set you back but a couple of bucks. Veritas makes some nice stuff, usually for respectable prices.

View Don W's profile

Don W

17882 posts in 1991 days

#5 posted 08-04-2013 10:56 PM

the last one is one of the best videos for sharpening ever made.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 2078 days

#6 posted 08-04-2013 11:05 PM

I would snag the Veritas if I had the cash. It would be good to have a baseline for what sharp is. Then when you start sharpening your own saws you will know how that is supposed to feel. As far as gear/time is concerned,

I would guess the Veritas is actually cheaper than tuning up a vintage saw (even if it’s in fairly good condition).

I did not go that route. So do what makes sense to you.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View Brit's profile


6586 posts in 2267 days

#7 posted 08-04-2013 11:29 PM

Ah shucks Don, you made me blush.

The Veritas saw is well worth the money and will give you a saw you can use from the get go.

Having said that, I have learnt so much from restoring old saws and putting them back to use. It has helped me to really understand the tool and how to use it.

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View sikrap's profile


1121 posts in 2783 days

#8 posted 08-05-2013 02:01 AM

Here’s another vote for Andy’s (Brit) video. The Ron Herman dvd is also very, very good. Check your local library for that one. As for whether to buy the Veritas or get a restored vintage, my suggestion would be to get the Veritas, and that’s coming from someone who admittedly has a hoarding problem for old tools. The Veritas will be ready to go right out of the box and you’ll know what sharp is (as mentioned above). Once you have that info, it will make rehabbing a garage sale find that much easier.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View MaroonGoon's profile


280 posts in 1382 days

#9 posted 08-05-2013 02:22 AM

Yea I was kind of leaning towards getting the Veritas saw in the first place but them again I figured I could get y’all’s perspective. Maybe once I feel comfortable then I can attempt to restore one :) I’m just ready to get practicing and make some dovetails! :)

-- "Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone." -- Pablo Picasso

View Buckethead's profile


3140 posts in 1293 days

#10 posted 08-05-2013 02:30 AM

I have that same Veritas. I do not regret that purchase.

I also recently bought a lesser expensive Japanese saw to cut 4” deep tenons for my work bench legs. Initially, I made the claim that it cuts just as well as my Veritas, but after a side by side comparison, the Veritas is far superior in terms of speed, directional stability, and cleanliness of cut. I wish it could cut 4” deep.

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View BigRedKnothead's profile


7892 posts in 1406 days

#11 posted 08-05-2013 03:12 AM

I understand your predicament MG—do I learn how to sharpen something else…or just get a new one for now? I plan to learn to sharpen saws eventually, but I went new for now.

If a guy goes that route. Lie Nielsen is tempting because they offer a reasonable sharpening service for their saws.

-- "At the end of the day, try and make it beautiful....because the world is full of ugly." Konrad Sauer

View waho6o9's profile


7125 posts in 2001 days

#12 posted 08-05-2013 03:42 AM

Another LJer said this was of good value so I purchased it along with some blades
because I would like to do dovetails and other joinery also.

I wish I could give credit to who ever it was, but any how, many thanks.

Cost effective to the tune of around thirty dollars including shipping.
I also appreciate my Veritas. We’ll see how the Zona performs.

Should be good.

View AlaskaGuy's profile


2398 posts in 1733 days

#13 posted 08-05-2013 03:54 AM

View shampeon's profile


1705 posts in 1607 days

#14 posted 08-05-2013 04:22 AM

Get the Veritas in whatever PPI that makes sense for your near-term projects (hardwood vs. softwood). Then pick up a vintage one in the other style, restore it, and sharpen it.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View MrFid's profile


793 posts in 1328 days

#15 posted 08-05-2013 04:37 AM

I have the Veritas 14 tpi and it works great. Very solid product from them. I use it for all my dovetails, mostly .75 or 1 inch thick stock. I’d only use the higher tpi for thinner stock. I am almost exclusively working in hardwoods of different hardnesses. That saw eats through whatever I put under it easily, and tracks straight with no kerf binding.

I would also recommend watching the videos on saw sharpening (Andy’s) that others have mentioned so that if a saw falls into your lap (not literally, that could be dangerous), you have some idea what to do with it. The video mentioned in comment number 5 should be nominated for some sort of award. Make some popcorn, grab a pencil and paper for notes, and settle in and enjoy.

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

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