Popular Woodworking 2002-12 № 131, страница 31

Popular Woodworking 2002-12 № 131, страница 31


Lie-Nielsen's Backsaws Cut Extraordinarily Fast and True

Most woodworkers know Lie-Nielsen Toolworks for its line of premium hand planes. But in recent years, the company has begun making Western-style backsaws that are good enough to make you put away that dozuki.

All of the saws feature a solid milled brass back, hardened steel blades and curly maple handles that are patterned from 19 th century saws - back when we knew how to make a proper saw handle. The saws are sharp out of the box, an annoying problem with some other brands we have used.

In use, all the Lie-Nielsen saws work as well as any Japanese saw I've tried. They track a straight line effortlessly, create a small kerf and cut with minimal downward pressure. Compared to premium Japanese saws, the Lie-Nielsens take just a few minutes more to master, but the teeth are more durable and can be resharpened easily and inexpensively. I personally prefer the pistol-grip of the Lie-Nielsen over the wrapped bamboo straight handle of Asian saws. (If you prefer a straight handle, Lie-Nielsen offers it on two dovetail saws and a crosscut saw.)

The dovetail saw is pure joy to use. It's filed with rip teeth (many others on the market have crosscut teeth), has 15 ppi (points or teeth per inch) and cuts quickly and cleanly. The carcass saw is a little bigger, has 14 ppi and is filed with crosscut teeth. It is aggressive but doesn't tear out the wood, even with stringy species such as oak.

Lie-Nielsen's biggest backsaw of them all,

Lie-Nielsen Hand Saws

Dovetail saw: $125 Carcass saw: $137 Tenon saws: $155 to $175 "Hand-cut Dovetails" video: $20 Performance: ••••• Value: •••◦◦ Lie-Nielsen Toolworks: 800-327-2520 or lie-nielsen.com

can be purchased with rip or crosscut teeth and is capable of deep and accurate cuts.

And if all this sounds interesting, but you are still intimidated, Lie-Nielsen also offers an outstanding video for $20 that walks you though the process of hand-cutting dovetails. Hosted by Rob Cosman, Lie-Nielsen's Canadian distributor and an excellent craftsman, this video is aimed at helping the beginning woodworker cut airtight through-dovetails. It's a good reference even if you already own a dovetail saw.

Aficionados of vintage tools might scoff at the price of these new backsaws ($125 to $175), and contend that a vintage Disston backsaw can be found for half that money -or less. If you want to spend your time searching for tools, learning to remove rust, fixing bent blades and filing new teeth, then by all means hit the flea markets. But if you'd rather spend your time in the shop cutting dovetails and tenons, these saws are for you.

There are more hand saws in the works from Lie-Nielsen, including a panel and rip saw. High-quality Western-style saws are back, and they're worth a serious look. PW — Christopher Schwarz

the tenon saw, comes in a 12" or 14" model, For more information, circle #138 on Free Information Card.

In case you weren't aware, Jet Tools (jet-tools.com) is much more than just Jet. It's part of the WMH Tool Group, and that includes Powermatic, Performax and Wilton. We recently had a chance to see three impressive products from these sister companies that you should be on the lookout for in the next few months.

Jet's SuperSaw - Part of a growing category, this 13/4 hp hybrid table saw is not quite a contractor saw and not quite a cabinet saw. The motor is suspended inside the enclosed cabinet, but the trunnions are still mounted to the top,similar to a contractor saw. Also included are an optional sliding table that replaces the left wing, an adjustable-location power switch and a completely enclosed dust-collection system. Pretty clever. Pricing at $849 without the sliding table (for the 30" version, but also available in a 52" version), and about $1,200 with the sliding table.

Powermatic's 14" Band Saw - A traditional 14" cast iron band saw with the optional 6" riser block, Powermatic has loaded this saw with all the goodies.A 11/2 hp motor, oversized cast iron table with "filler" plate between the post and table, standard bearing guides with up-front adjustments, a blower to remove dust from the cut, a quick-release tension lever for easier blade changing, nine-spoke heavy-duty wheels, a gooseneck light, rip fence and deluxe miter gauge. All this selling for $850 or so. Nice package.

Performax's 12" Drum Sander - This machine is so new we saw only a prototype. Performax is responding to the small shop owner with a 12" single-drum sander, priced less than $500. The open-end machine will be able to handle a 23" board in two passes, but it will take up no more room than a standard benchtop planer.

32 Popular Woodworking December 2002

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