Reply by ColonelTravis

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Posted on Looking at LN dovetails saws

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1976 posts in 2461 days

#1 posted 10-03-2018 01:39 AM

AG – since you asked about a Japanese saw for dovetails, after many recommendations for the Gyokucho 372, I bought one and it’s all I use now for those.

I used to saw with the non-tapered L-N dovetail saw and still have it. After trying the Japanese saw, I found it suited me better as far as the mechanical action of sawing goes. I have one more Japanese saw for crosscuts, otherwise I have no other Japanese tools.

This is why I prefer the 372 for dovetails:

1.) More narrow kerf
2.) Greater TPI. I believe it’s 19 vs. 15 for the L-N.
3.) Cutting on the pull stroke helps me, initially, to follow a straight line right on the line. It’s a subtle difference and maybe it’s psychological, I don’t know. All I know is that I can do it better. Actually, this becomes more of an issue with crosscutting wider boards vs. dovetails. I mean following a line on the top, not one going down the side.

Yes, you will have to replace blades instead of resharpening them. But you will have to go through 5 blades to finally top the cost of the L-N saw (which is close to $140 when you throw in shipping), which will definitely last more than one user’s lifetime. But your own lifetime? I don’t know how old you are now, but if you started as a teenager and cut dovetails regularly for 75 years with a Japanese saw – yeah, you would be spending more than the L-N saw. And you won’t have a family heirloom when you’re dead. I’m not gonna run into that problem because I don’t cut dovetails every day or every week or even every month and I don’t have kids. After three years I’m still on my first blade, I don’t see any signs of it being dull.

Anyway, I’ve never heard anyone say the L-N saw was bad. I’m not saying that, either. All I’m saying is that I found one that was better for me. A Japanese saw might not be the best thing for you.

Are you around any L-N event when they tour the country? They bring everything and you can try everything, I highly recommend going to one if you’re gonna spend that kind of money on their tools and can’t get to Maine. I’ve found out after trying stuff that I liked certain tools I never thought I’d like and disliked others I thought I would like. Either way, I’ve ended up poorer after it was over. I love L-N.

Ooops – just remembered you’re in Alaska. Idiot <—- me. I doubt any L-N event comes closer to you than Seattle.

Good luck!

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