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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey All,

So for an upcoming project I am looking at trying my hand at dovetails or box joints. However, I do not have (not does my Father in Law who I borrow tools from) a dovetail saw or any fine cutting saw to speak of. I would love to get a proper dovetail saw but they are pretty pricey.

I was on Lee Valley's website and saw a Gent Saw. It says this can be used to cut dovetails and the price is not half bad. I can scrounge up some change and hopefully afford it. Would this meet my needs or is this the wrong type of saw to use? Also, do all dovetail saws cut on the push? This on does and it seems odd a cut would be on the push. Seems easier to guide on the pull.

Any and all advice is most welcome :)
 

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Western saws cut on the push stroke -- Eastern (Japanese) saws cut on the pull stroke.

That saw you singled out should work just fine for your project. One of the knocks against a "Gents" saw is that the grip makes it harder to tell if you're plumb on the cut (meaning the saw blade is vertical).

IF you can swing another 40.00 and IF you think you'll use it in the future, then I would highly recommend you have a look at the Veritas dovetail saw.
 

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Buy a nice Z saw. You'll never regret it. I bought others from Lie Nielsen and Lie Valley. They rarely come off the wall.
 

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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
+1 on the Veritas Dovetail saw. Though I have started using my Japanese one a little bit more and more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the input guys :)

@John, dont the Japanese saws have the same type of handle? Has anyone else had this issue?

in regards to the Veritas saw, unfortunately I can't swing that much for a single saw :( I really am that tight for cash.

Sorry George, one downfall of being Canadian (pretty much the only one lol) is that most vendors on Amazon.com don't ship to Canada. When I meant pricey I meant for the ones on Lee Valley. I am really strapped for cash hence why I have been asking everywhere if anyone has duplicate tools or older tools laying around. I wish the dot com site for amazon worked :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Actually... Did a quick look on Amazon.ca and there are some fairly inexpensive options on there. Does anyone have any experience with any of the saws that are around the $20 - $30 price range? Most seem to have free shipping too and there is a bit more selection. Does anyone have any preference on the pull versus push cut on the North American versus Japanese style saws?
 

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@John, dont the Japanese saws have the same type of handle?
Yes, the Japanese saws have the same basic style of handle as the Gents.
However, as you have pointed out, they cut on the pull stroke, so they behave differently.

Given your situation, a Japanese style saw may well make more sense for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I shall have a look and see what I can find. Good thing about Lee Valley is often they will let you try out the tools before you get them. Hopefully I can try both styles and see what I like best :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
One thing I have found with asking questions about preferences in tools on here is that you get soooo many contradicting suggestions lol. I guess the only real way to learn is to go ahead and use the tool and see what happens. Thanks so much for all the imput guys! I may not get it for a bit but ill let you know what I get and what I think about it :)
 

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Since you didn't post anything else I guess you haven't bought a saw yet....

The smaller the saw the thinner the kerf. A thin kerf is great for detail work. A gents saw is actually for model making. The saw used for dovetails is either a back saw or a dovetail saw. A dovetail saw is smaller and has more tpi (teeth per inch) 11 is enough for good joinery but the more the better. It does mean more maintenance though. More teeth to sharpen. Back saws are beefier. You can use it for cutting tennons and a plethora of other joints. Even a fine cut 22" panel saw is capable of cutting dovetails in the right hands.

The smaller saws are easier to guide and the fine kerf makes small adjustments possible.

Hope this helps, I just wrote some traditional saws and their uses.
 

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A gents saw is actually for model making.
This is an inaccurate generalization.

While there are indeed model-making saws configured as the gents saw -- the designation of "gents saw" is no more than a reference to the handle style,

You can follow this link to a PDF of an early Disston catalog and scroll to page 14 and see for yourself -- their "gents saw" is literally listed as a "dovetail saw".
 
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