Popular Woodworking 2009-04 № 175, страница 22

Popular Woodworking 2009-04 № 175, страница 22

Tool Test

BY THE POPULAR WOODWORKING STAFF

Veritas Dovetail Saw

New saw design opens the door to hand sawing.

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ne of the thrills of woodworking is learning a new technique and adding a new skill. Many new skills require a new tool, and the cost ofthe tool can become a stumbling block. The ability to saw by hand was taken for granted by our grandfathers. One ofthe reasons for that was the availability of decent tools at affordable prices.

Thirty years ago, there simply wasn't a new, decent quality Western-style saw available at any price. If you wanted to learn how to saw by hand, your best bet was a Japanese saw. These were sharp and usable out ofthe box, but they cut on the pull stroke instead ofthe push. Would Japanese cars be as popular as they are if they were only available with the steering wheel on the right?

Small toolmakers have since filled the gap with Western saws made the old-lashioned way, and many a woodworker has since had an epiphany about sawing. It isn't that hard if you have a good tool. But the price for switching on that light bulb in your brain is out of reach for some. Handmade saws that retail for more than S100 are actually well worth it and a good value - if you know how to use a saw and what to look for when you go to buy one.

Simple connection. A single bolt connects the handle to the spine and blade - a cost-effective solution to a labor-intensive process.

If you've thought about taking up sawing joints by hand, and price has been holding you back, you can now start sawing- or look for a new excuse. Veritas has recently introduced a new dovetail saw that performs nearly as well as any other, and at about half the price.

The key to t his is some serious design work with an eye to streamlining the manufacturing process, thus reducing the cost. This isn't valueengineeringorcheapeningaproduct.lt is starting from the ground up with new ideas about making an old tool.

The most obvious difference between this saw and traditional designs is the spine and the way it attaches :o the blade and the handle. What appears to be black plastic where brass or steel ought to be is actually a high-tech material composed of s:ainless steel powder, glass fiber and a polymer resin. The metal gives it heft, the fibers make it stiff and the resin holds it all together.

The spine isovermolded to the blade and to a stainless steel mounting bolt for the handle, making a complicated assembly essentially one piece. A single bolt runs up from the bottom of the bubinga handle, similar to the way a plane tote is attached. When you pick the saw up it feels right; the weight and balance

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are what you would expect in a well-made dovetail saw.

The 14-points-per-inch rip blade (made in Japan) is9V4"-longand .020" thick with .003" of set on each side. The rake angle is 14° and the included angle is 60°. One ofthe drawbacks to mass-market Japanese pull saws is the induction hardening ofthe blades; they're brittle and can't be resharpened. Among the Veritas specifications is the hardness; these saws can be resharpened by the owner with a file.

Of course the proof is in the using, and this isa nice saw. It cutsclean, stayson trackand is easy to start. It strikes a nice balance between aggressive cuttingand leaving a smooth surface. 1 like it and would recommend it, especially to someone new to sawing.

The price point makes it an easy purchase, and the quality and performance place it far beyond what might be expected of an entry-level tool. Hats off to Veritas for innovative engineering and thoughtful design.

—Robert W. Lang

30 ■ Popular Woodworking April 2009

PHOTOS BY Al PAMtfSH

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