Hand Tools Archive

Re: Scroll saw blades for dovetail waste

david weaver
Hi, wiley - I don't use pull saws for dovetails now, but I don't have any reason that I don't other than that I made dovetail saws. I started with a combination dozuki and moved to a rip dozuki and used a fret saw because of it. I like to horse my saws a little bit when I get in a rhythm, I guess, but I moved to a coping saw before moving to western saws. What's different? I use a fast coping saw blade, I may or may not remove some of the set and I have sharpened them before if it looks like it would help (this is a matter of two minutes of sharpening, just freshening the teeth).

The different part is that I start at the edge of a saw kerf and go straight down through the pin or tail waste and cut a comma shaped piece of wood out and then back across. I would suspect that the total speed is about the same, but there's no need to have a saw that can sink into the saw kerf.

My saw plates are .018", which some people will see as not that much larger, but it is much larger in function.

I'm sure I could use a (good, expensive, boutique) fret saw well, and the blade breaking issue that the cheaper ones have looks like it goes away with the more expensive saws. Horsing that cut down through the waste and then across is something i like the feel of, though (as well as the fact that it eliminates kerf size dictating the blade used). I have the coping saw at my bench no matter what for making tool handles, so it eliminates another saw that has to be monitored.

I mark both sides of the cut but do cut the tails in pairs (the first part for me usually). I never cope right at the baseline, though I could probably be convinced to do that if I was making shop furniture (drawers for a bench, etc) where functionality and speed was all that mattered.

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