Bad Axe Tool Works 10″ Half-Blind Dovetail Saw
— aka 'The Don Williams Special'

$275 (Delivery: 8-12 weeks)

"Curse you, Bad Axe Tool Works!"

don ". . . it was precisely what I had wanted, a baby brother to my other dovetail saw, and took a short minute to try it out on a piece of scrap wood. Magnificent. Just the right feel, just the right kerf, just the right cut. There is one flaw to the tool, however, and it is a serious one I will have to learn to deal with. It cuts so precisely and easily that I will not be able to blame any poor workmanship on the tool. It will be all mine. Curse you, Bad Axe Toolworks!"

— Don Williams, from The Barn on White Run

Considering a dedicated half-blind dovetail saw?

Try the version of the saw we built for woodworking educator and scholar Don Williams last Spring, who wanted a dedicated DT to serve as the 'baby brother to his .018-plate dovetail saw, which he felt was too aggressive for finessing the kind of thin stock he frequently worked for clean, delicate, blowout-free cuts. Here are the specs:

  • Plate thickness & filing: .015 thick Swedish Spring Steel plate filed 17 ppi rip along a 10″ toothline for finessing delicate through-cuts in thin stock, ranging from 1/4 up to predominantly 2/4 with the occasional foray into 3/4. Excels in making half-blind dovetails in 3/4 up through 6/4 stock.
  • Depth under the back: 1 1/2″ under the back at the heel, canting down to 1 3/8″ at the toe. You'll have more than enough plate depth to get the job done, but no so much that you begin to lose rigidity
  • Combined Set: Combined with a clean, crisp hammer-set, the resulting kerf won't exceed .02 for a whisper-thin kerf—again, for delicate work

"Why do I want this saw?"

First of all, don't buy this saw as your go-to dovetail saw where one typically makes through-cuts with their dovetails in 3/4 stock, or likes to stack drawer sides together to cut all tails for both sides of a drawer first. That sort of conventional dovetailing is where our 12″ Stiletto Dovetial saw excels.

Get this saw only because you integrate half-blind dovetails in 3/4 up to 6/4 stock, or want something for through-cut dovetals and/or off-cuts in 1/4 up to 2/4″ stock.

Will it cut 3/4? Of course it will, but that's where cut-friction begins to affect the very limited heat sink of a .015 plate. Too much heat generated by cut friction expands the super-thin metal of a .015 plate—a point lost on many people enamored of super-thin plates.

So again—this is a specialty, half-blind dovetail saw for delicate work, and you will love using this tool designed for the purpose it is intended.

Want to make the occasional crosscut in delicate work associated with clock-making, luthierie, miniatures and other delicate projects? Select hybrid-cut in the filing options listed above, and cut across the grain with precision and confidence.

Hand Measurement

Sizing Handles that Fit Your Hand

Here's my hand: it measures about 3 3/4" across. That's what I'm calling regular, and it will work with a range from 3 5/8" and start getting tight at 3 7/8." Bigger hands just under 4" up to 4 1/8" spans will require the size Large handle. Going the opposite direction, if the span of your hand measures in the 3 ¼ up to 3 1/2" range, then we're looking at a size small handle.

Return to sizing menu

All Bad Axe Tool Works Saws are highly customizable, and Feature the Following:

  • Highly-figured 19th-century patterned white oak handles, also available in cherry, walnut and hard maple.
  • Three handle sizes available: Small, Regular & Large.
  • Flush-face slotted sawbolts/nuts in brass or carbon steel finished in optional black-oxide or niter-blue with 13/16" deep-dish decorative medallion.
  • Traditional Folded Carbon Steel sawback.
  • Standard black-oxided or optional titanium-nitrided (TiN)-plated finish on saw backs.
  • Premium-grade Swedish Spring Steel Sawplates, RC50-52.
  • Traditional hammer-set toothline, sharpened to joint.
  • Bad Axe saw re-sharpening rate $25 nominal fee.
  • Lifetime guarantee against all material defects.

Learn more about our material choices and saw design rationale.

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