Chisels

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With all the talk about Blue Marples, I wonder if I really need better chisels. What I have is not a true set and possibly date back to the 20s. I have had them for about 30 years but don't use chisels much. They appear to be good-high quality. Here is what is printed on them:
1-1/4" New Haven Edge Tool Co.
3/4" B.O.A. For H.D.A. & Co.
1/2" B.O.A. For H.D.A. & Co.
1/4" LAKESTOREXTRA (this one may be a little lower in quality)
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Chisels are only as good as the edge YOU put on them. The most expensive chisel in the world is worthless if you don't know how to sharpen them. Stick with what you have, many folks I know go to yard sales and flea market to buy old chisels. Way cheaper and you have to sharpen them anyway.
John C

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On Mon, 24 Jan 2005 12:00:56 +0000, snowdog wrote:

And the best edge on a crappy chisel is worthless. I found this out while cleaning up mortises in red oak using four brands scary sharpened to perfection - Marples BlueChip, old Stanley, really old and pitted Searz and Buck Bros. All except the Buck Bros held an edge and only required a light touch up after a few dozed mortises. The Buck Bros curled over and looked like it had been used on concrete after one side of a mortise. I'm not sure a Buck Bros could open a can of paint.
- Doug
--

To escape criticism--do nothing, say nothing, be nothing." (Elbert Hubbard)


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And the quality of chisels varied greatly over time, such that a brand generalization of value and durability is suspect. The ancestors of the modern Stanleys, which have been widely reviled, often go for hundreds each, on eBay, and serve as the models for the Lie Nielsen reproduction set.
More than you ever wanted to rationally know about chisels is available in the Hand Tools section at www.woodcentral.com
There is no shame in a mixed set of old timers that works for you. It's almost considered a badge of honor in some circles.
Patriarch
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Patriarch wrote:

brand
the
hundreds
reproduction
available
It's
Old Buck Brothers are among the best. New Buck Brothers are made by an outfit that bought the name and are POS.
But the Buch Brothers lathe chisels are made by a different company and have a decent reputation.
--

FF


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Can someone clue me in on the "scary sharp" process?
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On 24 Jan 2005 13:07:18 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Use spray adhesive to attach sandpaper to plate glass or something else that is really flat, and sharpen the chisel the same way you would using a stone. Just start with 200 grit, and work up one grit at a time until you reach 1500 or 2000 grit automotive sandpaper. Makes the edge really shiny, and does indeed work very nicely, though I still prefer my stones- more for asthetic reasons than anything. There's a website somewhere that describes it in greater detail, just do a google search for "scary sharp".
Aut inveniam viam aut faciam
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

http://home.earthlink.net/~kvaughn65/scary.html
Glen
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Doug Winterburn wrote:

I was going to chime in with something similar, so I still will. :)
In my case, it was a Marples. They're the only chisels I have, and I've always thought they were "pretty good" in spite of the frequent criticism I see here.
Then I found out why they get frequent criticism. I tried to chisel out a bit of rock maple with one. I normally just use hand pressure, and my edges are perfectly sharp, thank you very much. Hand pressure wouldn't even hardly dent this wood. So I used a mallet, gently. Two very carefully applied taps, and the edge was all to hell. Marples chisels are no good for rock maple, that's for sure.
Maybe I could improve the odds by regrinding to a different angle or something. Even so, I think if I were going to be doing a lot of this, I'd have to suck it up and buy some better chisels.
--
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < snipped-for-privacy@users.sourceforge.net>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
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Or work with something other than rock maple.
Look at these:
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&pI988&cat=1,41504,41533 &ap=1
Then look at these:
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&pF403&cat=1,41504
The difference in design is because of the different task for which they are intended. Paring a mortise clean is a different task than chopping a mortise from scratch. But other Neanders have plowed this field before, and better than I can today.
It's nice to have a bunch of sharp chisels available, when working on a project. I hate to stop and sharpen, beyond a quick hone. Chisels that I don't have to worry about are pretty useful tools to have about.
Patriarch
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Patriarch wrote:

And then look at these by Jim Wiison:
http://home.comcast.net/~charliebcz/Boxes1.html
These mortising chisels have nice sharp square edges and a long beefy bevel. Get one started square and you don't need to pare the sides of a mortise. And rolling the cutting edge would take a bit of doing.

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<snip>

As I recall, Jim stopped making these. Otherwise, I think I'd warm up my checkbook.
Patriarch
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Patriarch wrote:

or
Or get another set ground for harder stuff. The grind angle means a lot with chisels. More so than any other hand tools, I reckon.

Has any1 here tried the LVs? I'm curious.

they
chopping
Well, I got mixed feelings about this. My best mortise chisel by a country mile, is a Japanese 1/2" framing mortise chisel. It is heavy, the edge is buller-proof and it just works the best of them all for mortising no matter what the wood is. Fairly high grind angle, of course. I've got some other non-Japanese ones but I rarely go anywhere else other than this big mutha. And everyone tells me the edge in a Japanese chisel is fragile...
For paring I use Japanese. Or a new-ish Stanley 2"wide, which for some inexplicable reason has only improved with age: used to be a POS. Nowadays, it's one of the best. All sharpened at a very low angle. Never hit by a hammer, only pushed by hand or with a soft leather mallet.
For general fine work I use the Kirschen firmer ones: they are good and cheap. Middle grind angle. Sometimes I use them with a mallet, others just hand push.
For general framing work I use three huge old Sorbys: heavy as can be but they work really well. One has a low-ish angle, the other is for hard stuff, the third is a firmer 1" used for rough-and-ready mortises. All get a hiding when needed. Not a problem: the mallet comes out second best! ;)

a
that
Amen to that!
I'd add: get what works for you. If the OP likes his Blue Marples, then get another set and grind them at a different angle. Then try, try, try.
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Yep, I used the Hirsch 6mm and 10mm as shown on that Lee Valley web page. They are great chisels. Long and easy to square. Huge handles that you can really whack. Lots of steel to pry the big chips. Nice tools.
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On Sat, 29 Jan 2005 04:42:27 +0000, Nate Perkins wrote:

I just got the 10mm Hirsch mortise chisel from LV. Back was convex. Took forever to lap flat on 220 SiC and 800 waterstone. Had just read somebody's opinion on the web about paring the mortise down a fraction of an inch, before starting the vertical cutting, so the blade has something to register against. Finished cutting a nice square hole in a tubafor. I remember tapping it twice with a light mallet in the course of that mortise; the rest was just hand pressure. The blade edge was curled and nicked! Frankly, it looked worse than my 3/8" Marples blue chip after mortising some ash (got a mortise chisel for a reason...).
FWIW, I had the bevel and the back "nose-hair" shiny on a 10k Ice Bear stone before starting the mortise. Stropped a couple of times during the cut on leather+green crayon.
Somebody else opined somewhere that the first 1/8" of a new chisel isn't much good, something to do with the tempering process. I dunno, but this chisel looks to be spending a lot of time at the sharpening bench.
For better or worse, the ugly yellow handle coating is coming off in long streaks. Can't come off soon enough. Maybe it didn't like the acetone I used to get the lacquer off the blade.
This thing will cut mortises, but I'm a bit disappointed with my first "quality" chisel. It seems no better than my Blue Chips and Fat Maxes, just a whole lot bigger.
YMMV
--
"Keep your ass behind you"
vladimir a t mad scientist com
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On Sat, 29 Jan 2005 00:08:13 -0600, Australopithecus scobis

I'm hardly an expert, but it seems to me that if you had a problem with the first 1/8" of a chisel due to tempering it would be that the steel would be too hard -- and chip-prone -- rather than too soft.
What am I missing?
--RC
"Sometimes history doesn't repeat itself. It just yells 'can't you remember anything I've told you?' and lets fly with a club. -- John W. Cambell Jr.
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snipped-for-privacy@TAKEOUTmindspring.com wrote:

Something to do with the way the metal is formed in making the chisel. I can't remember where I saw it either. Something about the end being whacked together, and there's a seam there right at the far end that's supposed to get ground off. If it's not ground back far enough, the steel right at the end can be weak. Or something. :) Anyway, it was a pretty legitimate looking case. Just evidently not such a memorable one.
--
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Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
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On Sun, 30 Jan 2005 06:36:31 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@TAKEOUTmindspring.com wrote:

it's probably detempered by the factory grinding process. sharpen past it and you'll be fine.
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On Sun, 30 Jan 2005 11:57:27 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@all.costs wrote:

That makes sense. Thanks.
--RC "Sometimes history doesn't repeat itself. It just yells 'can't you remember anything I've told you?' and lets fly with a club. -- John W. Cambell Jr.
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What kind of angle did you use for the sharpening? A mortising chisel is usually sharpened at a pretty high angle (I do mine around 35 degrees, by hand, on the microbevel only, and only go to about 1200 waterstone).
Also, it's usually driven hard with a big mallet (mine's made of scrap goncalo alves) and then leaned on hard to pry chips. I mean a big mallet, just whacking the hell out of it. Excellent stress reliever. Very different from the way you'd treat a bench chisel.
I didn't bother to lap the back, or clean off the blade coating on mine. The handle coating is still intact.
Sorry you are not satisfied with the chisel. Perhaps it is worth talking with LV; they are of course known for excellent customer service.
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