Dozuki saw/coping saw questions

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Forum topic by Ben posted 10-11-2013 02:00 AM 1617 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Ben's profile


372 posts in 2854 days

10-11-2013 02:00 AM

Hi Gang.

So, I’m not wildly enamored with my Veritas 14tpi dovetail saw. It cuts fast but doesn’t leave clean edges.

I’m tempted to go to a Japanese Dozuki pull saw. I’ve used Japanese Ryoba before and like them a lot. I find the pull easier to control than the push.
But, I am concerned about the coping saw not fitting into the narrow slot?
Not finding a lot of info about this in my research.

For those of you who use Dozuki saws to cut dovetails, what is your method for cutting out the waste?
Special blades in a fret saw? Special blades in a coping saw?


9 replies so far

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1832 posts in 1966 days

#1 posted 10-11-2013 02:03 AM

I use a a dozuki and my coping saw doesn’t have any difficulties getting into the waste at all. I start at the top right corner of my cut, saw on a diagonal to the bottom left, and then I saw straight across for the second part of the waste.

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View Jorge G.'s profile

Jorge G.

1537 posts in 2472 days

#2 posted 10-11-2013 02:07 AM

You can always use a fret saw, it is what I use. You don’t need the expensive ones just twist the blade a little with a pair of needle nose pliers and you are good to go.

-- To surrender a dream leaves life as it is — and not as it could be.

View djwong's profile


176 posts in 3217 days

#3 posted 10-11-2013 05:25 AM

I bought some special thin blades from Bob’s blades, but I find it too easy to accidentally damage the sidewalks. I now use the fret saw as Kaleb described. Much easier since it takes the consternation away of damaging the sidewall when starting the cut.

-- David W. Cupertino, CA

View MrRon's profile


4764 posts in 3240 days

#4 posted 10-11-2013 06:21 PM

Some dovetailers use a very sharp chisel to clean out the waste.

View Tim's profile


3805 posts in 1958 days

#5 posted 10-11-2013 11:57 PM

David, can you explain the fret saw thing? What’s different about it/the blade that makes it work better? Or do you just mean the diagonal cut, then cut across is what helps?

Paul Sellers has some video either on Youtube or if you do the free signup for his Masterclass website that shows the chopping method that Ron mentioned. I can’t remember exactly which of his videos show it, but I know at least the dovetail caddy series on the Masterclass site has it.

View djwong's profile


176 posts in 3217 days

#6 posted 10-12-2013 06:30 AM

I originally purchased thinner fret saw blades so I could fit the saw in the kerf left by my dozuki, but I found it too easy to damage the sidewalls of the dovetails when starting the cut. The thinner fret blades (purchased at worked fine, but just required too much concentration and probably skill for my use. I found it much easier to use the fret saw and first make a diagonal cut as Kaleb described, then make the horizontal cut to remove the bulk of the waste. Does not really take much additional time at all.

Before using a fret saw, I would chisel the waste out, but when I started using narrow pins, chiseling was more difficult due to the lack of space for the waste to clear. I use a lot of softer woods, so binding the waste would also damage the dovetail sidewalls.

-- David W. Cupertino, CA

View Tim's profile


3805 posts in 1958 days

#7 posted 10-12-2013 06:23 PM

Makes sense, thanks.

View Ron Harper's profile

Ron Harper

133 posts in 1913 days

#8 posted 10-26-2013 02:14 AM

I do not understand the issue with your current saw. If you cut dovetails the way I was taught, the rough back edge will never be seen when the joint is assembled??

-- Ron in Kokomo

View Ben's profile


372 posts in 2854 days

#9 posted 10-26-2013 02:35 AM

hi ron.
yes, the rough cut edge isn’t seen, except it’s rough and therefor not as straight a line and therefor harder to achieve a real nice joint. splitting hairs, maybe, but still.

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