cutting dove tails w/ a mitre saw, ya or na? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 12-12-2011, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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cutting dove tails w/ a mitre saw, ya or na?

Hey everyone, I haven't posted for a long time been trying to get the shop ready for cutting. Anyway I cut my first dove tail yesterday with an old saw & quickly realized why I should use a sharp saw at least.
So I saw at H.D. they have an Irwin d.t. saw (14tpi) that has a handle that is parallel to the blade which doesn't seem right to me and they also carry a Buck Bros. mitre saw (16tpi) with a traditional handle perpendicular to the blade and has that blade re enforcement like the high end d.t. saws I've seen at wood craft (which I just can't afford just now).
So just wondering why the Buck Bros. mitre saw couldn't cut good d.t.s?
Thanks for any and all feed back.
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post #2 of 26 Old 12-12-2011, 02:06 PM
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Jeff, what's your budget? There are certainly better saws for the job. The Irwin is a pull saw - some like em some don't.

For decent budget saws they start with Crown or Pax Gents saws are on the low end at around $20 and capable.

On the upper end of budget saws is Veritas. At around $70 they are great performers.

A lot of people get upset about those who like nice tools and swear up and down that you can do a good job with crap tools. While that's true, who would want to spend twice the effort for the same results? You have to consider what your time and frustration level is worth.

~tom. ...GEAUX TIGERS!... ...GEAUX SAINTS!......
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post #3 of 26 Old 12-12-2011, 05:38 PM
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A saw has to feel comfortable in the hand. You have to have control , and that relates to better cuts. Personally, I like a straight handle. I have back saws with a more western type handle, and they seem hard on my wrist, but they work good as well.

Depending on the species of wood, some higher count DT's that cut smooth, aren't aggressive enough. I find about 15 TPI to be a good count.






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post #4 of 26 Old 12-12-2011, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, that's all good info.
Tom my budget currently is less than $20, and I know I should just wait till I've got enough to get a good starter saw (which I would normally do) but I just have this unexplainable itch to cut d.t., I've seen the saws you mentioned and if I remember they are all straight handle pull saws, but let me know if I'm wrong.
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post #5 of 26 Old 12-12-2011, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Shafer
Thanks guys, that's all good info.
Tom my budget currently is less than $20, and I know I should just wait till I've got enough to get a good starter saw (which I would normally do) but I just have this unexplainable itch to cut d.t., I've seen the saws you mentioned and if I remember they are all straight handle pull saws, but let me know if I'm wrong.
The Veritas I was referring to is an English style saw although they do have a cheaper Gents style (straight) that's a bit shorter blade but the same tpi, pitch and set.

I think a pax gents would be the best fit for you.

~tom. ...GEAUX TIGERS!... ...GEAUX SAINTS!......
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post #6 of 26 Old 12-12-2011, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Tom I'll check it out.
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post #7 of 26 Old 12-12-2011, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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I would love to hear from anyone who uses a non designated dt saw to cut them. I know i sound a bit crazy but just humor me. Thanks.
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post #8 of 26 Old 12-12-2011, 07:59 PM
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Coming from someone who started with low budget tools, learned to make do, made some money at woodworking, then upgraded tools, I have one piece of advice:

When it comes to hand tools, you are only frustrating yourself by buying cheap tools. I don't own ANY 300$ hand planes, or a 100$ DT saw, but I also hated planing and hand cutting until I found a decent quality tool for the job. If you are that strapped for cash, buy used, or wait.
I used to cut fret slots for fingerboards with whatever thin kerf hand saw I could find, and I did it well. When I upgraded to a proper fret saw that was designed for the job, and really only cost marginally more than a cheap saw, then cutting slots stopped being a chore, and started being much more rewarding.
If your budget is less than 20, then wait a week or two, double your budget, and start testing out mid-entry level saws to see which one feels good in your hands.

Simon
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post #9 of 26 Old 12-12-2011, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Simon, i hear what you're saying. I guess what I'm really trying to figure out is if there is a mechanical reason that a higher tpi count miter saw (US made) couldn't cut just as good of a dovetail as a lower tpi count (Asian made) "dovetail" saw?
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post #10 of 26 Old 12-12-2011, 08:38 PM
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Dovetail saws have almost no set to the teeth, so the kerf is slightly wider than the blade. Thats how they make such straight smooth cuts.
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post #11 of 26 Old 12-12-2011, 09:35 PM
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I don't know the size of the Buck Bros saw that you found; but typically a miter saw is pretty big and I believe would be unwieldly for cutting most dovetails. My Dovetail saw has a blade approx 1 5/8" x 7". It is small, light and easy to control for the small, precision cuts required for cutting dovetails.
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post #12 of 26 Old 12-12-2011, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Brink for the technical info very helpful, and Wrangler the Buck Bros. saw is 3in by 14in which was in the small end of the miter saws H.D. carried but I understand what you mean about controlling a smaller saw.
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post #13 of 26 Old 12-13-2011, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Shafer View Post
...So I saw at H.D. they have an Irwin d.t. saw (14tpi) that has a handle that is parallel to the blade...
I think that Irwin saw is a combination saw, designed to also cut door jambs for flooring jobs (and probably better suited to just that task).
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post #14 of 26 Old 12-13-2011, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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PPBART you're right about the Irwin saw. I was wondering why they don't just call it one or the other?
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post #15 of 26 Old 01-05-2012, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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So I got a really nice Christmas gift from my Father in law (Veritas 14tpi saw & marking wheel)! I've cut a couple of sets, the 1st set with 3 tails I made the mistake of cutting with my right hand and didn't check the ends for square...wooops, 2nd set with 2 tails, squared the ends & used my left (much better control). Have looky loo at the pics and thanks again for all the advice.
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post #16 of 26 Old 01-05-2012, 03:45 PM
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I too rec'd the Veritas DT saw for Christmas! Woo hoo!!! Used it on a cpl practice DTs and really really like it so far.

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post #17 of 26 Old 01-05-2012, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Shafer
So I got a really nice Christmas gift from my Father in law (Veritas 14tpi saw & marking wheel)! I've cut a couple of sets, the 1st set with 3 tails I made the mistake of cutting with my right hand and didn't check the ends for square...wooops, 2nd set with 2 tails, squared the ends & used my left (much better control). Have looky loo at the pics and thanks again for all the advice.
You have a very good saw and marking gage. I would never show my first effort at cutting dovetails. Yours is a pretty good first effort and puts mine to shame. Now just practice, practice, practice.
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post #18 of 26 Old 01-05-2012, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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Very happy with the saw. Can't wait to cut more & more!
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post #19 of 26 Old 01-06-2012, 01:24 PM
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That is indeed a great saw. Congrats and it appears you are off to a good start with the doves.

~tom. ...GEAUX TIGERS!... ...GEAUX SAINTS!......
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post #20 of 26 Old 01-07-2012, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Tom, I'm looking forward to getting to know this saw really well!
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