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Thread: Use course(er) fret saw blades for cutting dovetails? Or a coping saw?

  1. #1

    Use course(er) fret saw blades for cutting dovetails? Or a coping saw?

    I prefer to cut the waste out. The coursest blades I have found for my Knew Concepts Fret Saw is 12.5 tpi. In pine and poplar, it is slow going to cut the waste on anything thicker than 1/2" thick stock. I was hoping that a courser blade would speed that up, but havent found anything.
    * Does anyone have a source for a 9 tpi or a 10?
    * Am I even correct in thinking that a courser blade will cut faster?

    Another idea I had was to get a KC Coping Saw for Christmas, but I'm not sure a coping saw will cut much faster. (But I do like to cope my moldings and baseboards, so I'd probably get good use regardless.)

    What blade or saw do you folks who cut the waste use?

    Thanks guys!
    Fred
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    I use the Pegas #7 skip tooth blades. They're 15tpi, but seem to cut pretty quickly.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    * Does anyone have a source for a 9 tpi or a 10?
    Lee Valley lists a 10 tpi coping saw blade:

    http://www.leevalley.com/us/wood/pag...84,42904,72682

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
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    Hi Fred

    I assume that you are referring to removing the waste from dovetails ... ?

    I also use the Pegas Skip #7 blades in my KC fretsaw. There are coarser blades around, but I have not felt challenged for speed. I think that these blades a good balance of speed and cleanliness. A light hand creates control, and I can saw within about 1mm from the baseline.

    I also have the KC coping saw, but this loses out in the tightness of the turn from the saw kerf, if you attempt to replicate a fretsaw. It cuts speedily, but one needs two, even three saw cuts to the one of the fretsaw. The coping saw is preferred for longer saw cuts than the typical dovetail pin board.



    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  5. #5
    Fred,

    Not an answer to your question but a suggestion for what might be a better way. I have both, a TFWW bow saw https://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/...em/GT-BOWSAW12 and a KC fret saw. The bow saw is used 99% of the time because it is easier to use and faster than either the KC fret saw or a coping saw. The TFWW bow saw blades are thinner than coping saw blades, in fact the blade will fit in a Japanese razor saw kerf (I just tested it to refresh my memory). The price of the bow saw and the KC coping saw are within a few bucks of each other.

    From my experience using both, the bow saw is a much better way. Of course YMMV.

    ken

  6. #6
    Thanks guys! Lots of good advice here that I can use to figure out what work best for me.

    Jason, Jim: Thanks for those. My google foo must've been cruddy last night.

    Derek: I didnt think about having to make multiple cuts. Thank you. I know you've put a lot of thought into how to cut dovetails.

    Ken: I was wondering about that bowsaw for cutting waste. And I've been eyeballing one for a couple years. (And I love dealing with TFWW - just a great place.) I didnt remember the blade being so thin. How does it do making the turn to horizontal at the base of the dovetail?

    Again, thanks everyone!
    Fred
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  7. #7
    I have always been a bit puzzled by the two/three cut coping saw method. I have always been able to do it in one cut. You can turn a coping saw in one place, you just have to be moving back and forth when you spin. Usually I can make my 90 degree turn with one push stroke. I've never tried a fret saw, but I definitely never do more than one cut with a coping saw.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Frederick Skelly View Post
    Thanks guys! Lots of good advice here that I can use to figure out what work best for me.

    Jason, Jim: Thanks for those. My google foo must've been cruddy last night.

    Derek: I didnt think about having to make multiple cuts. Thank you. I know you've put a lot of thought into how to cut dovetails.

    Ken: I was wondering about that bowsaw for cutting waste. And I've been eyeballing one for a couple years. (And I love dealing with TFWW - just a great place.) I didnt remember the blade being so thin. How does it do making the turn to horizontal at the base of the dovetail?

    Again, thanks everyone!
    Fred
    Fred,

    Not to sound like a fanboy and claim the bow saw not only cleans out waste but brings your evening whisky as well.

    It has been by far the best solution I've found for sawing out waste. It turns easier than a coping saw. I can't say it turns as easy as a fret saw but I do not notice the difference and with a 12" stroke is many times faster even faster than a coping saw. Kinda old tech beating hi tech.

    ken

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by chris carter View Post
    I have always been a bit puzzled by the two/three cut coping saw method. I have always been able to do it in one cut. You can turn a coping saw in one place, you just have to be moving back and forth when you spin. Usually I can make my 90 degree turn with one push stroke. I've never tried a fret saw, but I definitely never do more than one cut with a coping saw.
    Chris,

    It kinda depends on your saw kerf, how thick the saw plate and set of the saw you used to cut the dovetails. Most japanese saw kerfs are too narrow to get a coping saw blade in the kerf as is the case for a couple of my western saws.

    ken

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