Fair Woodworking

April 29, 2013

Gang Sawing

Filed under: dovetail,Picture issues,Skill development — fairwoodworking @ 8:56 pm

EDITORS NOTE *** This post is experiencing 3rd party photo hosting “issues”, that will be addressed as time allows. ***

T’was out’n’about reading amongst the blogs a while back.

A respected blogger (and, one of my heroes) wrote how he finds gang sawing his dovetails to be faster.

Since I’m all about the speed, I thought I’d better give it a try.

I’d also just picked up a hand screw clamp that really helps out with wider boards. It was actually quite handy with keeping the two boards together while getting them into the vise. It’s really important that they stay perfectly aligned with each other. Otherwise it could make for some really sloppy cuts.

The idea here is that with the two boards in the vise together, you will save time with layout and sawing, so I tried it out.

Marking the layout, I guess is faster since you only do it once, however, my dovetail marker is too small to complete the line across the two boards, so I did have to take the time to extend the lines with a square.

Again, sawing with the dovetail saw is faster, but if there is any part of dovetails that I feel I’m quickest at, it’s sawing the tails. Then you have to remove the waste. If you are like me, you would cut it with a fret saw, but at an inch and a quarter, that fine little blade would be no match for it.

Solution?

Coping saw!

I’d never used a coping saw for this purpose, I use it for coping…

With a wider, deeper blade, you can’t just cut straight across. (sorry, no pics…) Instead , you have to start by cutting down with the curf, and then cut an arc until you are cutting parallel with the base line. This leaves you with a little triangle that didn’t get cut out. Then you have to turn your blade to cut in the opposite direction, and make a second cut. In my opinion, this makes it take just as long as sawing the two boards individually with a fret saw, but I also don’t like the coarse cut of the coping saw vs the nice fine cut of the fret saw. As a result, I also found that I had more waste to chop out with a chisel.

All in all.

I’m not sold yet, but please don’t let this stop you from trying it.

I don’t like it, but you may love it, and then you can tell all your friends how great it is.

And it’s always nice to be able to recommend something from your own experience rather than because a guy named Chris said it was good.

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