Trouble with dovetail saw


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    Brett Ryan

    I am pretty new and am slowly getting tools on eBay, that I’m finding hard in Australia.

    Anyway, I purchased this little dovetail saw which I have cleaned up and love it. I don’t yet own a vice or a proper workbench so sharpening was very difficult clamping to the top of the table and filing upside down, I do realise I’m going to have to recut them when I finally get my workbench sorted.

    The problem I do have though is when I make a cut I’m finding this saw really wants to curve in on the front face while the back remains straight, causing the saw plat to eventually twist then bind. No matter what I do I can’t keep it straight. The saw plat looks nice and flat.

    When I received this saw the plat was loose on the handle, after removing the handle I found that the prior owner had drilled holes next to the original holes. I tightened this up by tapping the brass back slightly higher as to make the handle fit tighter, could this be the cause of my issue? If so, what can I do to repair the plat? I thought of moving the handle to the opposite side but that would be such a shame to have two nasty looking holes on the toe end.

    M W

    It sounds like you may have too much set on the teeth and the brass spine is not tight against the blade. This spine should tightly grip the blade, if it is loose, it will allow the plate to flex.


    Did you try it before you sharpened it?

    Brett Ryan

    Hi guys, thanks for your help.

    I tried the saw when I recieved it after just cutting back the rust with steel wool. At that point it was barely cutting, more like brushing over the wood tearing more than penetrating.

    There’s actually no set to the teeth yet. I’m avoiding setting at the moment as I need to recut when I’m properly setup to do so. Some teeth have larger gullets than others. I don’t have good eyesight to see but could it be that some of the teeths chisel point is not perpendicular to the blade? As in the file was held skewed to one plate side?

    I’ll see if the spine is loose, it’s possible I caused this when attempting to tighten the handle on the plate.


    I was thinking when you filed the teeth sideways you got some cut different and with the set already in the saw it is cutting crooked.
    When you get it sharpened and trued up it should be a good outfit. Paul also has a new video out where he uses a mini hacksaw to help with the gullets.
    Whatever you do ,when you get it going you will be good at saw sharpening. We got faith in you.
    If you have a long clamp you cou.ld clamp it between two boards on the edge of the table.
    And if you are not using the wife’s table you could screw a board to the edge then screw another too it squeeze the saw between then you could set down eye to eye with it ..

    Brett Ryan

    Thanks Dean.

    Today I used a non sharpenable tenon saw and it did the same thing. I think it must be me and the way I’m sawing, I’m so careful I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, boo.

    I don’t have confidence yet, I’m wondering if it’s my vision playing tricks on me. I am blind in my left eye and my right one shakes and I have tunnel vision, means I have no deoth perception. I think I need to practice a lot.

    Hugo Notti

    You can check the saw with a straight edge, to make sure, it is straight. With no set, the teeth should be aligned perfectly, you can check that too. If these things are eliminated as the cause, it remains you.

    Look for Paul Sellers videos and blog entries about sawing. There are very few basic things to know, to get to a fairly straight cut. A bit of excercise and you are there.

    Good luck, have fun!


    david steward

    I to have a problem with a T.Saw i purchased on E.B. A 12 inch Steel backed S&Jackson the teeth were in very poor condition i filed the blade flat for a re cut gave it to a reputable saw doctor here in Brisbane Australia i was told it is too old & brittle several teeth had snapped during the process. can this problem be rectified. ?

    Thanking you
    Dave Steward.

    Dave. 1950.

    Brett Ryan

    I didn’t know steel could be too old. Did you try to recut yourself using the P.S. method or just from the saw doctor?

    I’m thinking the problem I’m having is actually me and the fact that I stand too close because I need to stand that close to actually see.

    I actually did some tests by standing further back and not looking as I saw. It turns out that if I do this I cut much straighter, if I stand close it bends in towards my body at the front but not the back, and I believe this would be the action my arm is taking while pushing the saw.

    I’ve ordered some magnifying head gear to see if that will help and am awaiting for its arrival and tests to report back on.


    When you get your magnifiers let us know how
    They help. I have heard mixed reviews. I too am blind as a bat

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