Ashley Iles Chisels?

Does anyone have these? Your opinions will be much appreciated as I am considering buying a set of these chisels for routine bench work.
-- Bill Rittner R & B ENTERPRISES
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I have well over $2000 worth of their carving chisels and just ordered a set of bevel edge chisels. You could say I like them. They're probabley not the best on the market but the difference from the best to these is extremely small.

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Yep they have been making carving chisels for at least a couple of weeks :]
-- mike hide

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brought forth from the murky depths:

I saw them in the pre-Rockler store at least 3 years ago, Mike. Stop scaring the newbies, eh?
Visually, they compared to the Swiss-made Pfiel, my favorite.
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Just bought a set of their "American-pattern bench chisels" this month actually. They're more the size of butt chisels, but have bench chisel blades on them. Sharpening took quite a bit of effort, as the backs on all 7 of them had been ground convex at the factory. A few hours with Scary Sharp flattened them out and I got them honed up and ready to use. I absolutely LOVE the bubinga handles on these chisels....they're very nicely finished and quite comfortable.
Used them for the first time in any serious way last night, making 4 mortises for some small hinges in cherry. Having done this same procedure before with my Marples Blue Chips, I can say that I felt like I had more control with the Iles chisels. My mortises came out nicer, and the edges seem to last longer. After making my mortises, I tried shaving hair off my arm with the chisel I used (how I normally test the edges when honing). It didn't take it off like it did when freshly honed, but it DID take a few hairs off. The Blue Chips would stop doing that immediately after they came into any contact with wood.
Whether you go with the standard bench chisels or the smaller American-pattern, I don't think you'll go wrong with 'em.....they're quite nice.
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Marple's USED to have a heck or a reputation; maybe it was because Stanley had gotten so poor. Two Cherries, the Stork, others are fine German steel and good for a lifetime. American steel either does does not possess enough of something or the Germans work theirs more or something. Your good German steel is -usually- WAY ahead of American steel used in chisels.
On 27 Oct 2003 09:56:28 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@angelfire.com (Me) wrote:

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Wasn't always so, but then some of us 'Muricans started using our chisels for opening paint cans and prying out nails, and complaining to the manufacturers when they broke. Guess what - those manufacturers said "The customer is always right", and changed their specs. Can't hardly blame them, can you?
We have made progress though. Those chisels now come with instructions cautioning us against having our thumbs on top of the chisel handle when we hit it with a hammer, in at least eight languages.
John Martin
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I'd almost agree except our screwdrivers and saw blades have held their own. Just plane irons and chisels.
On 27 Oct 2003 18:18:36 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (JMartin957) wrote:

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Sawblades - not sure whether you're referring to the round ones or the straight ones. Either way, though, they don't normally get the misuse that chisels do.
Screwdrivers, in spite of the abuse they get, actually have to be harder than they used to be. Years ago, almost no screws were hardened. Today's sheetmetal and drywall screws are hardened, and are awfully rough on soft screwdrivers.
Steel, even good steel, is relatively cheap. We know more about metallurgy, and control of hardening and tempering processes is better than it ever was. Stanley could, if they wanted, make a better chisel today than they ever have. But they have to make ones that they can sell in blister packs in Home Depots to satisfy the majority of buyers, which they do.
I'm not happy about it. I'd like to see them making "professional lines" of tools to higher standards. There may even be a market for it - look what Lie-Nielson has done. But I won't hold my breath waiting.
Lie-Nielson is an interesting case, and a real parallel to the steel issue. Think about it. Stanley once had the greatest line of specialty planes in the world, but they started dropping the poorer-sellers back in the '40s and '50s. They eventually dumbed down the line to the extent that there was now a real - albeit limited - opportunity for someone else to come in and corner that market. Stanley already had all of the patterns and the manufacturing jigs, fixtures and equipment. They easily could have continued to make limited quantities of those products, but that didn't fit their marketing plan.
Off the soapbox now,
John Martin
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American steel is as good as any in the world. American manufacturers don't like to pay for it though. They figure that the majority won't know the difference anyway.

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