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Thread: Bad Axe saws worth it? Anyone try Winsor saws?

  1. #46
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    It's probably polished 1095 steel. It's actually about the closest thing you'll find to plain carbon steel if that's what it is. Hard carbon steel takes a great polish if you want to give it a polish. There should be set on a dovetail saw, just a minimal amount. I'd imagine that your saw was set and either clamped (to reduce the set) or stoned to reduce the set.

    You don't want it to have no set at all or it will bind in thicker pins and tails.
    That Rug Really Tied the Room Together, Did it Not....

  2. #47
    Hi Peter

    Your LN dovetail saw does not sound like mine at all. Perhaps you should contact LN about it, even after all this time.

    I have the LN Independence dovetail saw, filed 15 ppi rip, and the teeth are indeed zero rake. It is an aggressive saw and, unless the "correct" technique is used it will catch when starting a saw cut (Angle the saw up, not down. This reduces the effective rake). It is definitely not a dovetail saw for those starting out. The hang of the handle is taken from the Independence Tools dovetail saw (LN bought the company), which I have as well, and I find this to be just right in my own use. The hang is no different from a Wenzloff dovetail saw, and I believe it is the same as the LV dovetail saws as well. Obviously this hang angle does not suit you, but it is an established norm for dovetail saws .... unless yours is different.

    LN, LV and IT ...



    The LV dovetail saws have a far more relaxed rake (14 degrees), and this makes them much easier to start. They are a perfect saw for those starting out handcutting dovetails (while not being limited to this group).

    There is something just wrong about the steel in your saw (from your description). It does not sound to be correctly hardened. It sounds too soft. As I understand, all LN saws are made from spring steel.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  3. #48
    I came into the market before Mike Wenzloff started making saws but after the first round of cottage industry saws (Independence Tools, I believe). Bought a set of Pax saws and was sorely disappointed; almost as soon as Mike started making saws I bought good saws from him. I have never regretted that as they have been worth their weight in gold "to me". So, my simple advise is to buy the best saw you can afford, you won't regret it. You will regret buying cheap saws....not that I am saying anyones saws are cheap! By the way after re-handeling, re-toothing, re-sharpening and re-setting the Pax saws they turned out to be pretty good saws!
    roy griggs
    roygriggs@valornet.com

  4. #49
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    I am a big fan of the TFWW saws. I have the Sash Saw and the Dovetail and love both of them. I don't know where you could find a better made, better sharpened more versatile saw than the Sash Saw with it's thin plate and combo file job it can handle a wide range of work. I have used the LN saws at Highland Woodworking several times and they are certrainly fine saws too, I just like the TFWW saws better. The thin plates feel more like the Japanese saws I became use to when it was so hard to find decent saws in the US, but better.
    Last edited by Mike Holbrook; 02-05-2013 at 7:56 AM.

  5. Quote Originally Posted by David Weaver View Post
    Maybe...they'd get a lot of saws back if they were all zero rake.
    I think another problem on rip filed saws with an aggresive rake is that they will push material out the back of the cut if they aren't jointed absolutely perfectly and then they will always spelch out the backside worse than a crosscut saw will. Once I got the L-N started the backside of the cut looked like hell. I mean really bad, pushing string out the back on Honduras Mahogany. Not good. Fixable I'm sure, but not worth the hassle. Too much other product out there. I think the saw needed a deeper gullet, maybe, to go with the upright teeth. Not sure, but something was just troubling overall about the thing. At that time, I surely didn't understand all of the accolades. I'm sure a lot of guys just thought it was their technique. I definitely don't think so now and didn't really then. I think the L-V set up makes a lot more sense - more relaxed rake. I see where Derek advocates starting the cut with the toe pointing in the air. I think hell will freeze over before I start a joinery cut with a backsaw anywhere but at the back of the cut and with the toe pointing down. It just feels natural to me.
    Last edited by Charlie Stanford; 02-05-2013 at 7:28 AM.

  6. #51
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    Crosscut saws do a really nice job on the back side of the cut. If you cut tails first (I guess you may not), then it's not as big of a deal because you can always mark the outside face and cut into it rather than having it in the back. I guess if you do pins first, you'll be marking tails on the inside face, never really thought about it. Maybe there's a case to be made where a beginner would be better off with them.

    Every true rip saw I have (I don't have any with rake relaxed more than five degrees) will leave some junk on the back side of the cut when compared to a crosscut saw or a japanese dozuku.
    That Rug Really Tied the Room Together, Did it Not....

  7. Quote Originally Posted by David Weaver View Post
    Crosscut saws do a really nice job on the back side of the cut. If you cut tails first (I guess you may not), then it's not as big of a deal because you can always mark the outside face and cut into it rather than having it in the back. I guess if you do pins first, you'll be marking tails on the inside face, never really thought about it. Maybe there's a case to be made where a beginner would be better off with them.

    Every true rip saw I have (I don't have any with rake relaxed more than five degrees) will leave some junk on the back side of the cut when compared to a crosscut saw or a japanese dozuku.
    True on the rip saws. Glad it's not just me as it so often seems to be.

    I do in fact usually cut pins first but I don't care for rank blowout even if it can be effectively hidden. Maybe I need to break down and get a Dozuki. Could the temperature in hell have just dropped a degree?

  8. #53
    I think another problem on rip filed saws with an aggresive rake is that they will push material out the back of the cut if they aren't jointed absolutely perfectly and then they will always spelch out the backside worse than a crosscut saw will. Once I got the L-N started the backside of the cut looked like hell. I mean really bad, pushing string out the back on Honduras Mahogany.

    Charles, while I do not disagree with you, I fail to see the relevance of very mild spelching at the back of a board as it is never seen. Indeed, I always chamfer the edges as well when fitting the two sides together.

    The degree of spelching you describe with your (ex-) LN saw sounds as if there was too much set on the teeth. Here is the spelching one might expect from the average rip-filed dovetail saw:



    I do not see this to be an issue as it wipes off with a finger.

    Years ago I won an unused Independence Tools dovetail saw on eBay, and sent it directly to Mike Wenzloff to check over. Knowing the hardwoods I use, Mike added fleam to the teeth, in other words, creating a semi crosscut saw. There is no doubt that crosscut will work in a rip cut and, if you look at the picture above, you can see it does leave a touch less rag (for whatever that is worth), but not enough less to see this as a factor. The down side of a crosscut is that it does not hold an edge as long as a rip filed saw.


    I see where Derek advocates starting the cut with the toe pointing in the air. I think hell will freeze over before I start a joinery cut with a backsaw anywhere but at the back of the cut and with the toe pointing down. It just feels natural to me
    .


    Oh I don't know about that. Following two lines seems more sensible than just one.



    This is the method that Adam Cherubini advocates.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  9. Quote Originally Posted by Derek Cohen View Post
    I think another problem on rip filed saws with an aggresive rake is that they will push material out the back of the cut if they aren't jointed absolutely perfectly and then they will always spelch out the backside worse than a crosscut saw will. Once I got the L-N started the backside of the cut looked like hell. I mean really bad, pushing string out the back on Honduras Mahogany.

    Charles, while I do not disagree with you, I fail to see the relevance of very mild spelching at the back of a board as it is never seen. Indeed, I always chamfer the edges as well when fitting the two sides together.

    The degree of spelching you describe with your (ex-) LN saw sounds as if there was too much set on the teeth. Here is the spelching one might expect from the average rip-filed dovetail saw:



    I do not see this to be an issue as it wipes off with a finger.

    Years ago I won an unused Independence Tools dovetail saw on eBay, and sent it directly to Mike Wenzloff to check over. Knowing the hardwoods I use, Mike added fleam to the teeth, in other words, creating a semi crosscut saw. There is no doubt that crosscut will work in a rip cut and, if you look at the picture above, you can see it does leave a touch less rag (for whatever that is worth), but not enough less to see this as a factor. The down side of a crosscut is that it does not hold an edge as long as a rip filed saw.


    I see where Derek advocates starting the cut with the toe pointing in the air. I think hell will freeze over before I start a joinery cut with a backsaw anywhere but at the back of the cut and with the toe pointing down. It just feels natural to me
    .


    Oh I don't know about that. Following two lines seems more sensible than just one.





    Regards from Perth

    Derek
    "This is the method that Adam Cherubini advocates."

    I assume that I'm supposed to find this meaningful.

    Ian Kirby starts on the back. Which one do you think has built more furniture in his career? Would it even be close? Which one was trained in a notable professional shop and has been continuously employed in the trade his entire adult, working life? We're in profound trouble when we overlook real professionals and look to part-timers for technique to emulate. This would be unprecedented in the history of the trade. Now, front or back is a binary thing. I'm sure there are folks worth imitating that start on the front (can't think of one at the moment), but Adam Cherubini? Really? Doesn't pass the laugh test. This is like having Chris Schwarz teach us how to kink (use?) a back-saw. Every now and then a blind squirrel stumbles upon a nut. The rest of the squirrels don't go around looking for nuts in the same way because of it. Or do they? I'm starting to think so.

    Otherwise joinery saws really shouldn't produce much rag, understanding that it does vary some by species. If they do, something is wrong. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. You could start an excelsior packing material factory with the junk those saws of yours apparently produce. Don't throw that stuff away, you can use it when you pack your saws up and ship them back to the States. If that's as good as it gets I would without a doubt use a Japanese saw. In a heartbeat.
    Last edited by Charlie Stanford; 02-05-2013 at 10:25 AM.

  10. #55
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    I used to start at the toe, but have slowly gravitated towards the method shown above in Dereks pic, mainly because there are situations where one has to start that way (e.g. HBDTs). It's odd but I've always liked fairly aggressive joinery saws. That could be because I learned using an LN saw, but for whatever reason I'd rather have to back off pressure on an overly aggressive saw that add pressure with an under aggressive saw... I'm just more accurate that way. The dovetail saw I made recently, which has more or less replaced my LN for most things, is built with that in mind. The hang angle is high enough so that when my work is in the vise it rest perpendicular to the piece or very slightly upward, so that I only need to tip my hand up a touch to be cutting with the grain - avoiding the bending/squatting I would need to do with a saw that has less hang. Its also filed more aggressively than my LN (5 degrees of rake as opposed to the approximately 10 degrees in my LN). I can still start it tipping forward and occasionally will but it works best tipped up, and will cut very quickly with virtually no downward pressure. It does have a touch of fleam in it (no more than 5 degree) which make it a little less aggressive. Not much less, but I believe it smooths out the cutting action and leave the back of the cut a little cleaner. It also, smooths it just enough that it make the little cross cuts for removing the waste on the outer edges of the dovetails pretty smooth.

    Truth be told, I can't say much about how the back of the cut looks. Its not something I have ever really paid much attention to. I pretty much always cut tails first with the show surface facing me, and even when I don't, the little fuzzys that come out on a very aggressive saw are rarely more than just that... fuzzies that can be removed with one swipe of a plane or 220 sandpaper. Most the time they fall off on there own and can't remember a time off the top of my head when there was any visible tearing on the exterior of the cut. Perhaps this has to do with the species of woods I generally work (mostly cherry and walnut and a little hard maple). Perhaps other species would have more detrimental spelching on the back?

    Anyway, all that rambling is simply to say that this is one thing that is very personal preference, in that it seems to have a lot to do with how you saw and possibly the types of wood you work the most. What I know for myself is the more pressure I need to apply the less accurate I am, and when I'm working with a saw that essentially does the cutting for me with just back and forth and little to no downward pressure, my results are more accurate, more consistent, and cleaner.
    Last edited by Chris Griggs; 02-05-2013 at 8:46 AM.
    Woodworking is terrific for keeping in shape, but it's also a deadly serious killing system...

  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Stanford View Post
    True on the rip saws. Glad it's not just me as it so often seems to be.

    I do in fact usually cut pins first but I don't care for rank blowout even if it can be effectively hidden. Maybe I need to break down and get a Dozuki. Could the temperature in hell have just dropped a degree?
    That's the only reason I tried a crosscut saw, IIRC. In soft woods that cut really easily like walnut, you can blitz a crosscut saw right through a dovetail cut. Much is made of the dovetail cuts being no pressure (I guess this is good for a beginner), but it's much more pleasant to start a cut and then push the saw through it with some force once established.

    But, a crosscut saw doesn't work like a dozuki.

    Anyway, the first several (dozen?, two dozen?) sets of dovetails I cut were with a combination dozuki, and if I tell the truth, dovetails from it are still better than any of my western saws despite pride in construction. You can set the thing down on a line or next to it, holding onto it with both hands and literally pull without guiding the plate at all and it will just cut where you put it without wandering. No light pressure to start the cut or anything, just pull it. Cuts super clean on crosscuts, too. Really clean. Wish I could sharpen teeth the way the machines for those saws can..

    .. and wish the impulse hardened western saws had teeth as cleanly cut.

    In 1/2" in honest white pine (not the styrofoam cosman uses), two pulls - one to start the cut, one to cut it to depth, max three. Add one for 3/4" if you're making the outside of a box or something. Maybe double that for hardwood. really fast and waxy clean cut line, laser cut on the inside and outside.
    Last edited by David Weaver; 02-05-2013 at 8:51 AM.
    That Rug Really Tied the Room Together, Did it Not....

  12. #57
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    Derek, how do you cut the shoulder of say a 4 inch wide tenon? I find that on wide cuts, I have much better accuracy starting at the back corner and working the line to front. Perhaps it is my technique, but if I start at the front, holding the line is much more difficult.

  13. #58
    Hi Sean

    The way I do it is to saw to two lines on one side (both cheek lines), from the shoulder to the middle of the tenon (i.e. a triangle) ...



    ... then turn the board around and do the same on the other side.

    Finally the stretcher is straightened (clamped vertically), and sawn with the saw held in the horizontal to the shoulder line. Here is another picture of the initial (angled) saw cut taken at Tools For Working Wood (just before New Year) with one of Joel's fine saws ..



    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  14. #59
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    Sorry, my question must have been poor. After you have sawn the cheeks, as shown, you must then saw at the shoulder line - the cross cut. How do you make that sort of cut across a wide board? I find it is easier to strat at the "back" corner.

  15. #60
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    I do not have the experience of some posters but I am amazed at the kerf my TFWW Sash saw makes. My corrected vision has a hard time finding it sometimes. The Sash saw has a .20" plate, with 5 degrees negative rake and 7 degrees fleam (similar to Chris's specs). The teeth are hammer set and hand filed, which may be part of the reason the kerf it leaves is so small, especially for a 14" saw. The tooth set is apparently small via these methods. I talked to the guy who sharpens many of the saws for TFWW and his enthusiasm for his work is reflected in the kerf the blade makes. I hate to agree with Chris again P, but I got use to the light pressure required to make my flexy Silky saws work and I think this method improves accuracy. A light hand may even be a requirement when using a thin plate with minimal set, but I believe the reduced effort and results are worth any small learning curve. For the money the OP originally mentioned one could purchase the TFWW set of Sash and Dovetail saws. At the time I purchased the set myself the price seemed high, but I am glad I made the decision I did. I don't know how I could make a more precise cut in wood by hand. Joel offered to send me the Sash Saw on trial when I was posting here about my backsaw search. I suspect he knew it would not make it back. I think most of the hand saw aficionados here would also find it hard to part with these saws. I can't find the info on their site at the moment but I believe Gramercy also offers a great deal on resharpening their saws.

    Derek added a picture to his post, that looks like a Gramercy Sash saw he is using? Or is that Joel? Whoever the guy with the saw is he looks happy ;-)
    Last edited by Mike Holbrook; 02-05-2013 at 9:51 AM.

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