flush cut saw question


I have a little flush-cut pull saw (Shark brand plug/dowel saw), and I like the easy, clean cuts. However, when I actually use it to cut a plug flush with a surface, I can't keep it from scratching up the surrounding area. I've tried putting a 3x5 card under it as a guard, which helps, but it's a pain. I could always sand down the surrounding area, but that seems to kind of defeat the purpose of a clean-cutting flush saw. My question: Is this a problem with my technique, my saw, or just the nature of flush cutting saws? Any advice or shared experience would be much appreciated. Thanks, Andy
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Don't cut flush. cut close and pare with a plane or chisel.
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Andy, My experiences have been similar to yours.
DonkeyHody
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Andy wrote:

Try a sharp chisel.
Lew
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You have to be very careful with a sharp chisel. I f you cut the plug from the wrong side of the grain the plug typically breaks off below the surface.
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Leon wrote:

Once or twice and you smarten up.
Lew
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There should be _no_ set on one side (possibly two) of this saw. As the teeth on Japanese saws are thin and fragile, then they are easily damaged and given incorrect set. Make sure that yours is correctly set, if necessary by stoning (or even bending) the offending tooth. It may well just be one tooth that's causing the trouble. A flush-trimming saw like this really needs to be kept for just this.
You'd be better off with a better saw too - those Shark saws are _very_ low end. The teeth are pretty soft on them.
Personally I've never found this sort of saw to be much use. I take my treenails down with a chainsaw, broadaxe or whatever's nearest, then finish them flush with a block plane.
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Andy wrote:

try lapping the flush side of the saw lightly on a fine sharpening stone.
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You need to purchase a real - flush cutting saw or change your technique. A flush cutting blade has not offset on the teeth - nada, none, zilch. You hold the blade flat on the surface next to the piece you want to cut flush and make a scoring cut - call this the backside. Now move the blade around to the front side. With the blade flat, use two fingers to straddle the piece to cut-off and press down on the blade to keep it flat. Now, slowly move the blade handle upwards so the blade bends slightly (15 angle), have the blade position so it goes with the grain (should have said this first) and start sawing.
The kerf you cut on the backside prevents any tearout and if you have a real flush cutting saw, the only sanding necessary will be satisfy your instinct that everything must be sanded... My saw is from England and not that, that makes it better than others but I don't have any marks on the adjacent wood from cutting a dowel or a peg. By keeping even pressure on the blade with your fingers and letting the blade move under them (back and forth) that blade has to stay flush with the surface and as long as the teeth have no offset - they can't leave saw marks. So it's technique or a lousy blade - pick one - your choice.......;-)
Bob S.

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On 9 Nov 2005 14:34:20 -0800, with neither quill nor qualm, "Andy"

They're "sided", Andy. One side's teeth are flush with the body of the saw. If you try to cut from the other side, it can mar the finish. If you know you're using it from the correct side, try running it across a 1200 grit diamond plate to take off any burrs from the original sharpening. (Or just buy a LVT saw. ;)

I've had no trouble with the Lee Valley flush-cut saw. Perhaps they're better finished.
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