Medallion Dovetail Saw - Canadian Woodworking Magazine

A fabulous Canadian-made dovetail saw - sadly, no longer in production

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Medallion Dovetail Saw



As far as I'm concerned, Ed Paik, owner of Medallion Tools in Oakville, Ontario, has 'the touch'. The touch for making a gem of a hand saw. His Medallion 8" Dovetail Saw is as wonderful to use as it is to look at.
 
The saw I tried out had a 15 ppi blade with the teeth hand cut and set in a rip pattern, which is best for cutting dovetails, as you're typically cutting with the grain. However, the saw is also available in a 16 ppi crosscut format. 15 ppi is a good compromise - more teeth would produce a marginally finer cut, but require somewhat more effort. The Medallion cuts very quickly - only 6 strokes to cut to a depth of 3/4" in a 1" piece of hard maple.
 
Ed uses polished Swedish spring steel (tempered to RC 48-52) for the blades, which are 8" long and have a 1-15/16" cutting depth. An 8" blade length is fairly common among dovetail saws, though I prefer a 10" blade. The longer blade allows for a longer stroke, so you can cut faster. However, a shorter blade does give better control, particularly for woodworkers new at dovetailing.
 
The blade measures 1/64" (.0156") thick and has only 1/128" (.0078") of set on each side. While a narrow set gives a narrow kerf, which is what you want when sawing out the dovetails, you don't want it so narrow that the saw binds. In use the Medallion delivers a lovely 1/32" (.0312") kerf, without a hint of binding. You can't get much better than this on a Western style saw.


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A 1/4" by 3/4" solid brass back holds the thin blade rigidly. Like most dovetails saws that I've seen, the Medallion has a slotted back, rather than the more traditional folded back. I think it looks a lot nicer. The downside is that should you accidentally damage the blade you can't remove it from a slotted back.
 
The classic bird's eye maple handle (fixed to the blade with traditional brass split screws) was the most comfortable saw handle I've used. Just like a Savile Row tailor Ed customizes each handle to the user's hand size. You'll appreciate this if you have a particularly smallish or largish hand.
 
The saw comes fully sharpened, and unless you're cutting hundreds of dovetails a day, will last several years before it needs to be re-sharpened (which Ed will do at a very reasonable rate). I used the Medallion Dovetail Saw over a three month period, cutting dovetails (and the occasional crosscut) in a range of hardwoods - the saw cuts exceptionally fast. The narrow set makes it easy to start cuts and it tracks like a bloodhound. Superbly made, excellent heft and balance, remarkable value.


NOTE: Sadly, Medallion Toolworks is no longer in operation.

KEY FEATURES:

  • 13-1/2" long overall
  • 1/64" x 1 15/16" x 8" blade
  • 15 ppi (rip pattern)
  • 1/4" x 3/4" solid brass back
  •  Bird's eye maple handle


Manufacturer:Medallion Toolworks
Available From:Currently not in production
Retail Price:-
Model #:None
Made In:Canada
Carl Duguay, March 2010, rev. 2013
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