|People starting to do joinery ask me all the time which saw they should get first. My normal shoot from the hip recommendation has always been a dovetail saw. Our dovetail saw is pretty small and while about as perfect for dovetailing as you can get, and small joinery, it really doesn't have the depth of cut you need for a tenon past about an inch long. |
Our award winning carcase saws would fill that bill and I suppose that would be a decent recommendation but it's two saws not one. In Joiner And Cabinet Maker Thomas uses two basic joinery saws. A dovetail saw that in 1839 probably still looked pretty much like our saw, and a closed handle sash saw. It's the latter saw that I am leaning too. Our sash saw is filed with fleam so that it cuts great as a crosscut saw but also is primarily a fast cutting rip saw. So it works perfectly for tenons and shoulders. It also works fine for dovetails, although since it is heavy deep saw it is harder to control for smaller dovetails and I am worried that some people starting out might have a longer learning curve. That being said of course once you get the hang of this saw using a smaller saw will be much easier and for those customers who started with the sash saw we haven't had any complaints (and we take everything back anyway if you don't like it).
When I asked the folks in my shop which saw we should recommend the sash saw won hands down.
So I am switching my recommendation. For your first saw get a Gramercy Tool sash saw. For you second get either a Gramercy Tools Bow Saw, or a Gramercy Tools dovetail saw. You can also get the two back saws as a set with a little discount. Of course to save money all the saws are available as kits, although the sash saw uses a closed handle which is a little harder to make.
Anyway that's my story and I am sticking with it.
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