Dovetail Saw and Bit Driver for the Winter 2017 Tool Swap

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Project by AgentTwitch posted 02-11-2017 03:17 PM 3656 views 3 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the swap tool set I made for ki7hy for the Fall/Winter 2016 Lumberjock’s surprise swap. It is a 9-inch dovetail saw with about 2-inch depth of cut. The saw plate is .020-inch spring steel, 15 points per inch, filed rip cut. There is about a 1/8-inch to 3/16-inch taper to the plate. The tote is modeled after the Kenyon dovetail saw, a mid 19th century pattern that I printed from The wood is 7/8-inch thick curly maple. I finished it with several coats of boiled linseed oil that was cut 50% with mineral spirits. The final coats of finish are polycrylic and wax.

The saw back is milled C360 bar stock (I like the extra weight it adds) that has a bullnose and light chamfers to soften the look. The brass split nuts were purchased from Alamo saw works in Texas.

I included a small bonus item, a multi-bit screw driver made out of wormy apple with brass ferrule. The worm holes were filled with epoxy. The handle is finished similarly to the saw tote. This screw driver was inspired by the Lie-Nielsen version using the same hardware, but a different handle pattern and wood species. The bits are made by Wera in the Czech Republic. The bits include: #1 and #2 Phillips, #1 and #2 Square, 5.5mm and 6.5mm Slotted bits. Driver tips are hardened to Rockwell 54-56. The screw driver will accept any other standard 1/4” shank bits. The bits are held in place with a very strong magnet.

These LJ Swaps are a lot of fun! If you have been watching, but afraid to participate, I would encourage you to give it a try. Thanks again, Dave for running the swap!

-- Regards, Norm

18 comments so far

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1173 posts in 4028 days

#1 posted 02-11-2017 03:38 PM

Lovely work! Dave has no excuse if his next project isn’t full of dovetails.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View bobasaurus's profile


3749 posts in 4681 days

#2 posted 02-11-2017 03:54 PM

That is a really impressive saw and driver. Where did you find a tapered plate?

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View AgentTwitch's profile


631 posts in 4993 days

#3 posted 02-11-2017 04:01 PM

Allen, I use tin snips and clean it up with a file. Works pretty well for me.

-- Regards, Norm

View Kelster58's profile


759 posts in 2037 days

#4 posted 02-11-2017 04:11 PM

That is beautiful work. Any wood worker would treasure those pieces. Heirloom quality pieces. Great job !

-- K. Stone “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin

View waho6o9's profile


9203 posts in 4074 days

#5 posted 02-11-2017 04:41 PM

Excellent work Norm!

View Handtooler's profile


1628 posts in 3629 days

#6 posted 02-11-2017 06:06 PM

Two very beautifully crafted woodworker’s tools by you for a deserving LJ. I’m quite sure he’ll really find great use for them.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343 [email protected]

View AgentTwitch's profile


631 posts in 4993 days

#7 posted 02-11-2017 06:15 PM

Thanks everyone!

-- Regards, Norm

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4363 days

#8 posted 02-11-2017 11:19 PM

These are beautiful!

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View 489tad's profile


4159 posts in 4508 days

#9 posted 02-12-2017 12:06 AM

Fantastic looking tools! I know he’s loving them.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View JayT's profile


6460 posts in 3708 days

#10 posted 02-12-2017 02:21 AM

You are getting really good at making those saws, Norm. I’m sure Dave is going to get great use out of it and the driver, too.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View jeffswildwood's profile


5159 posts in 3474 days

#11 posted 02-12-2017 11:51 AM

Norm that is a beautiful set. I can’t even imagine making my own saw but you have it down. Great job!

I went to the TGIAG site, what a wealth of information. Thanks for sharing!

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View HokieKen's profile


22023 posts in 2635 days

#12 posted 02-13-2017 01:43 PM

Killer set Norm. That saw is gorgeous! Dave scored on this one ;-)

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View AgentTwitch's profile


631 posts in 4993 days

#13 posted 02-13-2017 04:02 PM

Thanks, Charles, Dan, Jay, Jeff and Kenny!

Jeff, saw making isn’t hard. Buy a kit or a crown gents saw and some split nuts. Pretty fun shop project in my opinion.

-- Regards, Norm

View KelleyCrafts's profile


5361 posts in 2236 days

#14 posted 02-14-2017 03:04 AM

I missed seeing this posted. The pics don’t do it justice, that curly is amazing! Saw cuts smooth as silk and the little screwdriver was used all last weekend constantly because it’s handily living in my apron now. Love it. Thank you again Norm! TOP NOTCH. That saw will be used for my lifetime of dovetails going forward and I have a lot of years left. My next hand tool only project looks to be a jewelry cabinet for the wife. It’ll take me awhile but this saw will have its part. Can’t wait.

-- Dave - - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

View KelleyCrafts's profile


5361 posts in 2236 days

#15 posted 02-14-2017 03:08 AM

Lovely work! Dave has no excuse if his next project isn t full of dovetails.

- Mark Kornell

I definitely am not afraid to hand cut some dovetails. In fact that’s the only way I know. I’ve never used a router or jig or whatever they sell out there. I don’t post many projects but that chest of mine in the project section was like 60 plus dovetails or something. I used my jap saw for those but the next one I do will be with this saw. Actually the original box I made for the swap had dovetails from this saw but I ruined the box with my Stanley 45 so I went with a different option unfortunately.

-- Dave - - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

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