Review of the NE PLUS ULTRA dovetail saw mfg. by the Elysium Saw Works (Pete Taran)
#11
  
Review of the NE PLUS ULTRA  dovetail saw manufactured by the Elysium Saw Works (Pete Taran)



As promised, my take on the new Pete Taran DT saw. I think an evaluation which quantifies the strengths/weaknesses of a DT in absolute terms is a challenge. It is easier, and probably, more meaningful to evaluate the saw in relative terms.  I am fortunate to have an original Independence Tool DT saw and a Lie Nielsen saw to use in a comparative evaluation of the new saw.  Lets begin.

The Saw:

The NE PLUS ULTRA  manufactured by the Elysium Saw Works

Aesthetics: Like the IT and LN, the NE PLUS ULTRA is nicely made and presented.  I opted for the Zebra wood handle, and it is striking.  Finished in a high gloss tung oil, it is an eye catcher.  
The brass spine is very similar to the IT and LN designs, with the addition of the following engraving;

   

Overall: a very nice looking tool.

Engineering:

The saw plate, 9” long, .020 thick, looks to be the same as the IT and LN saws. I placed the NE PLUS ULTRA on top of the IT and LN saws, and to me at least, it looks like the hang angle is the same.  That is a good thing, as I think the original hang angle on these saws was perfect. The handle seems to have been made with more attention to detail: the edges seem to be just a little more crisp, all the while providing a very comfortable grip.  The size of the handle appears to be the same as the IT and LN.  I did not weigh the saws, but it feels just about the same as the IT/LN.

   

Performance:

OK, this is subjective.  All the saws are 15 ppi and .020 plate thickness.  One difference is that the NE PLUS ULTRA has a slightly relaxed rake angle of 6 degrees, while the IT/LN have a 4 degree rake angle.  I found that the new saw was noticeably easier to start than the IT/LN.  Although the trade-off for this change is a slightly less aggressive cut, I think it is a good trade-off (i.e. I will sacrifice a slight bit of speed for an easier starting saw).  I had previously mentioned the ability of this saw to track: very very nice, no doubt a testament to how carefully this saw was set.   I think its better than the IT/LN.    Overall, the performance
is on par with the best saws I have used.  

Conclusion:

The re-emergence of the original modern DT saw company is something we should all be thankful for.  Again, I am but a humble amateur woodworker, but I think many, if not most of the potential buyers of this saw are in  the same boat.  I know when I see and use a nicely made high performing tool, and this new saw provides yet another top tier option for DT saw users and enthusiasts.  I think the Elysium Saw Works is off to a great start with the
NE PLUS ULTRA .

   
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#12
  Re: Review of the NE PLUS ULTRA dovetail saw mfg. by the Elysium Saw Works (Pete Taran) by Philip1231 (Review of the NE PLU...)
Thanks for the good review. Sounds like a win whatever choice one makes.
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#13
  Re: Review of the NE PLUS ULTRA dovetail saw mfg. by the Elysium Saw Works (Pete Taran) by Philip1231 (Review of the NE PLU...)
Grain direction on the handle?
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#14
  Re: RE: Review of the NE PLUS ULTRA dovetail saw mfg. by the Elysium Saw Works (Pete Taran) by mbole (Grain direction on t...)
(07-03-2019, 12:11 PM)mbole Wrote: Grain direction on the handle?


When you really understand the rules of woodworking, you know when these rules can be broken. I think it was Chris Schwartz that said you should hold the handle of a dovetail saw as if you were holding a baby bird. I take that a step further: I hold a DT saw as if I were holding a baby bird with osteoporosis. I suspect that my grandchildren will be able to use this saw (assuming I ever have grandchildren). If you are a ham-fisted DT sawyer, then perhaps this handle is not for you. There are a number of other handles available that follow the basic rules and will know doubt fit the bill.
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#15
  Re: RE: Review of the NE PLUS ULTRA dovetail saw mfg. by the Elysium Saw Works (Pete Taran) by Philip1231 ([quote='mbole' pid='...)
(07-03-2019, 06:54 PM)Philip1231 Wrote: When you really understand the rules of woodworking, you know when these rules can be broken. I think it was Chris Schwartz that said you should hold the handle of a dovetail saw as if you were holding a baby bird.  I take that a step further: I hold a DT saw as if I were holding a baby bird with osteoporosis.  I suspect that my grandchildren will be able to use this saw (assuming I ever have grandchildren).   If you are a ham-fisted DT sawyer, then perhaps this handle is not for you.  There are a number of other handles available that follow the basic rules and will know doubt fit the bill.

I've learned to treat the handle of a saw as being a guide for the plate to do the work.  This was not always the case; before I fully understood what a sharp saw was and what it can do, I used the handle as something to force the saw through the work.  Now I know better.
Credo Elvem ipsum etiam vivere
Non impediti ratione cogitationis
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#16
  Re: RE: Review of the NE PLUS ULTRA dovetail saw mfg. by the Elysium Saw Works (Pete Taran) by Admiral ([quote='Philip1231' ...)
(07-03-2019, 06:59 PM)Admiral Wrote: I've learned to treat the handle of a saw as being a guide for the plate to do the work.  This was not always the case; before I fully understood what a sharp saw was and what it can do, I used the handle as something to force the saw through the work.  Now I know better.

Its called "finesse" and it goes a long way to successful dovetails and sawing in general !
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#17
  Re: RE: Review of the NE PLUS ULTRA dovetail saw mfg. by the Elysium Saw Works (Pete Taran) by Philip1231 ([quote='Admiral' pid...)
(07-03-2019, 07:10 PM)Philip1231 Wrote: Its called "finesse" and it goes a long way to successful dovetails and sawing in general !

Actually, more important with full size handsaws if you're doing a "first class cut."

http://www.leevalley.com/en/newsletters/...ticle1.htm
Credo Elvem ipsum etiam vivere
Non impediti ratione cogitationis
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#18
  Re: Review of the NE PLUS ULTRA dovetail saw mfg. by the Elysium Saw Works (Pete Taran) by Philip1231 (Review of the NE PLU...)
I forgot to mention one more item:  a french-fitted shipping box which can be re-used to send back to Pete for re-sharpening: I thought that was a nice improvement, particularly for those of us that do not do our own sharpening.

   
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#19
  Re: Review of the NE PLUS ULTRA dovetail saw mfg. by the Elysium Saw Works (Pete Taran) by Philip1231 (Review of the NE PLU...)
Are the sharpenings done gratis?  It won't be the same saw in performance if sharpened by anyone else. By the same token, any of the three saws Phillip pictured above would perform the same if Pete sharpened them to the same specs.
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#20
  Re: RE: Review of the NE PLUS ULTRA dovetail saw mfg. by the Elysium Saw Works (Pete Taran) by Mike Brady (Are the sharpenings ...)
I don't know what Pete charges for re-sharpening, but I would doubt that its gratis (if you know someone of that caliber who will do gratis sharpenings, please let me know). Yeah, something tells me Pete could start with a rusty butter knife and turn it into a respectable saw!


(07-04-2019, 12:21 PM)Mike Brady Wrote: Are the sharpenings done gratis?  It won't be the same saw in performance if sharpened by anyone else. By the same token, any of the three saws Phillip pictured above would perform the same if Pete sharpened them to the same specs.
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