The New Veritas® Dovetail Saw
dovetail saw needs to be perfectly straight and have a thin
blade with precisely set and sharp teeth. The geometry of
the teeth needs to be such that there is a good cutting action
balanced with easy starting and control. The handle must be
shaped to fit your hand in a consistent and comfortable grip,
such that the saw becomes an extension of your arm.
While all of this sounds basic, there's a fair level of complexity
in designing something as seemingly straightforward as a saw,
especially when the majority of your in-house manufacturing
processes are geared towards milling, turning and surface
grinding. If we were to produce a saw, we knew that we had
to work with a number of outside firms. In addition, we wanted
to make a much more affordable dovetail saw, one that sacrificed
nothing in terms of performance. Clearly, we could not use
a conventional design.
The Initial Concepts
Personally, I've always had an affinity for Japanese saws.
Since they cut on the pull stroke, they can have very thin
blades, as these remain straight under tension. Traditional
western dovetail saws have brass or steel backs, a shallow
blade, rip-filed teeth and a sculpted handle that promotes
a pistol grip, with the index finger pointing along the spine
of the saw.
The first concept our designers came up with was a pull saw
that one would push. Instead of fixing the saw blade to the
handle, it would be pinned at the far end of the spine where,
similar to a bow- or frame-saw, the spine would keep the blade
under tension while cutting.
However, we could just not bring ourselves to let the blade
float in the spine; we needed to firmly fix it along its length
to create a solid assembly that was free from vibration. The
challenge now became how to find an accurate and cost-effective
way to fix the blade in the spine.