While that's true in general, the owner of Grizzly is a woodworker--check out
the guitars he builds. They're shown in every catalog. Actually, he started,
IIRC, as a metalworker, and has sort of segued into woodworking as that part of
his business has outgrown all else, by far.
His guitar-building makes one think he must at least care a bit about the
quality of his tools.
"All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is
Yeah man... I sure wish I could play with one of those bee-yootiful guitars
of his. That guy has some serious skill.
Well, serious skill at making them look good. I don't know whether they're
good players or not. One would sure hope so.
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < firstname.lastname@example.org>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
While I agree with you in principle, budgets do eventually come into
play also. For the chisels you mentioned, the 1.5" (alone) is 1/2 the
price of the entire Grizzly set. Frankly this is more than I intended to
spend on chisels.
Don't misunderstand, I am not questioning the quality/price/value of the
higher end Japanese chisels, I was just hoping to get something of
reasonable quality for an affordable price. If these chisels are of low
quality, I will likely purchase the Freud set instead. Though I would
like Japanese chisels, I do not want a poor quality tool just because it
Thanks for the advice (domo arigato),
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."
I got a cheap Japanese chisel (the Japan Woodworker brand) and I find
that the edge chips out if I look at it the wrong way. It got
frustrating enough that I relegated it to scraping paint and got
something else to replace it. Hard to say if the Grizzly ones are
good or not, but if they're really cheap I'd be nervous. (Unless you
like sharpening your chisels all the time.)
I know of the chisels you're talking about. Japanese tools are
inherently more expensive (shipping, duties, taxes, etc.). Thus, when
you do buy a "cheap" Japanese tool -- or even English tool -- you are
paying more for it.
The thing with the Japan Woodworker brand is you don't really know who
the maker is. It could be an apprentice or some factory shlep. At
least with the higher end tools that may cost only slightly more...and
sometimes a lot more...you know the individual maker spent years
learning their craft to make the best possible tool for you.
If I'm not mistaken Mastumura, who's chisels aren't exorbitantly
priced, is considered a national "living treasure" by the government
On Fri, 06 Feb 2004 02:09:00 GMT, email@example.com (Adrian Mariano)
I have a set of the Marples Blue Chip and I'd rate them as "o.k.". A
reasonable value for the money, but they definitely require a bit more
diligent work to use regularly.
I subsequently purchased these:
(I got the 6 piece promotional boxed set).
They are MUCH higher quality than the Marples, and for $100, I think an even
better value. These promotional chisels aren't polished, but they are made
with the same steel as the "regular" two cherries chisels. If you want a
shiny chisel you can pay $65 more.
Anyway, that's my recommendation.
I spent a fair amount of time flattening them with some 150 grit wet/dry
sandpaper. I didn't time it exactly, but let's just say it took more than
30 seconds but less than 5 minutes. As these things go, I'd say that they
were pretty flat right out of the box. Keep in mind, I only flattened the
1-2 inches right near the edge.
in message wrote:
Why were you using a standard bevel-edge chisel to chop mortises in
the first place?
FWIW, I've been using Blue Chips for several years now without any
real complaints. I also have some nicer chisels, but I've gotten
about what I expected from a $20 set of chisels.
I also have had the same experience . It should be noted that the honing a
ngle should vary according to the hardness of the material they are used on
, oak for instance would require a greater angle than say pine . In
particular mortise chisel edges really take beating that is why they are
more robust in design.
One other consideration is the old saying what you loose on the roundablouts
you gain on the swings , personally one has to weigh using a softer material
and consequently sharpening the tool more frequently against using a harder
material and sharpening it less frequently but the proceedure taking half
the day .
My SET of Marples blue chips ran me at the time $25 from Highland hardware
[it used to be somewhat of a specialty with them]. The UK pound is currently
higher against the dollar so I would expect them currently to be 10 to 15%
"Conan the Librarian" < firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
Chuck, did you miss the part where I mentioned that my old Sears chisel
performs the same cuts with nary a blemish?? I decimated the edge on
the Marples in just a few moments. I didn't even get past 3/16" deep
into the wood. That's pretty pathetic.
Conan the Librarian wrote:
Uh, no ... because you didn't say that. You said you have a 3/4"
Sears chisel that holds an edge nicely, but that you were using a 3/8"
Marples for cutting a mortise.
I don't know about you, but I don't use a 3/4" chisel to cut a 3/8"
mortise or vice versa.
I have several recent-vintage Stanleys that I keep ground to fairly
steep angles. They work great for pounding into things. I keep my Blue
Chips sharpened at pretty low bevel-angles. Guess what? They don't
work so great for pounding into things. But they do work well for
Another point of view. . . .
When I made the rocking chair at Homestead Heritage, The class used nothing
but blue handled Marples chisels. The chair has 42 M&T joints, all hand
I wonder how we managed that. There were 10 chairs made in that class.
Having said that, I have purchased some mortise chisels. I tend not to use
them because the bench chisels are always out and always scalpel sharp. I
learned to keep the stones out on the bench when working, and it is easy to
touch up the edge when required. We learned to sharpen chisels and plane
irons without grinders or honing jigs at Homestead Heritage.
I've started using files to clean up the edges on damaged chisels ala The
Furniture Doctor (George Grotz).
I really think it is more a matter of technique than some realize.
If I were chopping mortises in mesquite though like you do, I'm sure my
attitude would change. Has anybody here tried Jim Cummings instructions for
tempering chisels with propane torches. I think I will try it on one of my
really soft chisels (old Stanley Defiance) and report back.
Woodworking is largely a matter of personal preferences. I'll spend $140 for
a dovetail saw, and $200 for a hand plane, but I've never purchased a $100
Your technique is probably better than mine. I find that I need the
thick cross-section and square sides to make my mortises come out
Please do. While I don't know that I'll experiment much with the
metallurgical side of things, it might be interesting to see the results
and compare that back to the chisels we buy and see if we can draw
conclusions on how they were tempered. (Or why we report such wildly
different results with some of the same brands of chisels.)
Funny you should mention that. I guess I've figured mine are "good
enough", because I'm like you. I don't think I've spent more than $40
for a chisel, and that was for a big old 1-1/2" honker I bought when
building my bench.
But they still seem to do what I need them to do. Go figure. :-)
Knowing the kind of wood work that you do, I doubt it. I really was trying
to make a point to others.
I learned to use hand tools at Homestead Heritage and I use the techniques
they taught me along with other things I've picked up. I really am a duffer,
but occasionally I turn out something nice.
We all are more comfortable with the techniques we know, but that doesn't
mean one is necessarily better than others.
I would hesitate making something out of mesquite. I suppose I will have to
try. I make Shaker style candle boxes because it gives me practice in making
dovetails. The females in my family and acquaintances seem to appreciate
them, so the boxes never just sit around. Ladies it seems, really like
little boxes almost as much as young boys do. :-)
I wonder if I could do one using mesquite ? . . .
I don't see why not. Mesquite is such a joy to work (well except
when you're working from a log and you've got to deal with all the
dirt that gets into the wormholes). It's dead stable, smells nice
when working, is hard but not splintery, and has just enough grain
reversals to keep things interesting. :-)
If you learned at Homestead Heritage, I daresay you've learned some
excellent technique and it's no accident that you turn out nice
things. Do you have any pics of your candle boxes? That might be
something fun to try as a gift for SWMBO. I think she's getting tired
of me giving her jewelry boxes. ;-)
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