Doug Carlson

Cosmanized! Rob Cosman dovetailing gear

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This review may be a bit premature as I haven't thoroughly tested everything yet.

I've never been good with handcut dovetails so I decided that it's time to invest in dedicated equipment and, more importantly, quality instruction.

This all arrived today.

The saw:

Is unbelievable. I'm STUNNED with how effortlessly it cuts. The finer teeth in the first few inches instantly cures a problem area for me in cutting pins and tails-starting the cut. Prior, I had been using the veritas dovetail saw, which is decent, but this difference is night and day. I was nervous that I'd spend a bunch of money for a marginally better saw. Not even close. With all due respect to Lee Valley, this saw is much, much better. (And they're not in the same price range, so it's not exactly an apples to apples comparison). 

The Dovetail Trainer:

I put it on the saw and it makes hitting the exact angle child's play. I'll be keeping it on until muscle memory develops and I don't need it any more. It's light weight, and works very well.

 

The Marking Knife:

I thought it would be too bulky as my others are much smaller, but the weight is nice and the saw toothed blade is GREAT.  LOVE this thing already.

The Fret Saw:

Seems to be decent and does it's job well. I've used a coping saw in the past so this is a big step up.

The Book:

The level of detail is perfect. And it's written in robs down to earth, easy to understand style. he makes judicious use of bolding for a key concepts and has plenty of pictures to back everything up. And it's spiral-bound so it lays flat on the bench. Which is a huge benefit in an instruction book.

Finally- I also bought his sharpening trainer so I can learn to sharpen free hand and leave the jigs behind. It's a simple little thing and I haven't tried it out yet but looks well made and gives both a primary and micro bevel option, 29° and 31° respectively.

Everything in the order appears to very well made.

the order took a while to get here. The shipping range is 5-8 days, and it arrived on the 9th day. I was getting nervous that it had been lost or stolen, and his son Jake was there every step of the way to answer my emails and assured me that if there was a problem they would take care of it right away.

I'm starting on the book now and will post my results. So far, it all appears to be well worth a premium price tag.

 

 

IMG_20190726_171126124.jpg

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That’s great congratulations on your purchase, will be waiting to see your review of the tools, was it sold as a complete dovetail kit?  I am always watching Rob and Paul sellers in my spare time, RJ 

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5 minutes ago, Rjweb said:

 was it sold as a complete dovetail kit?  

Howdy @Rjweb

No this wasn't a kit. He DOES sell a kit, but it contains many tools that I already own. It contains everything I have in the picture (minus the sharpening trainer) but also includes chisels, combo squares, mallets, and other tools that I already own, so I didn't feel the need to buy them. 

My purchase started out as just the Dovetail Trainer and the book, and on a whim I added the two saws. As soon as I finished the order, my phone rang and it was Rob himself calling to thank me for the order.

We got to talking and he kind of talked me into the Marking Knife. I have several already and figured they'd be fine, and I'm sure they would be, but his has the unique feature of the saw toothed blade.

The other thing he really stressed is the Marking gauge.

I have a veritas gauge that's similar enough to the ones on his site that I didn't order one. But he really stressed the importance of a good quality gauge.

His URL is http://www.robcosman.com if you want to check any of his stuff out.

Take care

Doug

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AJ, can you take a close up of the marking knife blade? I’ve never seen one with saw teeth. 

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4 hours ago, applejackson said:

This review may be a bit premature as I haven't thoroughly tested everything yet.

I've never been good with handcut dovetails so I decided that it's time to invest in dedicated equipment and, more importantly, quality instruction.

This all arrived today.

The saw:

Is unbelievable. I'm STUNNED with how effortlessly it cuts. The finer teeth in the first few inches instantly cures a problem area for me in cutting pins and tails-starting the cut. Prior, I had been using the veritas dovetail saw, which is decent, but this difference is night and day. I was nervous that I'd spend a bunch of money for a marginally better saw. Not even close. With all due respect to Lee Valley, this saw is much, much better. (And they're not in the same price range, so it's not exactly an apples to apples comparison). 

The Dovetail Trainer:

I put it on the saw and it makes hitting the exact angle child's play. I'll be keeping it on until muscle memory develops and I don't need it any more. It's light weight, and works very well.

 

The Marking Knife:

I thought it would be too bulky as my others are much smaller, but the weight is nice and the saw toothed blade is GREAT.  LOVE this thing already.

The Fret Saw:

Seems to be decent and does it's job well. I've used a coping saw in the past so this is a big step up.

The Book:

The level of detail is perfect. And it's written in robs down to earth, easy to understand style. he makes judicious use of bolding for a key concepts and has plenty of pictures to back everything up. And it's spiral-bound so it lays flat on the bench. Which is a huge benefit in an instruction book.

Finally- I also bought his sharpening trainer so I can learn to sharpen free hand and leave the jigs behind. It's a simple little thing and I haven't tried it out yet but looks well made and gives both a primary and micro bevel option, 29° and 31° respectively.

Everything in the order appears to very well made.

the order took a while to get here. The shipping range is 5-8 days, and it arrived on the 9th day. I was getting nervous that it had been lost or stolen, and his son Jake was there every step of the way to answer my emails and assured me that if there was a problem they would take care of it right away.

I'm starting on the book now and will post my results. So far, it all appears to be well worth a premium price tag.

 

 

IMG_20190726_171126124.jpg

I don't think you will regret it that's how I started that book is gold in my opinion :) 

I found his video's really helpful in teh beginning but after about a year I just could take the long view times (they don't do any edits just straight shooting.

But without rob I couldn't cut a DT so I think very highly of him.

 

P.S. wtnhighlander is right on about the knife kerf. Rob teaches no pairing, cut them and they should fit. Back when I started i didn't know any other way so it made sense and worked for m. Now I know there are many ways to arrive at the same end goal Rob's way is just one of them...but it worked for me :)

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31 minutes ago, K Cooper said:

I bet you’re right, but not to mark the baseline? (If that’s the correct term?)

The way he explains it is this: 

The marking knife essentially makes a v groove, so (when sawing pins) aim to take out half of the v groove with the saw kerf while leaving the other half on the pin.

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I never got on with a marking knife.  My method of cutting anything, and always to fit off the saw, is to either "leave the line", or "take the line".  Both include nothing more.  It seems to me that leaving half the marking knife line would leave a loose fitting joint.   I always just use a really fine pencil line, from a no. 4 pencil.  The saw blade marking knife makes a lot of sense for the rip cuts, if you offset,  but it seems like if the teeth have set, you would need to be careful not to undercut the piece you're marking off of.

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In the videos I’ve seen of his DT method, when he is transferring the lines, he offsets one board by the kerf thickness. Then when you use the knife to transfer the line it starts your actual cut for the handsaw. 

Is this not the same one?

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1 hour ago, JohnG said:

In the videos I’ve seen of his DT method, when he is transferring the lines, he offsets one board by the kerf thickness. Then when you use the knife to transfer the line it starts your actual cut for the handsaw. 

Is this not the same one?

That is correct.

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You have done an excellent job on thos dovetails, with practice they will be as good as Robs, I always said that a good tool is half the battle, keep us posted on your progress, RJ 

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Nice work Doug! I like to say a true craftsman does good work, even with poor tools. But  you just proved that good tools can help a beginner jump-start their way into becoming a craftsman!

Again, nice work.

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4 minutes ago, wtnhighlander said:

Nice work Doug! I like to say a true craftsman does good work, even with poor tools. But  you just proved that good tools can help a beginner jump-start their way into becoming a craftsman!

Again, nice work.

In his instructions, RC days to use a skewed block plane, or a shoulder plane, to cut a slight rabbet in the tail board. 

Though this is a small detail and not essential to the joint, I of course took it to mean that I better order a nice Lie Nielsen skewed block posthaste.

It's really nice. It's all brass, unlike their regular block plane. Very nice little plane and a pleasure to use.

 

Anyway, thank you for the encouragement. I'm really motivated to cut about 1000 more of these now.

All the best

DC

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9 hours ago, K Cooper said:

“Honey, Rob told me that in order to get to the next level, I need a new LN plane, and that’s where you want me to be, right?” Love It! Congrats bud! 

Except isn’t he working with WoodRiver/Woodcraft to develop their planes these days? :P

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@John G. - his instruction book just shows one step using a skewed block plane. So I ordered a LN. But if you look on his site, he also appears to have partnered with Lie Nielsen as their products are in some of the kits he sells.  

I am guessing that he acts as some sort of Canadian Distribution resource for both woodcraft and Lie Nielsen, as he is not allowed to fulfill orders for either company from customers in the US. 

If you live in the US and attempt to order any Woodriver/Woodcraft or Lie Nielsen items from his website, you can't do it and there is a note instructing you to purchase them directly from the company. 

If you live in Canada (or presumably other international locations) then you can use his website to order either company's products. 

I don't know if there is any advantage for a non-US customer to order these things from RC instead of simply ordering from the company directly. My best guess is that he (RC) keeps an inventory on hand and is able to ship them directly, thereby avoiding customs and the shipping delays that always seem to accompany customs. 

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Off topic but are you still working your 2nd job? I haven't stopped in at the store in a long time.

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