Making an Anarchist’s Tool Chest has been described in the past as a ‘dovetailing death march’ and, with over 100 dovetails in the average chest it can feel that way to the neophyte dovetailer.
There is a lot that practice, skill and confidence can do to reduce the amount of time required to make that many hand cut joints but last week, thanks to Matthew Platt of Workshop Heaven I finally found a tool that can make a huge time difference in cutting out waste.
High carbon steel Pegas skip tooth blades made in Switzerland by Scies Miniatures SA are the most fabulously aggresive blades I have experienced. Not only that; they are easy to steer close to the baseline and leave a very smooth finish compared to many coping saw blades. In ‘Stuff of Nightmares’ Southern Yellow Pine they left a glassy finish that required very little chopping in to finish the joint. Thanks to Matthew I have tried the 9, 10 and 18 ppi skip tooth blades. I tried these in both a £8.00 Axminster ‘sale time special’ frame and a fancy pants Knew Concepts red anodised aluminium frame. Although you could tighten the blade up considerably more in the Knew Concepts saw the blade did a great job of transforming even the bargain basement Axminster frame into something that can take minutes off dovetailing time.
Frankly, I won’t use anything else in my coping saw from now. Do your dovetailing a favour and go and buy some from Workshop Heaven. A great find. Thanks Matt.
– Paul Mayon