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).
have experience with those? There's no brand, but some of the other
nonbranded stuff they sell has an uncanny resemblance to particular
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.
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.
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.
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".
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
Chisels are sold sharpened but usually unhoned. A honed chisel's edge
wouldn't fair well in shipping.
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:
Call the chisels what you want. The edge isn't usable for much more than
staining the work with body fluids.
I agree with the other poster that all (new) saws that I have ever seen come
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.
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.
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?
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
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
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.
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.
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw
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.
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw
: I'm getting a couple of handsaws in the near future for doing
: and dovetails. I saw something called "professional German
: at traditionalwoodworker.com ($50 for two 12 inch tenon saws, one
: cross and the other rip, and I think $13 for a dovetail saw).
: have experience with those? There's no brand, but some of the
: nonbranded stuff they sell has an uncanny resemblance to particular
: Any other suggestions? If I could spring for the look and quality,
: 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.
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