Tuesday, November 5, 2013

CTR 8: Veritas Carcase Saw

This is a review of the Veritas 12TPI Carcase Saw.  Mine is filed rip, which seems to work fine for everything I've used it for.

As with the DMT sharpening plates, I'm a little hesitant to call this a "Cheap Tool Review".  The saw cost me about $80, which isn't cheap, especially not compared to, say, the gent's saw I reviewed a while back.  On the other hand, an equivalent tool from Lie Nielsen equivalent is about $140, and the prices mostly go up from there.


 Where, and How Much?

I purchased the saw from Woodcraft, and paid about $80.

What do you get, and What's the Construction Like?

You get a saw, and not much else, unless you count the rather nice cardboard box.  I don't.  The construction is up to the normal Veritas standards:  the handle is well-formed and comfortable to hold, made out of a good hardwood (currently Bubinga, although I can imagine them changing it if the supply gets low).  The teeth are well cut and even, and the set is just about perfect.  I'm not a big fan of the resin spine -- I think brass or steel would look better -- but it feels solid, and being able to mold the spine probably cuts some off the price.  Overall, it feels very well made, and it's comfortable to use.

 How does it work?

It works great.  I bought the 12TPI saw, filed for ripping.  Why?  Well, for a few reasons.

First and foremost, I'm convinced it doesn't actually matter at this tooth size.  There seems to be some agreement among hand-tool gurus that that's the case, and my experience with this saw seems to back it up.  Simply put, with teeth this small you'll get a relatively smooth cut no matter what the tooth geometry is.  Cross cutting is always easy even with rip teeth, and ripping always sucks with crosscut teeth.  So, if you're only going to get one saw in a size, and the size includes small (12 or more teeth per inch) teeth, just buy it filed for ripping.

A lot of what I want this for is ripping.  Cutting tenons, ripping very small stock, starting rip cuts on longer (thin) stock to continue with my ryoba, and things like that.  Any crosscutting I do will be small;  tenon shoulders, or cutting small pieces to length on a bench hook.

I've used it so far for both ripping and cross-cutting pine, maple, and poplar:  it had no trouble with anything.  It cuts straight unless I screw it up, and the cut is clean and fairly smooth, with very little tearout on the back.  My one complaint is that it's hard to start, and I think that will fade as I learn to use the saw better.

Final Thoughts?

While it's not precisely cheap, this is an excellent saw for the price.  I like the feel of the handle a lot, and while I don't exactly find it attractive, it works extremely well.

UPDATE, 16 June 2014:  I've come to dislike how thin the blade is.  I know, I know, it's supposed to make things easier, but I'd really prefer it just a touch thicker.  I now have an old Disston tenon saw to compare it to, and I really like the thicker blade on the Disston.  I still like it otherwise, and that's certainly a personal preference, so I still recommend the saw.

Would I buy another?

 Absolutely, but only if I manage to break this one.  I really can't see myself having a need for a second saw just like this.  If I decided to buy a dovetail saw, I'd seriously consider the one matching this saw.  Sadly, they don't make a larger saw;  I'd really like a saw roughly 14" long, with at least 4" of depth and around 12 teeth per inch, but those are hard to find.

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