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Thread: Gramercy or Veritas dovetail saw

  1. #1

    Gramercy or Veritas dovetail saw

    I am getting more and more interested in hand cutting dovetails. I got some extra money for Christmas this year and am considering buying a dovetail saw.

    Of the 2 I have considered, which would you choose and why?

    I am leaning towards the Gramercy kit due to it being filed rip, but can be convinced otherwise.

    However the Lee Valley has received good reviews and LV stuff always seem to be a safe bet.

    So what do you think?

    Josh

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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    Veritas has two dovetail saws filed rip: a 14 tpi and a 20. I have the 14, and it is an excellent saw!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Silver Lake, KS
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    I have never used the Gramercy, so I can't comment on it. But I have used the LV saw, and it is excellent. Great value, IMO.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada
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    I think they are quite different saw, and by that I meen the Gramecy is a realy light, realy shalow blade saw. The handle is quite different of any other saws I have used, more opened and slander than other, wich I like... i think! Of course if you make the kit, you can make what ever tote you like! The Gramercy with the 20ppi would probably compare to the Veritas 20ppi but I think the 14ppi from Veritas would cut a little faster(you can read a comparison on Derek Cohen website, IN THE WOOD SHOP) other than that with the price in mind, I realy think that the Veritas would be a good choice, since you could have the 14ppi for tick stuff and the 20ppi for the thin stuff like drawers for the price of one saw, some thing to realy consider IMO!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Johan Bergren View Post
    Veritas has two dovetail saws filed rip: a 14 tpi and a 20. I have the 14, and it is an excellent saw!

    You are right Adam, I misread the webpage for Lee Valley. It says Veritas Dovetail AND Crosscut. I read it as Veritas Dovetail Crosscut.


    David,

    I was looking at doing the kit, just to keep the cost down. However you have a good point that I could by the set and have all for just a little more.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    St. Louis
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    I've never used or even held the Grammercy, but I'm sure it's up to the standards of their other high quality tools. I also have the 14 tpi LV and consider it to be a very fine saw - especially for the price.
    Where did I put that tape measure...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Southeastern CT
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    38
    I took a dovetail class last year from Mario Rodriguez, who spoke very highly of the Gramercy saw. The LV gets great reviews all around. Tough to go wrong, but my rule on purchases like this is if you can't decide, get the one that costs less.

  8. #8
    I just ordered the Veritas 14TPI this morning, along with one of their wheel marking gauges.

    Until recently, I had no desire whatsoever to make handcut dovetails. Now, I'm determined to learn to make them!

    So, what has inspired me to have this change of heart? James Krenov. Sad to say, I'd never even heard of the man until I read his obit in a sticky here at SMC. Someone posted a link to the transcript of an interview done with him just a few years prior to his death. When I read that interview I knew that I was onto something for me. I bought A Cabinetmaker's Notebook and The Fine Art of Cabinetmaking. These two books are the most inspiring woodworking books that I've ever read.

    Oh, I bought the Veritas saw on the recommendation of a fellow creeker who has the set of three. I take him at his word that their saws are as good as claimed. I'm excited about receiving mine in a few days!
    Stephen Edwards
    Hilham, TN 38568

    "Build for the joy of it!"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Newport News, VA
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    I received a LV gift card for Christmas, and I have done the same thing. I ordered the 14tpi dovetail and the crosscut. I have to leave town in a little while, and I am desperately hoping they arrive before I have to go.

    Cheers,

    Chris
    If you only took one trip to the hardware store, you didn't do it right.

  10. #10
    Well now after reading more reviews and considering the other things I should have to help with dovetailing...I am leaning towards the 14 tpi LV saw.

    Now I guess the question would be....14tpi or 20tpi?

    I know the 14 will cut faster and is better suited for 1/2" - 3/4" material, how will it handle in smaller material?

    I think I like the idea of being able to get through the cut faster, why would the 20tpi be a better match for me?

  11. Quote Originally Posted by Josh Rudolph View Post
    I know the 14 will cut faster and is better suited for 1/2" - 3/4" material, how will it handle in smaller material?

    I think I like the idea of being able to get through the cut faster, why would the 20tpi be a better match for me?
    While it may be true that fewer teeth will cut faster under certain conditions, I wouldn't place my emphasis on that. Rather, dovetail saws are 'set' to produce a thin kerf. As wood thickness increases, the potential for clogging up fine teeth in that thin kerf increases. A 20tpi saw would be useful but if you're only buying one, I think you'd find the 14tpi saw more versatile.

    Also, it may be relevant to your decision that the Gramercy saw is one of the lightest while the LV saw is one of the heavier dovetail saws. Personally I like a 'heavy' dovetail saw but it's a matter of taste I suppose.

    Cheers --- Larry

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Marshall View Post
    While it may be true that fewer teeth will cut faster under certain conditions, I wouldn't place my emphasis on that. Rather, dovetail saws are 'set' to produce a thin kerf. As wood thickness increases, the potential for clogging up fine teeth in that thin kerf increases. A 20tpi saw would be useful but if you're only buying one, I think you'd find the 14tpi saw more versatile.

    Also, it may be relevant to your decision that the Gramercy saw is one of the lightest while the LV saw is one of the heavier dovetail saws. Personally I like a 'heavy' dovetail saw but it's a matter of taste I suppose.

    Cheers --- Larry

    Thanks Larry...all very good points. In my mind I would like a heavier saw.

  13. #13
    Join Date
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    Can only speak for the 14pt saw. I bought it a year ago and have used it so much that I've needed to sharpen it. It was easy to do and it continues to work as well as the day I got it. I'll admit that I also like a gents saw, but the quality of the Veritas 14pt dovetail saw is top notch and I'm completely satisfied with it.

    As to the dovetails - don't overthink it as it's not some magical thing like some would have you belive. Learn how to cut straight with saw and practice cutting to the waste side of lines and to the marking gauge. Start with a single and practice it every day for awhile, then two, then three and by that time, you'll basically have it, but just need to fine tune.

    In regard to pins vs tails first - you will never get an absolute answer and it can be done both ways. It's personal preference for me to cut pins first because I like using them as a template for the tails, but the Cosman bunch certainly puts out beautiful product and they do tails first and mark the board for the pins. Try both and see which seems to suit you. Good luck, if I can do it, you can certainly do it and I've gotten lazy enough that if they don't fit off the saw, I'd do um' over.
    Last edited by Don Dorn; 12-26-2009 at 10:56 PM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Baton Rouge LA
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    968
    I have never used either saw. They both get good reviews, but the veritas is super cheap. that would convince me. You could also buy a vintage one for about half that.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Dayton Ohio
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    One more thought..

    I have the Gramercy and while it cuts well, my hand got lost in the handle. So I modified it. Cut 1/2" out of the middle (with the grain) and glued it back. It now fits my small hands much better.

    Someone else mentioned blade heigth. The Gramercy is short, but is long enought for most endgrain dovetails. However, I like to cut sliding dovetails using a sloped wooden guide fence and that requires a lot more heigth. Many of my sliding dovetails are crosscut too. Most of my saws were custom made by Medallion Tools with handles sized for my hands. Something to consider if you have either very large od small hands.

    I also have a Glen-Drake "Wild West Double Handled Joinery Saw" that works well. With it I got a set of kerf starters and those make starting a cut much easier and precise.

    Never used the Veritas saws but have lots of their other tools and all are top notch.

    Eric

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