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Make a cheap saw into a gem

486 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  BigCountry79
I thought this might be helpful for someone getting started, and wanting to do some hand cut joinery without investing a lot of money. One case where a cheap tool can me made decent.

Off the shelf gent's saws are generally not very good for joinery. The problems are 1) the teeth are set way to wide and 2) they are usually not sharp.

A simple way to unset a saw (narrow the kerf) without buying a saw set, is to place a hardwood block end grain side up underneath and tapping with another block on top. Tap, tap, tap, try the saw, or you can measure the set Narrowing the kerf alone will greatly improve the cut. Saw sharpening files are cheap. If you follow the guidelines it is really not that difficult. Helps to rig up a saw vise.

I did a quick test of all 3 saws. The cut on the left is a Lie Nielsen tapered DT saw ($175), the middle a Veritas 14T rip ($89), and the right is a Deer brand (Woodcraft $22 Deer Brand 4140/250 Straight Back Saw | Woodcraft).

No question, the feel of the LN and the cut are much, much better, but as you can see, the quality of the cuts between all three saws are almost identical.

You can see the Deer saw drifted on me. Possible b/c the set is off, more likely b/c I never use the saw and the ergonomics are totally different than a handle.

Lie Nielsen.014.022

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Gents, look at the plate and kerf specs they are narrow kerf saws. No kerf saws are a different animal.
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