Henry Taylor registered chisels, my report

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Henry Taylor registered chisels, my report
I recently had the set of four that I bought from Traditional Woodworker. On the 1" I gave it a great and thorough flattening and micro bevel on leather with two grits, blue emery and then LV green 0.5 micron using (as Mr. Lee suggests) rendered tallow in the leather (horse butt).
I got it "scary sharp" enough, no burs there, just extremely sharp... after which I ran the cutting edge over the edge of a block of doug fir to see how smooth it would cut.
I wound up returning the set to tww in exchange for a couple of sharpening stones.
I could not believe how utterly chippy the steel is, just that run caused too much metal to be missing from the cutting edge, to where it was about flat and no "sharp" at all! That was a lotta hard work...
Me thinks maybe Sheffield has become a marketing campaign and not much more than that. Weren't they famous for the quality of their steel?
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metal to be missing from the cutting edge<<
As I write this, I am putting on my flame proof suit. God help me.
My profession has required me to use chisels for about 30 years now on regular basis. I tried the methods of the SS people. I chanted. I burned incense... I worked and worked and had some or the prettiest mirror finishes on my chisels you could believe. Gorgeous. And yes, unbeknownst to me why this is important, you could shave the hair off your arm.
However, you could not mortise a hinge in a red oak door, or add a lock to an aged Phillipine mahogany set either without tearing up the beautiful, gorgeous, Gillette style edge.
In fact, my pedigreed chisels that I bought to spoil myself and celebrate my craft didn't understand that they should have no problems at all with today's hard pine jambs and door cores...
They chipped (in the oak) and literally rolled back the edges in all the hard woods. By the way, these babies were the BEST in soft pine, though.
These (Two Cherries, and the older Sheffield Marples - not the crap they are making for Stanley and another German brand) turned out to be more for looking at, sharpening, and arm shaving.
I baby my chisels. They have their own box in my tool box. I keep edge protectors on them. I never let them get really dull. But the pedigrees meant nothing in the field. I was so pissed off at all the money I spent on them I have traded them off, and use one of the last Marples I have as a "beater" when I cut trim that may have a nail in it.
Two things are wrong with these chisels, and the SS stuff IN MY OPINION ONLY. First, the steel is not going to hold a "micro double bevel edge". Period. And the second thing is that the SS edge is impracticle for most use.
It may be great for the weekend guy that can spend hours honing, rehoning, stropping and then shaving, but sometimes when you use a chisel it dulls rapidly and you need a fresh edge rapidly. I do not take a shop full of tools out to my jobs to hone, strop, polish and test shave before re-use.
I have found the thinner, polished edges belong inside a shop somewhere with someone that makes an occasional project or drawer set. In that environment, regularly honing and stropping seems to be a part of using the pedigreed chisels, and the edge maintenance is as much fun as the project itself.
I wish big money bought quality, because I was sure one dumb, happy, smug sombitch when I went to the job and hauled out the Marples. I was by chance working with some other carpenters I knew that day, and I was down right embarassed and was ready to pitch them.
After all the teasing I took for spending $$$$ for them, they laughed their asses off at the Alfred E. Newman look the FIRST time I pulled it out of a door edge from outlining the hinge profile.
Robert
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote in

<snip>
Having heard the cautionary tale, I'm waiting for the "this is what you should do, grasshopper" part. Every old carpenter I've ever met had a way to do it, or the right tool to find for the job. After messing with the new guy for a while.
I mean, that's the journeyman's job - to mess with the newbie, then teach him how to do it correctly.
Patriarch
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should do, grasshopper" part. Every old carpenter I've ever met <<
Hey... I'm still under 50! Well, just a few months...
I don't know that you should do this, but this was my solution after trying many.
It just so happened that years ago when this happened, within a few months one of the better ww magazines ran one of those "chisel shootout" articles. They tested extensively using practicle cutting including chopping and paring, ease of sharpening, how long they held their edge and how much they cost.
The results are to the best of my memory, but the shocker was not the winner, nor second place. It was third....
Sears.... yup, Sears.
Right there with the $40 - $60 a piece chisels were the Sears Craftsman chisels at $25 a set of 6. Please remember they job this stuff out so it may have changed by now.
I felt betrayed, like I had kissed my sister. Sears? I thought, why not? At least I won't have a lot of dough in the chisels, and if I don't like them I can either take them back or use them for beaters.
They are great utility chisels. I am not crazy about the handles, but I love the price. The sharpen quite well, and hold and edge well. I never shave with my tools, so I do not feel the need to look at myself on the edge of any of my tools. I have a small utility 600 grit water stone that stays with the chisels, and in a pinch I use 320 sandpaper and a light touch on a piece of glass or granite to touch them up.
They are too short for some applications, but I am used to them now, (still don't like the handles) and I shapen them all with the angle the factory put on them which is more blunt than some would like. But the edge lasts much longer. And the short length also gives you the opportunity to do a little hand powered carving and touch up if you are so inclined, something that is harder to control with longer chisels.
Also, I have noticed that I don't have a hissy fit when I nick a nail or hidden knot that inevitably gaps a chisel. Sure, I swear a lot, but then I can fix the edge easily with the whitestone grinder and the waterstones. I am not in shock like I was with the pedigreed chisels when I saw them gap toothed.
My remaining Marples paring chisel sees service about every 18 months for a few minutes, then it goes back in its holder to be sharpened.
Robert
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I do a lot of shop work, doors, cabinets, and a lot of interior trim work. My cheap blue handled marples serve me well. Haven't used a stone in a decade, just a high quality flat file gives me as sharp an edge as I need. Every once in a while it goes to the grinding wheel to re-profile and square it. Works for me.
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On 15 Aug 2005 09:11:27 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I picked up one of those recently, and it's actually pretty impressive- IIRC, it was $11.99 for the 1.5" one I got, and it sharpened to a razor's edge in about 5 minutes right off the bat, and has held that edge pretty well after quite a lot of hard use. Nice handle on it that actually fits my hand, and a good thick blade. I figure that's good enough for me, and I was planning on getting a whole set of them. I'm surprised to hear the really expensive ones perform so poorly...
Stanley is the other surprising performer- I've got a set of them that I just use for rough carpentry use, and they're awfully tough. Used one of them to chip ceramic tile off concrete yesterday (misplaced my cold chisel), and the edge actually held up pretty well, considering. No nicks or bent-over edges, and it was actually still sharp enough to whack some corners off from framing lumber cleanly. Those things have been used for everything a chisel should never be used for (opening paint cans, chipping rough edges off durock, prybars, you name it) and they hold up awfully well.
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On Mon, 15 Aug 2005 10:04:42 -0500, the opaque Patriarch

Isn't this where they tell the guy to regrind to 35? Then comes the "Whatcha using a paring chisel on that mortising work for, boy?"

That's what I've heard.
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him how to do it correctly.
Patriarch <<
Used to be. Was when I started. But like so many things, that has all changed.
Unless it is to my immediate benefit, I am reluctant to take the time to teach anyone anything that takes more than a few minutes. After having several hundred employees over the last 25 years, the pattern is the same 97% of the time.
I take time out of my day to show them how to do something like re-bore a lockset into a door with the wrong backset for the lock, and if they can do five of them in a row without screwing up they decide they are the next Krenov. For this expanded knowledge base and now vastly increased experience they ALWAYS think they need a raise.
It is a nut that can't be cracked. In the building boom economy of South Texas helpers make a lot for what they do; training them cost you and them money. So no dogging them around - no old hazing - no establising turf. But if you don't train them you miss the off chance of having a good employee for a few months. If you do they hold you hostage for more money since they have all kinds of knowledge they didn't have when you started them on the payroll. I literally have guys that ask for really healthy raises every single month.
Now when I call on a couple of old carpentry buddies for us to make some money together on a project, we dog each other pretty good when we get a chance. That doesn't seem like work to me sometimes... working with someone that has knowledge and their own tools is very satisfying.
On another note, I am surprised at all that have (pardon the pun) come out of the woodwork on the scary sharp business. FWIW, I agree with all that has been posted here... I just didn't expect to see it. I thought I was going to be incinerated by the devotees of this method.
I don't know what many here use their chisels for, but they love buying pieces of granite, glass, special polishes, cutting compounds, oxhide strops, etc. for their chisels. Some of the threads have almost been like watching kids find a new toy to play with; I even remember one guy a couple of years ago telling here that he had put in for a copyright (or something along those lines) for the name and system since he thought he was the first to sharpen chisels with sandpaper.
To me that was kind of like "The Father of the Internet".
I was SHOWN by carpenters how to do that when I started full time in 1975... no telling how long they had been doing it. They reground if needed on a belt sander, and cleaned up the edge on a piece of 220 or 240, which ever was available.
Before all the door mortising templates and router gizmos, we mortised all hinges and door locks with hammer and chisel. UGH. No thanks. But you learned how to sharpen and hone as needed in the field and how to make a good working edge.
It wasn't Scary, but it was Surprising.
Robert
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1975... no telling how long they had been doing it. They reground if needed on a belt sander, and cleaned up the edge on a piece of 220 or 240, which ever was available. <
I was an electromech, and rarely used chisels, but when I did they had to be sharp. I didn't have oilstones or any carpenters type of hones, so they were ground on the angle grinder and sharpened on waterproof paper with a drop of cutting compound to avoid the dust.This was in 1959/60. Onsite nowadays I still use the same method.
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You mean they actually think that increased skill an experience should be compensated for? What ingrates. Don't they realize that they should work for you for the lowest wage possible? Don't they realize that their place in life is to make money for you disregarding their own lives? What a bunch of losers.
teach

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Robert, do you know what a registered chisel is? They are not for construction work or carpentry. Woodworking on a classic woodworker's bench for mortising, it is a thicker flat sided chisel, no bevel edge and thinner than German mortisers. I believe they are only made in England.
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the first sharpening or two isn't a good indication of how a chisel will perform down the road, in my experience. Henry Taylor is supposed to be made from decent steel. my guess is that the edge got a bit of shock in the factory heat treatment and once sharpening got through that all would be well- I have seen that with Ashley Isles. I've never used any Henry Taylor, so I can't comment directly about them.
I have a fair number of chisels, probably in the range of 50. I keep a roll of stanley butt chisels for taking to carpentry jobs. they get sharpened on site with a 400 grit or so diamond stone, and when (not if) they get nicked I take them to the knife grinder (1" belt sander) and finish off with the stone. the better shop chisels stay in a drawer and get sharpened to a better edge, variously according to the job at hand. rarely do I test by shaving my arm, and rarely do I need quite that good an edge, but when I do need it, it is available.
Marples are generally seen as a second or third tier chisel anyway, and lately they have been in a bit of a decline.
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Yeah OK, but read my one reply to nailshooter.
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Alex - newbie_neander in woodworking
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Isn't it possible that they would work beautifully sharpened at a larger angle? This might make them less effective for paring, depends on your application I guess.
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As 'registered' chisels (mortise), they came with an original bevel of 30, I kept it that way and added a rounded micro bevel which was brought on by the leather stropping. That should be perfectly fine.
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The fact that says "Sheffield" hasn't meant much in many, many years. Very good stuff comes out of there. Seriously crappy stuff comes out of there. You never know which it is until you buy it. Personally, I have gotten so much Sheffield crap that the name, to me, says "do not buy me".

On the

with two

rendered
after which I ran

would cut.

stones.
too much

no
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I have used a set of some 120 Henry Taylor carving tools for over 20 years with few complaints . My tools are sharpened to the point that for the most part I seldom use a mallet. For general use Ihave used the plane old marples blue chip chisels and as far as the real dirty work goes where perhaps a nail or two lurk then I use my trusty 1" stanley
The whole scary sharp bit has always amused me, the average quality commercial furnituremaker has hundreds of edge tools ,sharpening these to that degree leaves very little time to do anything productive ....mjh
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So you bought them 20 years ago, but what a lot of folks don't understand is that companies will make decisions based upon reasons of economy and get farther into the use of their good name for the reason of survival as a company while keeping prices down for the customer.
Since then, it is no doubt to me that they lowered the quality of their steel, for the above reasons. So this is what you run into these days.
Personaly I dare you or ANYONE to give Stubai chisels a run for the money, because they use excellent steel, hardened.
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I KNOW! This is rediculous. The word "Sheffield" means much to marketing these days. I don't like being "duped" for my money. Anyone should feel that way.
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On Sun, 14 Aug 2005 21:34:07 -0700, the opaque "AAvK"
--snip--

I have the HT 1/8" veiner and it chips just LOOKING at it. I was not impressed and won't be buying any more Taylors. As worthless as it is now, I may take a torch to it and try a re-harden/temper.

Think "Buck" tools. What once was there ain't no mo.
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