Dovetail saws?

Hi,
I've spent a few hours doing research on dovetail saws awhile back and got totally confused. So I thought I would just order one and see how it feels. So I ordered a Pax dovetail saw with a rip cut. I find it a little uncomfortable. Sometimes I think the Japanese style would have a more comfortable feel. Does anyone know what kind of a reputation the Pax saws have? For those of you who do dovetails by hand what do you find is the best saw? Does spending more money get you a better saw or does it just look better? Regards. -Guy
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wrote in

By "uncomfortable", do you mean your hand doesn't fit the grip? I think all dovetail saws are supposed to be held with your index finger pointed straight out down the blade, not inside the grip, so you have better control. Those things are built for precision instead of power or speed.

I've heard good things about 'em.

The only one I have is the gent's dovetail saw from Woodcraft. I've made a practice dovetail with it, using Frank Klausz's video. Came out pretty good for first try. I'm planning on doing it for real this summer. Get yerself out to your local library and see if they've got "Dovetail a drawer" by Frank Klausz. I ended up buying it. He's got good vids. :-)

In my own humble opinion, both. But the gent's is enough for me till I start cranking out drawers by the dozen. Or until I have every tool I need and I graduate to the "now I need really pretty bling-bling type tools" level.
Dan
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The L-N dovetail saw works great right out of the box. Relatively expensive but after using it a bit I found that it works so well that the price was insignificant compared to the frustration I experienced with using a couple inexpensive saws.
John
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John,
I gather that L-N stands for Lie Nelson.............is this correct? If so, which one of their saws do you have? Regards. -Guy

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Yes Lie-Nielsen. I've actually got a couple L-N saws. The one for cutting the dovetails with the grain is the one labeled Dovetail Saw 15 ppi with rip tooth pattern. I also have the Carcass Saw 14 ppi with the cross-cut tooth pattern that with dovetails I use for cutting the waste from the ends of the pin boards. I also use the Carcass saw for handcut daddos and shoulder cuts on tennons.
After getting the Dovetail saw and experiencing it I almost immediately ordered the Carcass saw... The performance spoke for itself! ;-)
John
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Me too!
And I'm not sure why, but I'll probably order the rip cut carcass saw.
OBTW, I sharpened the dovetail saw yesterday. It was the second time in the two years I've had the saw. There's been no deterioration in performance yet. I'll probably send it back to them next time.

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Rather than the rip cut carcass saw I'm leaning towards the rip cut tenon saw. A bit heavier saw (.032 thick vs. .020) would be more appropriate for cutting tennons. The cross cut carcass saw I have should continue be fine for the shoulder cuts.
John
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On Fri, 27 Feb 2004 17:43:09 -0600, "Guy LaRochelle"

At one of the local schools, Mario Rodriguez occasionally teaches a dovetailing class. The materials fee for the class includes something similar to "A" in the photo below:
<http://shop.woodcraft.com/Woodcraft/product_family.asp?family%5Fid 3&giftlse&0pt%2Easp%2Cdept%5Fid%3D10000%26Tree%3D%2CDepartments&1pt%2Easp%2Cdept%5Fid%3D1040%26menu%5Fid%3D%26Tree%3D0%2CSaws&2pt%2Easp%2Cdept%5Fid%3D2124%26menu%5Fid%3D%26Tree%3D1%2CHandsaws&Giftlse&mscssid538DC7515854C0299639C7E5BE84C3>
Early class time is spent removing every other tooth and refilling the remaining teeth to a flat profile. What's left is a 7 or 8 TPI saw with very little set, and a flat raker tooth profile. I know several who have taken the class and wouldn't trade the cheapie saw for anything once they've done the modifications. The modified saw cuts straight, clean, and very quickly.
Barry
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Barry writes:

2Easp%2Cdept%5Fid%3D1040%26menu%5Fid%3D%26Tree%3D0%2CSaws&2pt%2Easp%2Cd ept%5Fid%3D2124%26menu%5Fid%
He also wrote a FWW article on the subject. It's available on-line for something like $3.75 and is worth every penny.
I don't have the URL offhand, but check the site and search for Mario Rodriguez.
Charlie Self I don't approve of political jokes. I've seen too many of them get elected.
http://hometown.aol.com/charliediy/myhomepage/business.html
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On Sat, 28 Feb 2004 11:52:47 GMT, B a r r y

_Why_ in heaven's name !?
I quite like the "recutting the cheap saw" idea, but this is the wrong starting point. There are plenty of saws you could start with that already have the right pitch and a thicker base material. Although a dovetail saw does need to have minimal set, there's no need for it to be a thin blade. Recutting to the extent of removing alternate teeth is hard work. These saw blades are also too thin for real bench use. They're handy when you need a thin kerf and can live with their fragility, but that's not an issue for dovetails.
Using a dovetail saw is a skilled task, especially when it has minimal set -- Although it's arguable that heavy set is no better either, it just feels as if you ought to be able to recover a wandering line. Part of this skill is in having good control over the angle the saw's cutting at. I don't see a rod-type handle like this as being particularly helpful. A bow-shaped saw handle gives much better control over torque and thus "steering".
--
Smert' spamionam

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On Sat, 28 Feb 2004 17:26:19 +0000, Andy Dingley

You'd have to ask Mario. <G>
Barry
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On Fri, 27 Feb 2004 17:43:09 -0600, "Guy LaRochelle"

I have a Craftsman dovetail saw that I purchased 20 years ago. The wooden handle fell off after 10 years of use, but I epoxied back on and it has not come off since. I'm still using it to cut dovetails, dowel rods, and other small cuts. I have two Japanese saws too, but I find myself reaching for the Craftsman most of the time. You can even try using a hacksaw to cut dovetails (it did not work so well for me).
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