Inexpensive tenon and dovetail saws

I'm getting a couple of handsaws in the near future for doing tenons and dovetails. I saw something called "professional German handsaws" at traditionalwoodworker.com ($50 for two 12 inch tenon saws, one cross and the other rip, and I think $13 for a dovetail saw). http://www.traditionalwoodworker.com/default.php/cPath/37_651 Anyone have experience with those? There's no brand, but some of the other nonbranded stuff they sell has an uncanny resemblance to particular brands.
Any other suggestions? If I could spring for the look and quality, I'd go with Lie-Nielson, but that isn't in the cards right now.
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Backsaws typically come unsharpened. They're not especially difficult to keep sharp, but I don't find them worth the trouble. I use pre-sharpened, disposable Japanese pull saws instead. One for one, the sharper, finer saw gives the faster and cleaner cut. It's tough to beat the cheap ryobas and dozukis. My most favorite saw for joinery is a moderately priced rip dozuki.
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MikeWhy wrote:

I've never seen a new back saw, or any new saw for that matter, that was sold unsharpened. Can you cite an example?
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Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
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Toolsforwoodworking.com.
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Hmmm. Wrong one. Try this: http://toolsforworkingwood.com /
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If by not unsharpened, you mean the tooth shaped edge on the slab of soft steel... I have yet to see one that could cut worth a darn straight out of the package. It's not much different from a newly bought chisel.
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MikeWhy wrote:

It looks like "Tools For Woodworking" is selling Pax and Gramercy saws. Both are sold sharpened. Some of the Gramercy's indicate they are a "hand-filed and hand-set saw for the smoothest action".
http://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/Merchant/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=toolshop&Product_Code=GT-DSAW9.XX&Category_Code The saws may not be set up the way you prefer but they are sharpened.
The quality of the steel in the saw will not change no matter how it's sharpened.
Chisels are sold sharpened but usually unhoned. A honed chisel's edge wouldn't fair well in shipping.
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Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
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http://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/Merchant/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=toolshop&Product_Code=GT-DSAW9.XX&Category_Code =
Let me know where you're buying the Pax or Gramercy for < $50, let alone for the pair. Of course you can buy them sharpened. You asked to see an example of saws sold unsharpened. This is but one:
http://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/Merchant/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=toolshop&Product_Code=PZ-30252&Category_Code=TMQ
Call the chisels what you want. The edge isn't usable for much more than staining the work with body fluids.
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>You asked to see an example

http://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/Merchant/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=toolshop&Product_Code=PZ-30252&Category_Code=TMQ
sharpened. The one in the link is no excption. You may be able to order it unsharped but it would be a special order and would likely have to come from the factory, not a dealer.
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MikeWhy wrote:

Who said anything about less than $50. You stated "Backsaws typically come unsharpened." I asked to you to cite any saw that was sold unsharpened.

http://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/Merchant/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=toolshop&Product_Code=PZ-30252&Category_Code=TMQ

The saw referenced above is sharpened, "At 10" long with 20 tpi".

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Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
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wrote in message

The OP asked in context of the contemplated $50 purchase. I'd like to live where you live, where Gramercy is run of the mill rather than specialty, high dollar premium items. Do you have one you want to sell?

So you are referring to the tooth shaped things along the one edge. I own one. I'm not guessing. The only question is what you might mean by sharp. Out of the package, it cut wood somewhat faster than a file, but not at all like a saw should cut.
I can think of only two problems with Japanese saws, even the cheap ones. The first is you'll never again mistake a fancy file for a proper saw. I spent a lot of time and money, and ruined a few saws, learning how not to sharpen them, and never really matched a good Japanese saw. The second problem is some are hardened to the point of being brittle. They hold their edge well, but don't sharpen easily, and teeth chip and break if you carelessly break through and whap the bench edge. Replacement blades, for mine, are < $20. You can have my saw set and files if you like. Sounds like you're in need.
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I am wondering what is meant here, I have never seen a new saw, or chisel for that matter, that was unsharpened by the maker. However I find that Dovetail Saws. Gentleman's Saws, Razor Saws and such small back saws are like new chisels unusable "out of the package". These small back saws must be "resharpened" by the user to work properly for their intended function, this usually involves removing some of the kerf of the blade with a hone or file and touching up the teeth of the saw to fit it's use. Once this is done the saw will cut much better often as well as the Japanese pull saws if not better in many cases. Is that what you ment MikeWhy when you refered to them as unsharpened?
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With the best of intentions, MikeWhy took this away a little bit from the question I had. I understand I might need to do some setting and sharpening to get the saw ready to use, but that's a skill I'd like to learn anyway.
I was hoping a few people might have experience with some of the brands that fill in the middleground between the $10 Stanley saws at Home Depot and the Adrias, Lie Nielsons, etc. of the world.
I called the traditionalwoodworker.com's customer service number and, as I figured, the brands on a lot of their tools are not listed for competitive reasons (which I think might cost them more in sales than they save by "protecting" their market). I was told the "professional German saws" I linked to http://www.traditionalwoodworker.com/default.php/cPath/37_651 were similar in type but better in quality than the Putsch handsaws sold at Woodcraft: http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?FamilyID=4857 .
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Sledge Hammer wrote:

My advise would be to buy something inexpensive but serviceable to experiment with and start hitting the garage sales and flea markets in your area, keeping and eye out for some old Disston saws.
http://www.disstonianinstitute.com/dvtl.html
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Buffalo, NY - USA
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On Thu, 09 Apr 2009 16:32:23 +0000, Nova wrote:

IMNSHO, the Atkins "Silver Steel" saws are better than the Disston. If for no other reason that when found, they seldom have any serious rust while Disstons rust like crazy.
The Atkins are a lot harder to find. You might have to go to an old tool dealer or be very, very patient.
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Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

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Yes, that was what I meant. They didn't cut well at all straight out of the package.
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On Thu, 09 Apr 2009 06:02:47 -0500, sweet sawdust wrote:

No matter how well a push saw is sharpened, the blade has to be thicker than a pull saw to keep from buckling. Therefore the push saw has to remove more wood, i.e. cut a wider kerf. That requires more energy.
Now if you meant that the push saw makes a smoother cut, that's open for discussion. I have not found that to be the case, but others might have.
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Smooth cut is one is one benefit and easier to use in some cases at least for me. I find uses for both types of saws.
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: I'm getting a couple of handsaws in the near future for doing tenons : and dovetails. I saw something called "professional German handsaws" : at traditionalwoodworker.com ($50 for two 12 inch tenon saws, one : cross and the other rip, and I think $13 for a dovetail saw). : http://www.traditionalwoodworker.com/default.php/cPath/37_651 Anyone : have experience with those? There's no brand, but some of the other : nonbranded stuff they sell has an uncanny resemblance to particular : brands. : : Any other suggestions? If I could spring for the look and quality, I'd : go with Lie-Nielson, but that isn't in the cards right now.
For the dovetails I find the Zona 35-350 "Woodcraft" saw works nicely. The blade is 6-1/2in long by 1-3/4in deep, with a stiff back and 14TPI set to cut on the pull stroke.
If you prefer a push stroke saw there is the Zona 35-380 "Dovetail" saw with an 8in x 1-3/4in blade and 18TPI.
Most decent hobby shops have, or can get, them. You can also order direct from Walthers (http://www.walthers.com ) items 795-350 and 795-35380 respectively, or Horizon Hobbies (http://www.horizonhobby.com ) items ZON35350 and ZON35380.
Depending on where you get them, and the phase of the moon, the price ranges from $8.50 to $9.50 each for both styles.
Len
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