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Fret saw.. size?

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Forum topic by Northern83 posted 05-20-2019 10:08 AM 533 views 0 times favorited 34 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Northern83

5 posts in 44 days


05-20-2019 10:08 AM

I am looking at the Knew Concepts Fret saws for sawing out the waste on dovetails.

I was wondering what size is really needed? On both long and short bords.

Is there a need for any deeper then a 3” saw in your opinion?


34 replies so far

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Rich

4484 posts in 979 days


#1 posted 05-20-2019 03:11 PM

It depends on how far into the board you need to be able to cut. What I mean is that if you are working along the edge of a board like you might cutting waste for dovetails, the size of saw doesn’t matter since you can swivel the blade 45º or 90º and cut waste for an unlimited width board. Obviously getting down into the middle of a board is limited by the size of the saw.

I have the 5” Mk IV with lever tension and swivel blade clamps which makes it a snap to swivel the blade back and forth for any sort of cuts. The swivel clamps lock every 45º.

I believe the lever tension is standard on the Mk IV. The swivel clamps is an upgrade I’d not want to be without for the type of work I do.

It’s an amazing saw that you’ll love. You can pull so much tension and get perfectly straight cuts.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

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SMP

1042 posts in 295 days


#2 posted 05-20-2019 03:38 PM

After doing research and watching a Matt Estlea video on the choices, I decided on the same one Rich mentions. In reality, I haven’t needed more than the 3”, and you could technically bend the blades to do the swivel, but for an extra $5 or $10 when spending that much on a fret saw, its kind of a no brainer for the extra functionality and options.

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Andre

2621 posts in 2195 days


#3 posted 05-20-2019 04:21 PM

I bought the Fret saw, and yes amazing saw! Tried the saw to remove dovetail waste and really didn’t enjoy it.
I like to chop out the waste? That said wish I had got the Coping saw instead as it never fails that time comes when an extra 1/2” is needed, think it happened very soon after getting the saw!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

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Derek Cohen

448 posts in 4358 days


#4 posted 05-24-2019 03:00 PM



I bought the Fret saw, and yes amazing saw! Tried the saw to remove dovetail waste and really didn t enjoy it.
I like to chop out the waste? That said wish I had got the Coping saw instead as it never fails that time comes when an extra 1/2” is needed, think it happened very soon after getting the saw!

- Andre

Tell me again that you prefer chopping dovetails after 50 pins and 50 tails in hard maple.

There is a technique to using a Knew Concept, or other, fretsaw: As with a dovetail saw, the fretsaw must be held as lightly as possible. Never force the cut. Let the saw do the work. A way of determining how you are doing is to watch the blade – it should hardly deflect. You should be rewarded with a fairly straight saw cut.

Regards from Perth

Derek

-- Buildiing furniture, and reviewing and building tools at http://www.inthewoodshop.com

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Andre

2621 posts in 2195 days


#5 posted 05-24-2019 03:16 PM

Tell me again that you prefer chopping dovetails after 50 pins and 50 tails in hard maple.

Well? maybe if I had that many??? Naw, still find hand chopping relaxing, too bad I only get to the “okay” stage on the last set!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

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therealSteveN

2826 posts in 963 days


#6 posted 05-25-2019 02:19 AM

Well using a fret saw has a slight learning curve, but then so does chopping out waste. Whichever you want to put your energies into works. Or do both.

As Derek said the fret needs a light touch, and you must allow the saw to do the work. Lee’s saws are so well balanced they really do a lot of the work for you, but there is a learning curve.

I bought the Coping saw

After several years with it I wish I had gotten the 3 inch Fret with all the features. But 8 years ago, I’m not sure Lee was making that saw.

Thinking along the lines of getting the Ferrari, rather than the minivan. But that’s just me.

-- Think safe, be safe

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Derek Cohen

448 posts in 4358 days


#7 posted 05-25-2019 04:01 AM


Well using a fret saw has a slight learning curve, but then so does chopping out waste. Whichever you want to put your energies into works. Or do both.

As Derek said the fret needs a light touch, and you must allow the saw to do the work. Lee s saws are so well balanced they really do a lot of the work for you, but there is a learning curve.

I bought the Coping saw

After several years with it I wish I had gotten the 3 inch Fret with all the features. But 8 years ago, I m not sure Lee was making that saw.

Thinking along the lines of getting the Ferrari, rather than the minivan. But that s just me.

- therealSteveN

Lee was making the 3” version back then. Lee and I spent a good bit of time discussing the fretsaw design. I am not sure if you are aware that it was my input here that brought the KC fretsaw to production for woodworkers. Up until that time, Lee did not even know how to saw a dovetail! :) The story is here: http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ToolReviews/KnewConceptsFretsaw.html

Here are the depths that the 3”, 5”, and 8” saws can work at 45 degrees …

These are photos by Lee when we were discussing this issue. My recommendation has long been for a 3” saw for woodworkers, which makes an aluminium body more rigid and lighter. As it happens, I have several 5” titanium bodies and no 3”!

Here is another article I wrote: http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ToolReviews/KnewConceptsBirdcageFretsaw.html

Regards from Perth

Derek

-- Buildiing furniture, and reviewing and building tools at http://www.inthewoodshop.com

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therealSteveN

2826 posts in 963 days


#8 posted 05-25-2019 04:30 AM

Derek, I knew you had been a tester with Lee, and knew him. Didn’t realize it was to that extent. He’s such a good guy though, easy to want to help him out. He’s in Cali right? A long distance project.

I think I first met him at the 2nd WIA, the first one in Cinci. I had already seen the saws, and was on the fence because of price. I got to use a red Aluminum one, and a Titanium one, and bought the Red one. I like that saw as much as any handsaw I own, but I do think I would like the smaller, lighter 3” fret.

-- Think safe, be safe

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Derek Cohen

448 posts in 4358 days


#9 posted 05-25-2019 04:33 AM

Steve, sadly Lee passed away a couple of years ago. The company has continued under the helm of Brian Meeks, who was responsible for the Bird Cage design. Lee was one-of-a-kind, a man with a huge heart and passion he freely shared. I do miss him.

Regards from Perth

Derek

-- Buildiing furniture, and reviewing and building tools at http://www.inthewoodshop.com

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Rich

4484 posts in 979 days


#10 posted 05-25-2019 05:15 AM


Steve, sadly Lee passed away a couple of years ago.

- Derek Cohen

Sad story.

-- Knowledge is not skill. Knowledge plus ten thousand times is skill. -- Shinichi Suzuki

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Derek Cohen

448 posts in 4358 days


#11 posted 05-25-2019 12:41 PM

I took a couple of minutes to make a short video using a Knew Concepts fretsaw to remove the waste from pins. The wood is 20mm thick Hard Maple (as in my first photo, above). These are mitred through dovetails for the carcase of a side table with drawers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6O4rY_0zQs&feature=youtu.be

Regards from Perth

Derek

-- Buildiing furniture, and reviewing and building tools at http://www.inthewoodshop.com

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SMP

1042 posts in 295 days


#12 posted 05-25-2019 04:03 PM



I took a couple of minutes to make a short video using a Knew Concepts fretsaw to remove the waste from pins. The wood is 20mm thick Hard Maple (as in my first photo, above). These are mitred through dovetails for the carcase of a side table with drawers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6O4rY_0zQs&feature=youtu.be

Regards from Perth

Derek

- Derek Cohen

Thanks for this. I kind of want to get a 3” for dovetails and an 8” for luthier work. But the price for 2 is kind of steep.

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Aj2

2271 posts in 2187 days


#13 posted 05-25-2019 04:08 PM

So what the difference between a fret saw and a coping saw . Is it a different blade ?
I just a craftsman coping saw that I use for saw out waste.
I use Olsen blades in my coping saw I don’t think I’m falling short but one never knows. :)

-- Aj

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Derek Cohen

448 posts in 4358 days


#14 posted 05-25-2019 04:23 PM


So what the difference between a fret saw and a coping saw . Is it a different blade ?
I just a craftsman coping saw that I use for saw out waste.
I use Olsen blades in my coping saw I don’t think I’m falling short but one never knows. :)

- Aj2

AJ2, the coping saw is larger than the fretsaw, as is the blade. Importantly, the blade is wider and usually thicker. It cannot turn as tightly as the fretsaw. This means that it needs to take two cuts to the single cut of the fresaw. It is less efficient, as a result.

Regards from Perth

Derek

-- Buildiing furniture, and reviewing and building tools at http://www.inthewoodshop.com

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Manitario

2755 posts in 3272 days


#15 posted 05-25-2019 04:25 PM

I have the 3” and the 8”...the 8” never gets used. Go with the 3” version, if you are just doing dovetails, you’ll never need the 8”.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

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