The Barron – Dual Kerf Starter

























A brand-new concept, The Barron is designed to aid the marking out of perfectly equal width tails of a dovetail joint.

The idea was introduced to us by furniture maker and teacher, David Barron at the North of England Woodworking Show back in 2019. A long-standing customer, David approached Shane with two blades glued together with veneer for spacing and asked if he could turn this idea into a useable tool. He wanted something that was well-balanced and that allowed for repeatable precision time and time again. Throughout his career David, has always been thinking of ways to make perfect dovetails easier for both the amateur and professional woodworker. 

Whilst obviously both a Saw Maker & great craftsman, Shane is also an inventor and therefore was keen to design and bring such a clever, yet functional concept to life.

How it Works

The principal of a kerf starter is to create a kerf or notch which you can place your saw in to make a cut. The Barron has been designed for dovetailing and has two main purposes.

  • When used against a square (the teeth have no set) it creates notches at 90 degrees for you to cut your tails. It is essential for good fitting dovetails that the tails are cut square.

  • Being fitted with two blades the Barron creates a pair of notches which ensures the opening for every pin is identically sized. This will help to achieve an attractive and nicely balanced joint.


The opening created for the pin is 1.9mm wide which is ideal for boxes and drawer sides. If you wish to have wider pins for larger projects such as chests, then you can cut a third or fourth notch by dropping the saw into one of the first cuts. This will provide pin openings of 3.2mm and 4.5mm respectively.




















A collaboration of thought and true English engineering and craftsmanship has therefore brought about this superior tool with a great purpose. Whilst a cutting- edge concept, this tool with its ever-complex design of a semi-octagonal tapered handle would not look out of place in an 18th Century toolbox. Aptly named ‘The Barron,’

 again this noble tool will remain loyal to all those who use it for many years to come.

  • 7 ½” Dual Kerf Starter

  • Two parallel spring steel blades

  • Fluted brass back stamped ‘S SKELTON’ on top

  • Plate thickness to match the dovetail saw as specified by customer

  • Cuts on either pull or push stroke as specified by customer

  • Handmade Semi-octagonal tapered handle in a choice of high-grade timbers

  • Rip Cut 20ppi / 19tpi

  • No Set

  • Cost £325 Plus Postage £15 UK / £25 Overseas

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Photo courtesy of David Barron. 

A box he made to house both his Dual Kerf Starter and Gentleman Jaq Saw. For further information and to see David using 'The Barron' please visit

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David Barron picks up his new London Long Stroke 13 3/4" Fine Carcass Saw.