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Thread: Test Drive of a Veritas Dovetail Saw

  1. #1
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    Test Drive of a Veritas Dovetail Saw

    One of my grandsons and granddaughters is up for a visit. My grandson Mike has a bit of interest in woodworking.

    We have been working on making a box for him to store his shoe maintenance supplies. He recently built a shoe rack. It was difficult for me to let him do all the work of cutting slots and dovetails.

    Since he doesn't have a lot of tools it seemed like a good idea to buy him an early Christmas present even if he celebrates Chanukah instead.

    Him and his sister decided they wanted to camp on the Olympic Peninsula and left yesterday. His saw arrived yesterday.

    Resistance was futile…

    A piece of scrap was cut, squared & marked.

    The saw was amazingly comfortable in my hand. The sawing seemed effortless. Easy to track and a light grip lets the saw do its work.

    Made of high-carbon steel, the blade is 9 1/4" long and 0.020" thick, with a cut depth of about 1 9/16". The teeth, set 0.003" per side, have a rake angle of 14 and an included angle of 60. The blades have 14 or 20 rip-cut teeth per inch. The 14 tpi model is most efficient on stock thicker than 1/2"
    Veritas Dovetail Saw.jpg

    Usually it takes me a few practice sets of dovetails to get one to come out this well. Usually my pins are marked with a knife. This time a pencil was used. Had to catch myself a couple time starting the saw on the wrong side of the line.

    This is a great saw for the price. My recommendation for anyone looking for a great, ready to go out of the box dovetail saw for less than $100, this is the one.

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

  2. #2
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    Thanks for the confirmation Jim. I got the full set of 3 Veritas joinery saws a few months ago but really can't compare them to anything. All I can say is "they work good and were ready to go out of the box." The handles fit my hands good enough that I am not seriously considering modifying the handles. I agree they track well compared to my regular sized handsaws, and a light grip works well.

    With my 50+ year old eyes trying to restore vintage examples of the set was a non starter.

    The tenon saw is a bit of a beastie I think. If you were to get one of those a few days before whatever holiday I strongly encourage (beg?) you to give it a go and let us know. I do like the carcass saw in the set rather a lot.

  3. #3
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    Columbus, Ohio, USA
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    Tried one at a woodworking show and my daughter wanted one so I bought it for her. She has then not had time to use it, so I have been using it. Even after I sharpened the saw it was great. A friend of mine tried it and was so impressed he asked me if we could sharpen his saws together. I have only sharpened one hand saw, the Lee Valley dovetail saw, so I don't really have lots of experience, but that one sharpening was enough for him to decide I could do it well. I think I simply did not mess it up.

    Love the saw, works great.

  4. #4
    "This is a great saw for the price. My recommendation for anyone looking for a great, ready to go out of the box dovetail saw for less than $100, this is the one."

    +1. I like mine.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  5. #5
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    I have one too, fits my hand well. I think they will have about 300 in their seconds sale this Wednesday.

    I also bought a Florip DT saw just to have a back up. Very nice too but you will need to be patient. Mine took about four months to arrive.

  6. #6
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    Feb 2004
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    Perth, Australia
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    I was sawing dovetails for three drawers made of thin Radiata Pine. The 20 ppi Veritas dovetail saw sliced through it like a Japanese saw. Incredible value for money ...



    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  7. #7
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    Tried this saw way back when....while visiting Charles Neil's shop......found I much preferred my Disston No. 4 backsaw. 9 ppi, filed rip, Because as far as I know, cutting dovetails involves mainly rip cuts.

    Must be my hands...The Disston seemed to fit a lot better. And, didn't feel quite as flimsy.
    A Planer? I'm the Planer, and this is what I use

  8. #8
    The LV Veritas dovetail saw (in either configuration) is indisputably one of the great bargains to emerge from the revival of woodworking hand tool manufacturing.

  9. #9
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    9 ppi, filed rip
    What on earth are you cutting with this, Steven? That is very, very coarse for a dovetail saw (the topic here). That is what I would use for a large tenon saw.

    The standard Veritas dovetail saw has 14 ppi and a relaxed 14 degree rake. This is perfect for those entering dovetailing, as well as those wanting a dovetail saw for starting a saw cut. The 20 ppi version, I mentioned above, is exceptional for thin boards (1/4" drawer sides).

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  10. #10
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    My Disston No. 4 is 14" long,,,is 9 ppi and is filed RIP....

    The "other" No. 4s in the shop are 26-30" long, 11 ppi, and filed cross cut....as I need them for work in the Mitre Boxes I USE....Stanley No. 2246, Stanley No. 346, Stanley No. 358, and a Langdon No. 75....with the "go-to" being the #358....

    I do have a "Broom handled" No. 68....for use in the 1/4"-1/2" Ash I tend to use.....

    These is a SMALL HOBBY backsaw....with TINY teeth....rarely used, because it takes forever to cut 1/4" deep in 1/4" stock...hand tends to cramp up...
    I tend to use the No. 68 when doing the Finger/Box Joints for the boxes I make...and IF I decide to dovetail a box, I'll use which ever is at hand.

    Like I said, I did try that fancy saw, when I visited Charles Neil's shop a couple years ago.....Liked the feel of my old No. 4 better. Both were able to start about the same....

    Also...since Dovetail work IS rip cuts....why the super fine teeth filed CROSSCUT? No wonder it takes sooooo long to do any rip cutting....YMMV
    A Planer? I'm the Planer, and this is what I use

  11. #11
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    As I said Steven, 9 ppi is very coarse for a dovetail saw. Perhaps if you were sawing a 2" thick board ...?

    The Veritas dovetail saws are, incidentally, both filed rip - not crosscut. 14 ppi is pretty average for a dovetail saw working with 3/4" thick stock, especially hardwood. I would not want to use it on 1/4" thick soft wood, which is typical for my drawer sides, as it would "stick". The Veritas is actually easier than most to start as the rake is 14 degrees - quite relaxed. For the thinner boards I would use the 20 ppi saw. This is smooth and fast enough in such stock, and much more controlled. I would hate to try to start a 9 ppi saw in such wood.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Cohen View Post
    I was sawing dovetails for three drawers made of thin Radiata Pine. The 20 ppi Veritas dovetail saw sliced through it like a Japanese saw. Incredible value for money ...



    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Derek, I'm quite envious of the results you get with those terrifying Australian woods, and not at all envious of the work you have to do with them.

  13. #13
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    why the super fine teeth filed CROSSCUT?
    If the saw you were using was filed crosscut, it wasn't a saw meant for cutting dovetails.

    Small teeth filed rip work fairly well in a crosscut with smaller stock. They are not for cutting 2x4s.

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

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyler Bancroft View Post
    Derek, I'm quite envious of the results you get with those terrifying Australian woods, and not at all envious of the work you have to do with them.
    Thanks for the compliment Tyler. However I should point out that the drawer fronts were West African Makore. it looks a lot like Jarrah, but is softer and less interlocked. The drawer fronts were a challenge nevertheless, but mainly because the board I had was a remnant from a build, and had cracks in many places. It was held together with superglue and epoxy. The drawer sides are soft and brittle Radiata Pine. The triangles are Merbau.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Cohen View Post
    Thanks for the compliment Tyler. However I should point out that the drawer fronts were West African Makore. it looks a lot like Jarrah, but is softer and less interlocked. The drawer fronts were a challenge nevertheless, but mainly because the board I had was a remnant from a build, and had cracks in many places. It was held together with superglue and epoxy. The drawer sides are soft and brittle Radiata Pine. The triangles are Merbau.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    Having read a number of your articles and posts, I think you're entitled to use some more cooperative wood occasionally. Pictures of woods like jarrah and fiddleback marri make me happy that my "local" woods are things like maple and cherry.

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