Reply by AlaskaGuy

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Posted on Looking at LN dovetails saws

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5442 posts in 2873 days

#1 posted 10-03-2018 01:51 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 – 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.

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.

Good luck!

- ColonelTravis

Thanks, I knew someone would jog my memory on which Japanese saw I wanted. I remember that saw recommend a few times before but couldn’t remember which one it was. So, I’m going to go with the 372 and see how it goes before ordering a saw from LN>

BTW I haven’t done a lot of hand cut dovetail but the need are finally arrived that if I am to ever finish my current project I really need to learn to do hand cut 1/2 blind dovetails

Thank you sir!

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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