Chris Schwarz's Blog

First Look: Andrew Lunn's New Saws

Last week Andrew Lunn of Eccentric Toolworks announced he was going to remove some of the decorative details on his saws and pass the savings onto his customers.

This week we got our first look at what the new saws will look like. Though Lunn has suffered some brutal (and unwarranted) criticism for his prices, I think it will be quieted by these new saws.

Shown is the new dovetail saw, which features a super-thin .010″ sawplate with hand-filed fine teeth and a folded steel back that is 3/8″ wide. The handle is turned rock maple.

Instead of hand-etching the blade, Lunn has developed a new process, which produces extremely crisp work, as you can see from the photo below.

How does it cut? Brilliantly, as you can tell by the dovetails shown in the photo. Contact Lunn for pricing, but do realize that customers are requested to supply their own Altoids tin and file handle.

– Christopher Schwarz

38 thoughts on “First Look: Andrew Lunn's New Saws

  1. Trent

    I think the saw should be listed on Ebay! It might earn enough to buy the real thing. I still can’t get over the Woobie, LOL
    Trent

  2. My two cents

    btw Chris,

    satire was soooooo last century. First, quality hand tools, and now this!

    What you ought to do is order yourself a CNC router, and then step inside the world of sardonic humor.

    Or, better yet, skip having an opinion at all. Have the magazine and blog off-shored to India, printed in China and we can finally, "all just get along".

  3. Ed Miller

    I wouldn’t be surprised if all this chatter doesn’t create an even greater demand and subsequent greater backlog of these saws.

    The way I see it, The man will have two options. Cut back even more, or higher some help and make a good living doing something he loves to do.

    We should all be so troubled!

  4. Christopher Schwarz

    Jonathan,

    Ever since I lost my Bucky Beaver Decoder Ring, I’ve been no good with cryptic messages.

    After Andrew announced he was going to remove the decorative details from his saws and lower prices, I thought it would be funny to make a saw that would satisfy any cheapskate and pretend that it was Lunn’s.

    So I made the above saw in about five minutes from one of Linda Watts’s Altoid tins and a file handle.

    You can read anything you like into my intent, but that’s the real story.

    Chris

  5. Jonathan Black

    Chris, excuse my stupidity, I have read all the post and all the comments but I have not yet understood: this is only a funny joke or there is any cryptic hidden message that I’m not able to understand?

  6. megan

    Mike,
    Heck no! I couldn’t bear to part with it (and I think Chris may reclaim his maple handle…)

  7. Mike Siemsen

    If I’m not mistaken the model for a circular saw blade was taken from the top of a tin can. Will this saw shaped object be appearing on e-bay soon?
    Mike

  8. Don Peregoy

    What is with you all.

    Pretty woman caressing nice saws gets 9 comments

    Sort of funny joke -30 comments

    By the way it is probably the best smelling saw anyone ever owned.

  9. Auguste Gusteau

    Megan, my comment was partially related to the saw too, but I’ve yet learned that my comments are not welcome here.
    A final question: are this comments partially related with the saw?

    1) It is getting exceedingly more difficult to take this blog seriously.

    2) Whoa, whoa, whoa whoa… Whoa. Seriously? Who’s taking this seriously?

    3) The Schwarz is still getting last week’s anger out of his system…

    4) BRILLIANT!

    5) "then they he will do so" should be "then they they will do so"

  10. Megan

    Yes, I rose to the bait earlier and egged on the satire discussion. My apologies. I’ve now deleted all comments not at least partially related to the "saw." If anyone takes issue, feel free to e-mail me: megan.fitzpatrick@fwmedia.com.

  11. Lee Laird

    Chris,

    That was a good one! Got an audible chuckle, for sure.

    I ordered one of Andrew’s saws last week. I would have been glad to get one of the full-blown original saws at the higher price, but that’s the way things go. I’m sure the new saw will do the required work wonderfully.

    Here’s hoping all can lighten up a bit and not take things as personally.

    Warm regards,

    Lee

  12. Megan

    Matthew,
    Why yes, it does…cheese and paper, anyway. I just took it in the shop and gave it a try on pine. I was able to cut a small (but bockety) kerf…and then the blade slipped in the spine. Hmmmm…I may have found a new dovetail saw with a built-in excuse for my gappy joints 😉

  13. Barry

    The scary part is that I guessed Altoids tin before I read it in a later post!

    Thanks for the smile.

  14. Sam

    Enough about high prices! This is simply how a market functions. Since many people are willing to queue up for one of Mr. Lunn’s saws, it is obvious that there is demand for what he is selling at his price. Now, other potential saw-makers will look at Mr. Lunn’s success (and his backlog) and consider entering the market themselves. If they can offer a comparable product for a lower price and still make a profit, then they he will do so. They will expand the supply of good saws and drive down the price. (Actually, the other makers really just have offer a comparable product for the same or even a higher price but with a shorter delivery time. The downward pressure on prices only kicks in when the existing demand has been satisfied at the higher price.)

  15. Dan LaJeunesse

    Chris,

    I’m gonna open that canned ham I’ve been saving for the last 10 years and cook it up. There must be enough hi-grade metal in that tin for 5 or 6 saws. And…I can use those really sharp left over scrap pieces of tin as cabinet scrapers! I won’t have to buy those high priced fancy ones from Tom Lie-Lielsen or Veritas any more.

    Thanks for the good ideas! Keep ’em coming.

    Dan

  16. Raney

    Did I miss the point where Mr Lunn refused to honor previously taken orders? Where are the complaints from the actual customers who are upset about not getting what they ordered? The absence of actual complaints would seem to say a lot to me.

    Let the guy run his own business. If you can do better, then do it yourself.

  17. Matt Kleinschmidt

    I guess that I fail to see the issue with saw prices. If you want a high end saw then order one. If you don’t want to pay for it then go to your home-center box store and buy one that is cheap, you will probably get a yellow miter box with it. But to criticize a saw maker for charging "a lot" for his product seems absurd.

    And if his back logged customers wanted the embellishments then perhaps they should look for a saw maker that offers them, learn how to add them themselves, or offer him a chunk of change to have them added. I am sure that he knows that if he changes the product he may lose a few orders. However his saws are now in the price range of many more woodworkers and he will be able to put them in people’s hands much faster, which can only be good for the craft. So Mr. Lunn, I applaud you for the great move, I hope that it proves to be a good one. You can expect an order from me as soon as…well you know.

    Anyway, this entire controversy seems a bit silly to me. I bet that you don’t see posts like this over on the BMW website. And Chris, I thought that the satire was both obvious and funny. Nicely done, as usual.

  18. Lyle

    Derek & Ace above both have a point.

    The central issue is not the product but marketing. Customers were promised a certain product and now they are being offered a different product albeit at lower prices.

    The path to hell is paved with good intentions. Andrew is trying to do the right thing – get the product out – but also discovering a few things along the way about running a business.

    I think a hybrid approach is called for – offer the customers quicker delivery at reduced prices or the full product at original price however with a delay.

    If I was Andrew I would implement Derek’s suggestion above going forward.

  19. Ace Karner

    Chris, sorry that in my declining years I failed to see the satire in the posting.

    I steered clear of the topic of his huge price increases shortly after your review of his saws in your blog. I’m a firm believer in the Capitalist system and feel that he and anyone else has the right to charge anything he wants.

    I did however understand why some people felt some mild criticism might be in order.

    Instead of seeing satire what I saw was the Irony of a publisher/editor that seemed to be making fun of and or putting down the readers that I’m fairly sure are also his most loyal subscribers that took issue with Lunds new pricing, and his deciding not to furnish already accepted orders with all the bells and whistles and just lowering the price instead.

    I know that If I ordered a new pickup with Air Conditioning and it was delivered without it the fact that I was not charged for it wouldn’t make me any happier.

    I guess that’s why I saw much more Audacity than Satire in your blog.

    Don’t worry tho, I plan to keep both of my subs and will continue to read your blogs and learn from your vast experience.

    Thanks for hearing me out

    Ace

  20. Christopher Schwarz

    Well I could say something cutting here, but I think the saw speaks for itself.

    For those of you worried about me hurting Andrew’s feelings, I ran this blog entry by him before posting it and he thought it was a hoot.

    Chris

  21. Rick Roberts

    Does it cut on the pull stroke or push?

    Why worry about price criticism. It sells or it doesn’t. Nothing will change the mind of the critics. In Andrew’s case I think most of the hubbub stemmed from the sharp increase in price, shortly after one of your reviews I believe.

    Having one year’s backlog seems to speak for itself, especially in this economy.

    I’m also sure that I can find quite a few people that think a woodworking magazines editors pay is way too high if they can afford these shiny new toys.

    Rick

  22. Derek Cohen

    Hi Chris

    I am relieved to see that Andrew is not cutting corners where it counts. This saw actually resembles one that was given to me for my last birthday by my mother-in-law (SWHNT .. She Who Has No Taste). She has never liked me.

    Anyway, I note that the saw plate is still tapered, although it now appears to be in the opposite direction. Andrew must have a secret new plan. The teeth count (ppi) appear to have dropped, but I guess that is where some of the savings go. And the tote looks to be a rather adventurous new design. I note that it is left-handed. Will all the saws be left handled from now on? One explanation may be that Andrew is trying to reduce his waiting list. He can’t frighten me (only my mother-in-law does) – I will steadfastly remain there for another saw.

    This reaction to the new "high" prices does not surprise me – I am not wealthy but recognise that if I choose to purchase a custom tool …. here one of Andrew’s saws – but Rob Cosman ($300), and Mark Harrell (Technoprimitives, expected to be about $250) are offering in the same range
    ….. then I must expect to reinburse him adequately for his time. I view most of the buying public to be naive about paying for custom handwork. They appear to expect to pay the same hourly rates that they offer their kids for work around the yard.

    What I would suggest to Andrew is that he offer a price on "additions", such as embellishments, and let the customer decide whether they want the basic $260 model, or whether they are prepared to pay more for a personalised custom saw.

    Regards from Perth
    Derek

  23. L VanArkin

    This seems like a slam to me. The guy is making high end kit available at a more reasonable price and cutting out unnecessary, if attractive, frills.

    I call BS. It’s a tool to make finished workpieces, not just a coveted item in and of itself.

  24. John Griffin-Wiesner

    It looks like it has a unique kind of progressive pitch too! I can’t wait to try it.

  25. Mattias in Durham, NC

    Should have saved this one for 4/1… but it is still pretty funny.

    Poke those cheapskates in the eye! I can almost hear the words preceding the making of that saw. "Those rascals are extorting my hard earned dollars for what? A piece of metal and a block of wood, and some carving? Heck I can make that myself. And tomorrow I will build myself a horseless carriage."

    What I really want to know is… will it blend?

  26. Christopher Schwarz

    Ace,

    Sorry you don’t like it.

    Personally, I think that satire is the most serious form of social commentary available.

    Chris

  27. Eric Hartunian

    Now we need to convince Altoids to taper grind the tin they make their boxes out of…
    Eric

  28. David

    Ha! Nice blog entry – definitely someone with a bully pulpit needed to stick a finger in the eye of the cheapskates that really do think there’s something unethical about a plane that costs more than $20 and a saw that costs more than $50. And that had the cahones to give the maker grief about it – "rude" and "obnoxious" doesn’t begin to describe it….

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