We did a lot of research before deciding on the specific design of the Gramercy Tools
dovetail saw. We wanted a hand-filed and hand-set saw for the smoothest action,
a fine toothed saw for fast,
smooth cuts, and we wanted to file it rip so it would cut dovetails cleanly. And after
considerable research and testing, it became apparent we also wanted a light saw and a
canted blade (narrower at the toe than at the heel) for easy control that would enable you
to work for hours without being hunched over the work.
We figured out that most modern saws, even ones sold as dovetail saws, were copied from
antiques that were used for general work, not dovetailing, and that a real 18th century
dovetail saw would make dovetailing much, much easier - even if you have never cut a
dovetail by hand before. We found most of the modern higher-end saws are just too heavy, and the
cost was in the wood, not in the proper hand setting and sharpening.
This saw has a 9" blade which is canted for ease of use. Near the handle the blade has a
usable cutting depth of only 1.3", and at the toe it's 1.2". The handle is
American Black Walnut. We needed a wood that would not warp over time and was light so that the handle
doesn't influence the cut.
We considered Beech, another very traditional handle wood too, but unless the beech is quarter sawn,
it's not a stable enough for a handle and could bend over time. Walnut is a solid, light, stable wood
that we also like because it's locally available, and not an exotic rain-forest wood. Heavier saws
and heavier handles feel more solid in the hand, but the extra weight influences the cut and makes
the saw harder to control, especially on slanted cuts. We like the look of some of the fancier woods
(and people use almost everything for saw handles), but we felt that performance was
paramount so we stuck with walnut.
The handle is small and light for a three finger grip and is cranked up so that you can
work with a natural swing to your stroke, near to the work so that you can see what you
are doing (no more crouching and squinting).
The 19ppi, blade is made of .018" thick 1095, a hard carbon tool steel of about 50-52rc.
The thinner stock means a lighter saw and a narrower kerf - less material to remove means
it's easier to use. The teeth are hammer set and hand-filed so that we could use an
aggressive cut. With the hammer setting, we could get a crisp bend in the teeth without
distorting the saw plate above it, which would interfere with the cutting action. There is about .003" of set on a side but it varies slightly depending on how aggressive the saw was filed. The rest of the specifications on the blade are: zero rake angle, and a very little bit of fleam introduced by hand-filing. The hand-filing also means you'll still have a very smooth action that is easy to start. We take
the trouble of hand-filing because we think it makes a big difference.
We think the Gramercy Tools dovetail saw is a pretty saw with a lot of extra detailing
that makes it something special, but its performance is what counts. We even added a
decorative saw etch just for fun.
Instructions on using the saw are included.
Made in USA. .
If you have a special piece of wood you'd like to use for the handle, or if you want a
custom shaped handle, you might want to consider our dovetail saw kit, which contains all the metal parts of the saw. See below for the link with the details.
The Gramercy Tools dovetail saw, just like all 18th century saws, uses split nuts to
attach the blade to the handle. With variations in the weather it's not uncommon for a
saw handle to loosen up over the seasons. A split nut driver was a standard toolbox tool
in the last century and before for easy tightening of the saw. We're therefore offering a
split nut driver with a 1/4" hex drive at a very nominal cost for use with our saw.
Your saw should stay sharp for many years, but at some point it might need sharpening.
It is not hard to do but it takes practice. We recommend a long Swiss needle file for
sharpening (see below for link). We also stock saw sets. However, this saw, because of
its fine teeth, is not a good saw on which to learn. if you do not already have some
expertise, we recommend that you first learn to sharpen larger-tooth saws. We will also
be offering a saw sharpening service at a nominal charge in the near future.
POPULAR WOODWORKING 2007 Best New Tools
"We've put this saw in the hands of several dozen woodworkers, and many report that the handle is more comfortable than any other they've used. Perhaps even more telling, we know several woodworkers who abandoned their Japanese saws in favor of the Gramercy - high praise indeed." - Popular Woodworking - November 2007
The Gramercy really is a thing of beauty, and works superbly well: its lack of weight and the super-slim grip certainly give the feeling of more control...this light, thin-bladed saw pips its dovetail rivals. (Five out of five stars.) - Good Woodworking Magazine
We have gotten a lot of wonderful comments from users. Here's one:
"Before receiving my Gramercy dovetail saw, I seem to remember thinking that it was not exactly cheap. After cutting several perfect kerfs with
it right out of the box, I realized that it is a magical saw whose value
is not to be reckoned in muggle money.
The design, execution, and the resulting performance of this saw is
astonishing. I congratulate you and your accomplices heartily and even
though I could go on for some time in this mode, I distinctly hear a
dovetail saw calling."- J. Allen - Customer