Zona gent's saw binding in kerf.

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Forum topic by AESamuel posted 04-16-2015 04:27 PM 557 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View AESamuel's profile


61 posts in 644 days

04-16-2015 04:27 PM

Hi there,

I have an 18tpi zona gent’s saw which has been getting stuck in its own kerf while cutting dovetails. On both 5/8” beech and some 1/2” sapele, once I get in about 1/4” in the saw starts to get stuck and I can’t move it backwards and forwards without some considerable effort.

I took my saw set pliers (eclipse #77) and set the disk to a number 12 and set the teeth but no difference!

Do I need to try a lower number on the saw set pliers? I’m fairly sure the saw is straight.

Thanks for any help,

4 replies so far

View JADobson's profile


656 posts in 1533 days

#1 posted 04-16-2015 07:13 PM

Have you tried waxing the plate? Might be enough to keep you moving.

-- James

View PatrickH's profile


51 posts in 1309 days

#2 posted 04-16-2015 07:50 PM

A lower set will only increase binding. Is the wood still wet?


View chrisstef's profile


15472 posts in 2428 days

#3 posted 04-16-2015 07:52 PM

Id try some wax like James suggested. If im not mistaken 12 is the highest setting on that set but if you are ripping it shouldn’t really need much set but then again I don’t know if those saws are taper ground. Id assume they are not. Id try and dial it down to 11 and see what happens after you wax it. Just make sure you set every other tooth and then flip it around and again, set very other tooth. Be careful and take notice that youre not bending more than one tooth at a time as well. With an 18 ppi saw you may need to file down the anvil on your set. Also, pull the saw out of the kerf once it starts binding up on ya and see if the sawdust is jamming up the gullets. That’ll slow down or stop a saw quickly too.

If you’ve got a set of veneer calipers take a measurement at the back of the saw and then again at the tooth line. Ideally you want about 20% more thickness at the tooth line than at the back of the saw. This will give the clearance you need to cut efficiently.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View AESamuel's profile


61 posts in 644 days

#4 posted 04-16-2015 07:58 PM

Thanks for the replies everyone, I tried waxing the plate and that helped a little but I took your advice and went for a number 10 on my saw set and it works great now!

I was a little apprehensive about getting a thick kerf and having to go over and re-set all those teeth again (144 teeth take quite a long time to set haha) but it works like a charm now and there’s virtually no difference to the kerf.

Thanks everyone!

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