Veritas Joinery Saws - Canadian Woodworking Magazine

Exceptionally well made, easy to start cuts with, and they deliver fast, clean cuts - you can't go wrong with either (or both) of them

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Veritas Joinery Saws



These two new joinery saws (a 16 TPI crosscut and 20 TPI dovetail) form a nice complement to the existing 14 TPI dovetail. Why, you might ask, a second dovetail saw? The rationale is that a 14 TPI dovetail saw will cut more quickly with less tendency to bind in thicker wood while a 20 TPI dovetail saw will cut more slowly, and more smoothly, in thinner stock.
 
Veritas saws are unmistakable, largely due to the unique design of their spine. Unlike conventional saws that use brass, Veritas has gone high tech with a spine that is made from a composite of stainless steel powder (for weight), glass fibre (for stiffness) and a polymer resin (as a binder). The fact that the spine is pitch black further distinguishes it. The Veritas saws feel lighter than the Medallion saw I am familiar with, even though the Veritas saws are somewhat larger in size. The weight differential is fairly small, so I think this has as much to do with the balance of the saw as it does with the lighter spine.
 

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The handle is a classic design that many saw manufacturers use. Comfort and balance are the words that comes to mind when describing the handle. Not, in my mind, as handsome as the Medallion handle, but just as comfortable in use. Ever the one for innovation, Veritas attaches the handle in a rather unique way, by means of a steel rod and captive nut; much the way the handles on Veritas hand planes are attached. Bubinga seems to be the wood of choice for Veritas, as it's used on all their saws and hand planes.
 
Veritas uses a .020" thick high carbon steel blade, which is what most manufacturers seem to employ (Medallion uses a .0156" thick blade). Obviously, the thickness of the blade affects the width of the kerf. Too thin a blade, you run the risk of the blade binding as it is pushed into the cut. This isn't so much a issue with dovetail saws, as cuts tend to be fairly shallow, usually under 1". For crosscutting it's somewhat more of a concern. However the set of the blade is probably more crucial than its thickness. Again, Veritas stays with the majority in using a .030" setting (in contrast to the Medallion with a .0078" set).
 
A major determinant of how quickly a saw cuts is the angle at which the teeth are ground (the rake) - the steeper the rake the faster the cutting. But a steeper rake makes it more difficult to start the cut. Veritas has what I consider a comprise rake. At 14° for the dovetail saw and 15° for the crosscut saw, you get a reasonably quick cutting saw that is easy to start cuts with.
 

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Dovetail saws usually have teeth cut in a rip pattern, which facilitates cutting into end grain. Crosscut saws have the teeth cut in an alternate bevel profile, which is ideal for cutting across the grain. The bevel (or fleam) angle on the Veritas crosscut saw is 15°, which is fairly typical. This steeper angle contributes to a more aggressive (faster) cut.
 
Another factor that affect the speed of cut is the number of teeth on the blade. In general, the fewer teeth a saw has, the faster it cuts. Veritas has chosen 16 TPI for its crosscut saw, and 20 TPI for the dovetail saw (remember, they already have a 14 TPI dovetail saw).
 
I've been using both of these Veritas saws in shop over the past two months, and I'm very pleased with their performance. I use the crosscut saw for just about all my cross cutting. It cuts quickly and smoothly, right up to 1-5/8", the maximum cutting depth of the saw. The 20 TPI dovetail cuts almost as quickly in stock up to about 1" thick in hardwood; when cutting to the full capacity of the saw, 1-5/8", there is the slightest tendency of the saw to bind. The crosscut saw is a great saw for trimming small tenons; however for larger tenon work you really need a larger tenon saw (I'd love to see Veritas come out with a 14" or 16" tenon saw). Most of the dovetails I cut employ 3/8" to 1/2" stock, and the 20 TPI dovetail saw does an excellent job. If I consistently dovetailed thicker stock I would likely purchase the Veritas 14 TPI dovetail saw.
 
All in all, I'm tickled pink with these new saws; and the kicker is they cost about half what you'd expect to pay for a comparable premium saw. You certainly can't go wrong with either (or both) of these saws. They are exceptionally well made, easy to start cuts with, and deliver fast, clean cuts.
 

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KEY FEATURES:

  • 14-1/4" overall length
  • .020" x 1-5/8" x 8-7/8" blade (cutting surface)
  • .003" set (each side)
  • Crosscut: 16 TPI 15° rake, 15° bevel angle, cut in an alternate bevel tooth profile
  • Dovetail: 20 TPI, 14° rake, cut in a rip tooth profile

Manufacturer:Veritas Tools Inc.
Available From:Lee Valley Tools
Retail Price:$69.00 each or $119.00 both
Model #:05T06.01 (crosscut)
05T05.05 (dovetail)
Made In:Canada
Carl Duguay, December 2010
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