Zebrawood Handled Dovetail Saw
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Zebrawood Handled Dovetail Saw

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



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 .

Date Added: 07/05/2019 by Phil Gaudio
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