Veritas Dovetail and Crosscut Saws
The Veritas saws combine the best characteristics of the classic fine joinery saw with those of state-of-the-art materials and construction methods. The tooth pattern on the thin high-carbon steel blade provides a good balance between cutting action and surface finish. The pistol-grip design of the wooden handle makes it intuitive to hold the saw such that the index finger rests on the stainless-steel/glass/polymer composite spine, which provides strength and rigidity.
When cutting joints, it is desirable to match the tooth pattern to the thickness of the material you are using. The standard dovetail saw, with 14 tpi, is intended for material 1/2 in. to 3/4 in. thick. The fine-tooth dovetail saw, with 20 tpi, is intended for material 1/2 in. and thinner. This is by no means a hard rule, as either dovetail saw will cut well outside these ranges; however, each is most efficient within its specified range.
The two dovetail saws are filed with rip teeth to cut along the grain of the wood, as most dovetail joint cuts are rip cuts. For other fine joinery and small projects that require cutting across the grain (e.g., cutting the shoulders of a tenon), the small crosscut saw is ideal. The teeth on the crosscut saw are filed with an alternating bevel angle, so they act as small knives to sever the wood fibers, leaving a smooth, accurate cut with almost no tear-out.
Saw Teeth Geometry
- Standard Dovetail: The teeth on the standard dovetail saw are filed rip at 14 teeth per inch, with a 14 degree rake using the typical 60 degree included angle. Set is 0.003 in. on each side.
- Fine-tooth Dovetail: The teeth on the fine-tooth dovetail saw are filed rip at 20 teeth per inch, with a 14degree rake and a 60 degree included angle. A double-extra-slim file will be necessary for sharpening these teeth. Set is 0.003 in. per side.
- Small Crosscut: The small crosscut saw has 16 tpi, filed with a 15 degree rake and a 60 degree included angle. Set is the same (0.003 in. per side). The main difference with these teeth is that they are not filed directly across the blade (90 degrees), but at an alternating 75 degree angle to the blade, which creates a 15 degree bevel on each tooth. Unlike rip teeth that are a series of little chisels, crosscut teeth are a series of little knives.