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Class: Make a Dovetail Saw + Tenon Saw with Tom Calisto (2 Days)




CLASS DESCRIPTION: Renowned tool maker Tom Calisto will guide you through making a historical custom dovetail saw and tenon saw. See below for class details. This class is held back-to-back with another complimentary handsaw class of Tom’s, for those wishing to attend them both: “Make a Hand Saw Till with Tom Calisto“.

WAIT LIST: If the class becomes sold out, click here to get added to the wait list. People may cancel, we may add more slots, or we may decide to add another class date.

PAYMENT: If you would like to pay for a class using a different method than online with a credit card, email us here to arrange to pay by check or cash. We don’t accept credit cards over the phone.



In this two day class you will make your own custom, open-toat, 18th century dovetail saw, and tenon saw! Using fine wood for the handles, a brass back, brass nuts, and spring steel for the saw plate, you’ll have finer saws than can be purchased in any store. Master tool maker, Tom Calisto, will work closely with you through the process of shaping the handle, fitting the saw plate to the brass back & handle, boring holes for brass nuts, punching the teeth with his retoother, and finally shaping and sharpening the saw to perfection.

Class Syllabus:

DAY 1:

  • Clean up handle blank and mark for the plate and back
  • Cut slot and mortise for the plate and back
  • Bore stepped holes through handle for the traditional flush saw nut
  • Begin shaping handle to suit students hand for a custom fit

DAY 2:

  • Tooth the saw plate using a vintage Foley Belsaw retoother
  • Set and Sharpen saw plate
  • Punch saw plate for saw nuts
  • Prepare and install brass back
  • Assemble saw and tune as necessary
  • Polish/finish metal and wood components

About the Instructor:

Tom Calisto woodworking instructor at the woodandshop traditional woodworking school

Tom Calisto is an expert hand tool maker and engineer, with specialty in making historical hand saws. He has been featured on the the PBS TV show “The Woodwright’s Shop“. He also teaches woodworking classes at Roy Underhill’s “Woodwright’s School” and is a regular contributor to Fine Woodworking Magazine and Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Below are a couple videos of Tom teaching hand saw sharpening & restoration in the Wood & Shop Traditional Woodworking School:

Materials Fee:

A class material fee of $45 covers the dovetail saw making kit, and is payable to the instructor before or on the day of the class. Most students make a second saw (either a tenon saw, or a carcass saw, for example) within the two days, so any additional saw materials can be purchased from the instructor during the class. Tenon saw kits are $60.

How to Get Here & Where to Stay:

The address of the school is 5700 Buffalo River Rd. Earlysville, Virginia 22936 (Google Maps here). The school is convenient to quite a few hotels, stores, and restaurants, and is only 8 minutes from the Charlottesville airport. Many more details are listed on the school’s main page here.

Class Policies, Liability Waiver, & Cancellations:

A PDF document with the full class policies and a liability waiver will be sent in the order confirmation email. All students are required to sign and return this document prior to attending the class. Anyone can cancel a class up to 2 weeks prior to the class for a full refund (minus a $25 fee that covers credit card processing fees and administrative work). Cancellations under two weeks before a class begins will be given a refund (less $25) if we can find someone else to fill the slot. If we have to cancel a class for an unforeseen emergency, inclement weather, or low number of registrations, a full refund will be given to students.

Student Tool Discounts from Lee Valley & Lie-Nielsen:

After you’ve registered for a class, you are eligible for a discount from Lee Valley (Veritas) and Lie-Nielsen Toolworks. Lee Valley offers a 15% discount, and a discount form PDF will be available for download in your Wood and Shop dashboard after your purchase. For a 10% discount from Lie-Nielsen Toolworks, you need to place a phone order and tell them that you are a registered student at the Wood & Shop Traditional Woodworking School. The discounts aren’t available after the end of the class.

Photos from Past Classes:

Additional information

Select a Date

Fri-Sat Apr 24-25, 2020, Fri-Sat Oct 09-10, 2020


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