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Discussion Starter #1
I’m really getting excited about doing wood work with hand tools after watching a lot of YouTube videos especially the ones form Paul Sellers. I just can’t get enough.

Anyway I have a 14” back saw that I’ve had for about 44 years I believe. I don’t even know what it is anymore, but it’s been a good saw and I've used it a lot. I’ve never experienced a really good saw and I don’t want to pay a couple of hundred bucks to find out.

I saw a Crown Gent Saw for under $30 that looks good and was just wondering if that would be a good saw or should I save my money and by a better one.

Below is a photo of the saw I currently have in case anyone recognizes it. I can’t make it out, but I think it says Nicholson
 

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I've got a Crown Gents Saw (it's about 17tpi I think) and I've cut quite a few small dovetails with it. I mostly use it on stock thinner than about 3/8 - 1/2". I've used it on thicker stock, but it cuts really slow the thicker it gets.

I've also got a Veritas dovetail saw that I use for almost everything now. Couldn't be happier with it (about $70 from Lee Valley). I still occasionally use the gents saw though, it is handy to have for smaller things.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hmm, so the more expensive saw really does cut better. Interesting.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The sharpening is the most important part. I have one that I bought new in the '70s, but all the others in the box have come from junk stores, or off ebay. Any one of them can cut just as good as any new one.
So your saying if I have my back saw sharpened by someone who knows how, it will be good?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm right now taking inventory of all my hand saws to get a quote on sending them all out to be sharpened. I guess I'll have to ship them all because the closest place is over 100 miles away and over an 1 1/2 hr drive one way.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Have you given any thought to sharpening them yourself? It's easier than you might think.
I have thought about it, but I don't know what I'm doing. I have a saw sharping vise and I just bought a couple of saw sets on eBay.

I have 8 saws, although I don't know about one because it looks a little cheep. So I have at least 7 saws from 7 point to 11 point to do and that scares me. :eek:
 

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Here's an article on saw sharpening that explains the process as good as any I've found. http://www.vintagesaws.com/library/primer/sharp.html
It's a little confusing at first until you read through it a couple of times and become comfortable with the terms. If you want to give it a try, I'd start with the largest tooth saw you have in a rip profile. The first one I tried it took about 2 hours and about half that amount of time for the second one.

If you are going to send the saws out for sharpening anyway, give it a try on one of them. If it doesn't work well for you, just send it out with the rest.

There are several people here who have sharpened a lot more than I have and I'm sure you'd get all the help you need if you want to give it a try.

If you already have a saw vise and some sets, all you need is a saw file or two and a flat file for jointing the teeth.

BTW, I have saws ranging from 5tpi to 18 tpi in both rip and crosscut profile to get sharpened/rehabed this winter. I've only done rip profile so far and will tackle crosscut next.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Tim,
I’m pretty sure I’ll probably be able to do my rip saw myself, but the back saw has weird looking teeth. I don’t know they’re more like sharks teeth and I don’t think I can sharpen it. The other fine tooth saws look like too much work. :eek:
I found a place that will do all my saws for $90 but they’re mail-in only for knives & scissors and they only pick up saws within their area. Another place wants $175 plus shipping, so I’m still looking.
 

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I know what you mean about the fine toothed saws. I don't need glasses to read, but I picked up two pair for use just in the shop. One is a 1.5x for doing normal joinery, and the other is a 2.5x just for the saw teeth and other sharpening tasks.
 

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I've got a Crown Gents Saw (it's about 17tpi I think) and I've cut quite a few small dovetails with it. I mostly use it on stock thinner than about 3/8 - 1/2". I've used it on thicker stock, but it cuts really slow the thicker it gets.

I've also got a Veritas dovetail saw that I use for almost everything now. Couldn't be happier with it (about $70 from Lee Valley). I still occasionally use the gents saw though, it is handy to have for smaller things.
I also have a veritas dovetail saw and have been very happy with it.
I bought mine from the local Woodcraft store for about 70 dollars.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I guess I just need to actually use one to compare because anything over $50 just seems outrageous to me and I was even questioning $30. A guy at work spends $200 for sunglasses and I just cannot see any difference in them to my $20 ones. :huh:
 

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Have a crown as described- I like it for thin wood. (1/4) also have 1800's disston tennon (10")- some french dovetail (8") and traded some wood for a LN dovetail. You get what you pay for. sharp they all work well. If I had to make a choice of only one- hands down it would be the LN- there is a big difference. Straight fast and easy is how it cuts.
Cheap tools are just that -cheap tools!!! By the best you can afford- it will hold it's value with care and give you and at least one other generation a lifetime of service. Cheap tools will need replaced.
 
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If you want to try out a gent saw handle before dropping much money on a nice one, the Craftsman dovetail saw is very inexpensive. I have it and decided to get a more traditional grip for a nice dovetail saw. I do find I like the grip when I am sawing out lots of kerfs before I chisel out a section of wood.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well after a lot of thought, I decided to buy a Veritas Standard Dovetail 14 tpi Saw to see how well it cuts. I'm also going to buy a 10" Back Saw of another brand possibly a Crown just to see if I notice much of a difference in cutting. I realize that they are two different types of saw, but I didn't want multiple saws of the same type.
 
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Well after a lot of thought, I decided to buy a Veritas Standard Dovetail 14 tpi Saw to see how well it cuts. I'm also going to buy a 10" Back Saw of another brand possibly a Crown just to see if I notice much of a difference in cutting. I realize that they are two different types of saw, but I didn't want multiple saws of the same type.
I bet you will like it. I have some small pull saws. I just cannot get the hang of dovetails with them. It is me not the saw. I also have a small no set pull saw that I absolutely love for trimming splines and such. The right saw will make a difference.
 
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