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I pretty much eat coping saw blades for breakfast.

Just about every piece of casework I do involves dovetails (sometimes more than 100 in a single piece such as a tool chest), so a coping saw is almost always on the bench to remove waste.

For years I have used the Olson coping saw blades and been quite happy with them, especially compared to the home-center dreck. My only complaint about the Olsons is they are over-set. And my attempts to remove the set in a simple, easy and fast way have not succeeded.

This week while in England, I got to use coping saw blades from Pegas, which has long made high-quality scrollsaw blades and fretsaw blades. Years ago, Lee Marshall of Knew Concepts and Thomas Lie-Nielsen both sent me some samples of fretsaw blades they were examining.

At the time, none of us could get our hands on pin-ended coping saw blades from Pegas that were 6-1/2” long – the standard size.

But lo and behold, Workshop Heaven in the U.K. carries five different pitches of Pegas coping saw blades in the 6-1/2” lengths. I used the 18-point skip-tooth blade (No. 90.550) and was amazed. I was so amazed that I bought 10 packages of the blades.

They are not over-set. And the blade is thin enough to drop into a kerf left by a thin-kerf dovetail saw. The blade is .02” thick, which fits fine in a kerf cut by a .015” saw that has any set to the teeth.

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The teeth are sharp, finely ground and cut remarkably smooth. Because of all these properties, I was able to dovetail an entire Dutch tool chest without bending or breaking a blade. Then two more students used the same blade to remove all the waste on their Dutch tool chests and the blade was still in excellent shape. That is impressive.

I did a quick search and couldn’t find this particular 18-point skip-tooth blade – the 90.550 – for sale in the United States. But if someone knows where to get it, leave a note in the comments.

— Christopher Schwarz


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Showing 22 comments
  • MatthewWH

    Wow, you guys cleaned us out within hours!

    We had to get more blades flown in from Switzerland by overnight courier on Thursday, but they are now back in stock.

    Many thanks,

    Matthew (Workshop Heaven)

  • Ben Lowery

    Looks like both vendors listed have been Schwarz’d. 🙂

  • don2laughs

    I emailed Grobet and got directed to this site: ttp://search.store.yahoo.net/yhst-86144623803941/cgi-bin/nsearch?query=90550&searchsubmit=GO&vwcatalog=yhst-86144623803941&.autodone=http%3A%2F%2Fb2bprofessionaltools.com%2F
    These are the ones you used, Chris.

  • Betkerr

    They are on Amazon.com but the descriptions for the 90551B and 90550B seem to be mixed up.
    They have the 90550B listed as the skip tooth blade and the 90551B as the regular blade.
    Type in “Pegas 6.5” as your search and it helps eliminate a lot of the chaff.

  • don2laughs

    woddawg and I found them ate Grobet’s Pegas pages…. http://www.grobetusa.com/pegas-wood-sawblade-pinned-coping-skip-6-5-sold-by-the-dozen-item-90-550/
    Guess one must get a catalogue or call for a supplier to order them.

    Don

  • sjschultz
  • woundedpig

    Switch to a fret saw that uses the shorter ~ 5 inch blade, like the Knew Concepts (pricey I know), and you can take advantage of the big selection at Ben’s Scroll Saw website. Ben only stocks 3 of the longer coping saw blades, but not the 18 tpi.
    http://bensscrollsaw.com/store1.html

    David

  • Dylan

    A while back, you blogged about spiral coping saw blades and Frank Strazza commented on that post:

    “Frank Strazza July 6, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    Hello Chris,

    The blades that I use for coping out the waste are found at….Sears, of all places! I get the fine coping saw blades. They work great, they are thin in the direction from teeth to the back of the blade, so you can make a pretty easy turn. Mine just develop that “twist” as I use it, but I suppose you could twist it with a pliers. I use them on the push stroke, you will have some tear out on the back side, but the knife line keeps that from causing any problems. I can cut right above the line with them. Give it a try, a pack is only $2.50!”

    I decided to give them a try and they work great. They are very thin and cut predictable and seem to last for a long while.

    Dylan

  • woddawg
  • cliftb

    The Pegas catalog can be found at site.b2bprofessionaltools.com. Chris’ blades are 90.550C according to the picture. Looking at the catalog, this is the item no. for carded set of blades. The part no. for the same blade in a gross quantity from the catalog is 90.550B. That’s the part no. for the amazon item. Am I reading all of this right?

  • lllars

    I find the olson blades work fine. It does take a smidge of force to slip them into the kerf left by my dovetail saw (stock lie nielsen model), but it’s really not a problem. After turning a few sharp corners they lose some of their set, and if you touch up the teeth with a file, they cut better than new.

  • tahoetwobears

    Right back to Lee (Knew Concepts)
    http://knewconcepts.com/blades.php

  • woddawg

    I found them at Grobet:
    http://www.grobetusa.com/pegas-wood-sawblade-pinned-coping-skip-6-5-sold-by-the-dozen-item-90-550/
    They must not like to publish their prices. I didn’t see any price. Call?

  • Bob Miller

    The have the wrong description and unfortunately a seller you prefer to avoid but…
    http://smile.amazon.com/Pegas-Swiss-Coping-Cutting-Sawblades/dp/B000HYMSN6/ref=sr_1_2?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1406616607&sr=1-2#productDetails

    Seem to match the physical specs right on.

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