Hand Tools Archive

Re: Demonstrating the Knew Concepts fretsaw

I find it is a lot easier for beginners, but not for experts. I don't see the guys who do the dovetailing competitions using this technique. It requires two entire processes, vs just doing one correctly. By correctly I mean a process that actually goes without wasted motion cleanly through to completion.

Of course regardless of how expert one is, some people just prefer using a saw. I have a special technique that uses a saw, and I have spoken of my fascination with FK's technique that uses the twisty saw, though that is for somewhat rough work.

In making, say, a through dovetail, and chiselling, on cuts off the equivalent of one of the boards, with a chisel. Not something one would routinely do, in say, crown molding. But I guess that is part of the charm. Or so one can tell oneself.

In the past, it was common to have lots of small drawers in furniture that one rarely sees these days, people don't seem to have that kind of stuff, or maybe they have too much of it. I remember seeing this Hedley video where he cut, or perhaps someone in his shop cut, those scale of dovetails with one cut from each side, the wood was probably around 3/8". Probably not maple. You need a special chisel. Now there is a fast technique.

If the Knew concepts saw cut to the line without any additional work, that would be an advance. When I bought one of the early ones, it did not do that for me, and the difference between the KC and other saws, or even stationary fret saws was not of any interest to me, remove 2 mm of wood in some areas vs 1, was not an improvement, for the extra awkwardness of the size, or the cost, so back it went, as I already have two high grade saws, if not as good.

There are some pretty good teachers out there who show a two pass method where the early wasting is all done with a chisel. I like that kind of methodology in teaching. It consists of practicing the main skill but leaving some training wheels on so that as you learn you are getting good results all along. For instance freehand sharpening, but with a jig in your back pocket should you take the angles on your tool for a ride. Eventually you learn to sharpen properly, but in the meantime, you are still able to keep all your tools in proper order. Of course a two step process where the first removal is just short of the line is a common technique in itself.

The big advantage to sawing is for your ears. Or for, say, sleeping children under the same roof. Wasting wood with a fretsaw is pretty sweet on those terms. My concession there was to replace my chisel striking hammers with a urethane mallet decades ago, I will even use ear plugs, but a fret saw also shine in noise reduction.

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