Hand Tools

Re: You provided a good example of peril

Derek Cohen (in Perth, Australia)
Why are they different? I should have said more.

When sawing a though dovetail, such as for a case, I would begin sawing across the edge of the work piece, and then down (following the angled line). Sawing across the edge gets the teeth started in the cut, and then it is a simple matter to saw at an angle, at first partially, and then fully.

When sawing a half blind drawer front, it is necessary to saw both the top and the face simultaneously. The wood may be the same (Jarrah) as above, however now there is a “handedness” to the grain. One side of the socket affects the teeth differently from the other. One side may run smoothly, while the other side of the socket may be grabby and the saw cannot start the cut. The answer here is to switch to a saw with finer teeth or more rake.

One of the reasons I have written on other occasions that the Veritas dovetail saws, which have 14 degrees of rake (= high) are great for those starting out is that they reduce this factor. Saws with little rake, such as the LN (which may have changed in recent years), require a very light touch to start the cut. This takes some practice to master, and why they are not great to learn on. Why even use them? Because some, like myself, find them fast cutting, which can increase accuracy.

The point I wanted to support in the previous post was that one size does not fit all with dovetail saws ... unless you have fairly benign wood grain to navigate. This is not the case in Oz. I am sure that some in the USA must experience something similar.

Regards from Perth


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