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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know that many people have their preferences and recommendations, so I'd appreciate comments.

I have built a couple of amplifier chasses using a dovetail jig. My first used simple pine purchased from HomeDespot. It looked good, finished with Danish Oil. The second used the same jig but used quilted maple. It looks amazing. Now, my wife reckons that I should rehouse the first amplifier in something more striking. So, I was thinking of a warm-coloured wood, maybe a Walnut, or cherry. But, I want to make through London Pin dovetails. This means dovetailing by hand.

I am really excited by this, as I can imagine that there is something esoteric in working by hand rather than having the noise of a router!

So, I need to buy a dovetail saw. BUT what kind?

After years of graduate school, my wife and I have kearned to be frugal, but now we realize that buying cheap is not the most cost effective, so I have been told to spend what is required (within reason) for a doevtail saw that will last me a lifetime.

I have looked at the Lie-Nielsen, Adria, Grammercy, etc. Very, very nice, but very expensive - maybe great for a professional, but I'll not be using it every day.

A colleague at work, says that he uses a good quality Japanese pull-saw and that the effect of pulling the saw (he says that he envisions pulling a feather through wood as he saws) allows him to cut extremely precisely with a very narrow kerf.

Other postings about this have had replies about trying out different saws, but how can one do that without buying a bunch of different saws?

What I feel it comes down to is between the Lie-Nielsen "Gent's" saw which is within my price range. They seem to offer a very good warranty and the tool looks well made. OR a Kondo / Dozuki for which I would expect to pay a similar amount for a good one.

Any comments would be much appreciated.

Charlie
 

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My suggestion is to find a DT saw as inexpensive as possible to start. A DT saw is a member of the backsaw family of saws. Typically, backsaws are stiff, and top ribbed. A cheap miter box saw can cut DT's. But they are taller and the saw body is usually thicker than a tenon/DT saw, and have a coarser cut. I would look for a short in height saw body, a thickness around .018 (26 gauge). and have somewhere around 15tpi to 20tpi.

Once you have got the marking and layout down pat, and have practiced on several, including hardwoods and softwoods, then maybe spring for the $100 plus saw. If you are an occasional hobbyist, make sure you will enjoy this procedure before making a large investment.
 

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For what it's worth IMHO I use a Dozuki as I find the thickness (thinness?) of the blade allows more accuracy and I know this sounds weird but I can pull 'straighter' than I can push!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank-you for the advice. I did buy a saw - an 8" Garlick Gent's Saw. It was inexpensive and actually seems to cut pretty well. I appear to be able to saw pretty straight lines and managed to make some dovetails in some pine that I had lying around.

I did notice a couple of problems:

1. The saw began to get a build-up on it. I assume that this may be resin from the pine. How best to clean it?

2. While chiselling away the waste, I found that I was getting tear-out. Is my chisel not sharp enough?

3. Sawing to the line or the waste. A a schoolkid, I was taight to saw into the waste. However, this leaves a lot of trimming with the chisel to get the dovetails to fit. Any ideas?

I'll repost these questions in a new thread.

Maybe an investment in a good Dozuki would not be amiss.

Charlie
 

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Dozuki

I've been considering a Douzuki or gent's saw for the same reasons. At this point, woodworking is an exploratory hobby and I can't invest top $$$ for dedicated tools. I've heard that the Japanese saws have a hard time with hard woods. Does anyone have any experience here?
 

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For what it's worth IMHO I use a Dozuki as I find the thickness (thinness?) of the blade allows more accuracy and I know this sounds weird but I can pull 'straighter' than I can push!
I agree. I also find I can pull with more accuracy than push. Do not think that weird.

G
 

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Thank-you for the advice. I did buy a saw - an 8" Garlick Gent's Saw. It was inexpensive and actually seems to cut pretty well. I appear to be able to saw pretty straight lines and managed to make some dovetails in some pine that I had lying around.

I did notice a couple of problems:

1. The saw began to get a build-up on it. I assume that this may be resin from the pine. How best to clean it?

2. While chiselling away the waste, I found that I was getting tear-out. Is my chisel not sharp enough?

3. Sawing to the line or the waste. A a schoolkid, I was taight to saw into the waste. However, this leaves a lot of trimming with the chisel to get the dovetails to fit. Any ideas?

I'll repost these questions in a new thread.

Maybe an investment in a good Dozuki would not be amiss.

Charlie

Also interested in hearing how to clean pine sap off of tools... my table saw is getting an unhealthy amount of pine sap and dust underneath that I need to clean somehow.
 
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