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As a leftie, I was excited to see Lee Valley’s new veneer saw (No. 09A02.85; leevalley.com).
Unlike a traditional veneer saw with its offset handle designed for right-handed use, this saw’s handle is in line with the blade so it can be used in either hand.
The other major difference is the number of teeth: Traditional veneer saws have about 15 teeth per inch (tpi). For the best performance, the teeth should be sharpened before use. The Lee Valley saw has an amazing 50 tpi and the teeth are sharp right out of the box.
Having more teeth means the saw cuts slower than a regular veneer saw, but it handled thin and thick veneer, both ripping and crosscutting. The cuts were free from tearout, even on brittle burl, but even though the teeth have no set, the edges were not flat enough to join without additional sanding.
Where the saw excelled was crosscutting and mitering stringing and banding. The narrow teeth fit easily into a knife mark, while the high tpi meant the cut started easily. With banding in particular, the saw was better than a plane iron and far safer than a miter saw.
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