Japanese saws
#16
  Re: Japanese saws by johndi (Looking for a recomm...)
The only time I would recommend a Japanese saw to someone starting out is for dovetails. Here, the rip cut is narrow, and the cut is easy. Japanese saws, with their very thin blades and minimal set cutting a very narrow kerf .. well, they are difficult to master for long or wide sections. There is needed technique which is not obvious - witness their reputation for teeth breaking. They are not robust saws and do not respond to clumsy movements.

Like Hank, I am conversant and at home with both Western and Eastern saws. Western saws have the easier learning curve. The finish off a Japanese saw is second to none. I posted recently about the Western saws I use, so others know that they are still my go-to by preference. Japanese saws are catching up in this regard ...

One Japanese saw which I do recommend all should have in their tool kit is the Z-saw duzuki .... not for dovetails, but for crosscutting thin stock. This saw makes a Western saw with fine teeth appear like a clumsy oaf.

Regards from Perth

Derek
Articles on furniture building, shop made tools and tool reviews at http://www.inthewoodshop.com
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#17
  Re: Japanese saws by johndi (Looking for a recomm...)
Thank you for all of the thoughtful replies.
One thing that I didn't realize was how the blades were basically disposable. The attraction of the Japanese style saws for me was my frustration with my results using western saws. I'm rethinking this now and will probably be spending the $$$ on a quality western style saw and practicing more.
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#18
  Re: RE: Japanese saws by johndi (Thank you for all of...)
(10-13-2018, 06:06 AM)johndi Wrote: Thank you for all of the thoughtful replies.
One thing that I didn't realize was how the blades were basically disposable. The attraction of the Japanese style saws for me was my frustration with my results using western saws. I'm rethinking this now and will probably be spending the $$$ on a quality western style saw and practicing more.

Johndi,

Many Japanese saws feature disposable blades, but not all. Don't make the mistake of buying an expensive Japanese saw thinking the blade can be easily replaced only to find out that it cannot.
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#19
  Re: RE: Japanese saws by johndi (Thank you for all of...)
(10-13-2018, 06:06 AM)johndi Wrote: Thank you for all of the thoughtful replies.
One thing that I didn't realize was how the blades were basically disposable. The attraction of the Japanese style saws for me was my frustration with my results using western saws. I'm rethinking this now and will probably be spending the $$$ on a quality western style saw and practicing more.

I use pull saws due to arthritic complications that make pushing a saw more painful than pulling it. I am not into sitting on my butt and wearing mittens on my feet. A western saw is really more complementary to our style of woodworking. 

A handmade pull saw blade (not disposable) will exceed your price point of $100. Disposable saws almost always list a replacement blade with the complete saw. 

There is nothing sexy about pull saw handles; they're complete utility. Note that pull saws (Z-type) are easy to brake down--literally, knock down. Also, the impulse hardened teeth are discolored blue-black. If you see a western style saw with burnt cutting edge, or any "burnt" saw edge, know it is disposable and can't be resharpened. The steel at the points is harder than a file. That tool carries all the flaws of its manufacture for life. 

I think I am preaching to the choir now.....

For guidance in using western tools, you can't do any better than going to a tool demonstration, or a tool (specific) store that stresses hand tools. Locally, I have Woodcraft. Ask for help.
Bruce
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#20
  Re: RE: Japanese saws by johndi (Thank you for all of...)
(10-13-2018, 06:06 AM)johndi Wrote: Thank you for all of the thoughtful replies.
One thing that I didn't realize was how the blades were basically disposable. The attraction of the Japanese style saws for me was my frustration with my results using western saws. I'm rethinking this now and will probably be spending the $$$ on a quality western style saw and practicing more.

Hello John;
Think of this as a learning experience like learning to sharpen and use a western saw. Knowing the difference between rip and crosscut tooth patterns and how to use them can inform what you are doing with a Japanese pattern.  There are plenty of inexpensive Japanese saws out there, start with a crosscut and see what you think about it.  You can get one with crosscut teeth on one edge and rip on the other. Worry about the fancy stuff later, if you like it you'll be good to go.  If not, you didn't spend very much at all.... And you don't have to sharpen these, as you noticed, just buy a new blade.
A quality Western saw will always please, if you are ready to pay for it, no learning curve involved.
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