Hand Tools

Re: You provided a good example of peril

Derek Cohen (in Perth, Australia)
Bill, the Tasmanian Oak is my “softer” wood. It is pretty similar to your white oaks. Jarrah is not just a hard wood, but also quite interlocked and brittle. Examples can vary quite widely, nevertheless. I cannot think if something similar from the USA.

In addition to these qualities, one must keep in mind the thickness of the board. I would approach a 3/4” carcase differently from a 3/4” half blind drawer front, and from a 1/4” drawer side. The thicker boards, both hard and soft wood, benefit from a more aggressive toothed saw, such as the LN (about 4 or 5 degrees of rake and 15 tpi). Thinner boards need high tooth counts, such as 18 - 20 tpi, or teeth with relaxed rake, such as the 14 degrees of a Veritas.

How you start a dovetail saw is also a big factor. Particularly so as the rake is towards vertical. What I like about the slim handles of the IT and Gramercy saws is that these force one to hold them lightly. This makes it easier to start the cut.

Regards from Perth


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