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Thread: Custom Dovetail Saw (PIP)

  1. #1

    Custom Dovetail Saw (PIP)

    This is way too early in the game to be putting pictures on the net, but Alan DuBoff insisted so here goes. Just keep in mind that this dovetail saw is still in the most earliest of stages and I have no idea what I am doing really.

    This is a picture of the blade and spline.Both are made of stainless steel. I kicked the end of it towards the handle by 45 just to give the saw a different look, and because I could. I am not sure if this is going to be an issue down the road or not. I don't think so.

    What might bean issue is the narrow spline. I thought it was wide, but I forgot this is imported German made stainless steel. The spline is actually in mm and around .400 wide. This might be too narrow for the 3 wide blade that is 14 inches long?

    Obviously being a presentation saw this is going to be a polished stainless saw. As for the handle I kicked around some ideas. Apple, cherry, and and highly figured wood like birds eye ash or maple got some thoughts, but now I am steering towards Staghorn Sumac.

    What?

    Well this saw is going to be in a case, and Staghorn Sumac glows in the dark when you put a blacklight in there. Since its in a case, I could have a mini black light and I think the greenish-yellowish glow of the handle would look cool with the polished stainless steel? Staghorn Sumac is also something I grow on my woodlot so I can obtain it easily. Still a thought in process on that one though. The handle is a HUGE part of a saw,especially a presentation saw so I am still mulling the handle idea of Sumac over.(Strength, looks,etc)

    Other ideas for this are a trick handle. A "knob" if you will that will hold a scribe. The scribe will be bored into the handle...with the handle of the scribe looking just like an extension of the handle itself, until you pull it out of its bore by tugging against the magnetics that hold it in place. Not surprisingly my stainless steel fetish rears its ugly head again here too, with the scribe being made of stainless except for the inner hilt of the scribe. That would be carbon steel just to give the magnetics something to bite onto.

    The last part, the split-nuts will be very mundane. Polished stainless steel, but nothing trick to them.Well enough blabbing, here is what I got so far:

    Last edited by Travis Johnson; 02-29-2008 at 10:52 AM.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  2. #2

    Update:Handle

    Well today we are getting pounded with 12-16 inches of snow. With nothing to do really, and the state pretty much shut down. I headed out in the shop and turned my attention to the handle of this saw.

    In the last post I mulled making the handle out of Staghorn Sumac and some other woods, but here is the deal. With Sumac I would have to cut the tree down, saw it into lumber,dry it and then work it all up...and that is with a tree that is very poisonous...like poison oak. Pretty hard to do all that when you got some nice Crab Apple in the solar kiln and has been air dried for two years. That is a long way of saying, I got lazy.

    So I used Crab Apple. I am not a big fan of this wood as it seems to lack character and figure, but it is hard. Actually hard is an understatement. The wood drills, sands and cuts like steel,so it makes a great wood to use in a handle. Anyway this is what I got done so far on this stainless steel dovetail saw. I still got a long ways to go, but its at least starting to look like a saw



    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Mountain Home, Arkansas
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    Nothing to fault there. Your second post came before I hollered about the Sumac toxicity thing. Would be real bad on some folks hands. Worse if they rubbed their eyes or licked their fingers after using it.
    I didn't know about the hardness thing with Crabapple. Will have to keep my eyes open for some. In fact, I think I have a hunk in the garage drying.

  4. #4
    I've been reading up on Presentation Tools some, and while they were never designed for real work, everything I read says they show a surprising amount of wear on them. Its almost as if the owner says "I wonder if this thing really works," and tries it out.

    For that reason alone I feel compelled to make something that works, even if it is for show. One thing I plan on doing with this saw is making a test cut with it, then placing that piece of wood inside the case so the first piece of wood it ever cut, and the saw, will always be together. That would be neat I think, to have the two together say 200 years from now.

    Your point about Sumac is well taken. I have a pretty high tolerance for toxic woods, but you are absolutely right, it would not be appropriate for a tool that was made to be placed in someones hand.

    As for your Crab Apple Frank, I never thought of this until you said it,but I have apiece of Orange Wood given to me by a local turner.He said it was too hard for him. Maybe I should have used that instead. Should've, could've, would've...oh these things drive you crazy some times.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  5. #5
    I got a little more done on my saw today....

    Actually I did not spend a whole lot of time on the actual saw, but I did make some big changes. I decided the overall length of the saw was way too much. As you gripped the handle, the saw blade kind of reverberated, or something we called resonance on the railroad. Anyway I set about changing that. I lopped off about 6 inches on the saw and what a difference that made. Now when you grip the saw, the blade is rock solid, and the overall proportions of the saw look better to me anyway.

    Another slight change, but big overall impact was cutting away part of the saw handle so that it fit into that 45 section of the blade better. Before it just kind of stuck out there and looked goofy. Now the handle itself and the blade spline merge together better.

    Other then a bit of polishing on the blade up to 220 grit, I did very little else to the saw itself. I did do a bit of sanding on the saw handle, but those burn marks (common in Apple) are very frustrating to get out. As I go, I'll spend time here and there getting those burn marks out.

    What I did spend the majority of my time on, was starting the case for this saw. Ultimately its going to be an oak, glassed in case, with green felt lining to show off the bright luster of this saw. I basically just got the stock roughed out (air dried Oak harvested from my place) and got the dovetails cut. Then my shop time was up and I had to watch the baby as the wife had things to do

    Oh well its a small start on a very long project at least.

    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

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