Reshaping dovetail saw teeth

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • Author
  • #707861
    Chris Gray

    I recently acquired a vintage dovetail saw that’s about 12 tpi. It has nice even teeth but they are sharpened in a crosscut pattern. I’d like to change that to a rip pattern, but I’m not sure how to do that. Should I grind the teeth almost all the way down so that just the gullets remain? Or should I just sharpen as normal and let the teeth take shape over the course of a few sharpenings?

    Joost Borst

    Just sharpen it as normal, did that to my saws to turn them into a rip cut. It can be bit hard to keep the file aligned as it tries to follow the shape of the saw teeth.

    Benoît Van Noten

    didn’t read the question correctly

    Andrew Sinclair

    12 tpi is quite coarse for dovetails. You could recut at 16 if it turns out to be an issue. Handy in imperial: 1/16” spacings obvs.

    If so I recommend the vallorbe/grobet needle files, a suggestion I got from Blackburn Tools’ website, theyre excelllent. Havent used them to retooth, but I find them a fair bit better than Bahco 4” xx slims for my dovetail saws.


    I cut mine at 14 tpi and find that’s just right for me. You’ll have to flatten the teeth and cut in new ones, sellers has done a good video on how to do it on youtube.

    Dave Ring

    Saw files are expensive and retoothing saws will eat them up quickly.

    In this case, since the teeth are nice and even already, I’d recommend living with the current 12 TPI spacing. Joint the teeth if necessary. File the teeth straight across to eliminate fleam. Set the teeth if they need it. (They probably won’t.) If you need the saw to cut more agressively you can go back and refile the teeth with less rake.

    Then if you aren’t satisfied you can do something more radical: either retoothing or simply buying a saw with more TPI.

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.