Why do chisels have to be sharp?

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zeal
sharp,
Oh, I don't think anyone really missed the point Mike. In fact I think the fact that everyone really did get the point is evidenced by the humorous responses. Who can really answer the question seriously, though? It's kind of like people calling the thing in your basement a Hot Water Heater. Hot water needs no heater, but that's what it's called. In like manner, for some reason the admonishment for a sharp chisel has taken on a life despite the obvious redundancy or inexplicability of it.
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I more or less agree with you Mike, although I would hope that most informed people just refer to a water heater. But then again I am probably naive. Waith, I better go "unthaw" something.

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wrote:

Maybe because, in times past, before all the insulation on the things, they really were hot. So they were hot, water heaters :-)

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Mike Dembroge wrote:
| Where in the world did you read something that said to dig the hole | with a "sharp shovel"? That's truly amazing!
Not too amazing. Also sharpen your garden hoe and long-handled fork tines.
A sharpened (to _two_ edges) straight screwdriver won't slip out of the slot and mar your work as readily as a screwdriver with worn/rounded edges and corners.
I sharpen my center punch from time to time; and every now and then I run a fine file down the end of my putty knives - makes em work better for just about everything you'd want to use one for.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto
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File hoes incannel, i.e. side of blade facing the operator. This pulls the blade into the soil when you pull on the tool.

Hollow ground tips jump out of the slot least, since the bearing faces are close to parallel -- there's a reason why your power screwdriver bits aren't flat ground. Be sure to grind off the corners, so they don't stick out past the slot and chew up the wood right when you get a screw driven home.

Makes it easy to "grab" the side of an offcenter punch mark and "move" it back on target.

I sharpen my silkscreen squeegies. Prints come out sharper, with less smudging.
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wrote:

I think ya'll are missing Mike's point. What I am reading from his post is that he does not disagree that tools need to be sharp, just that the way articles are written, only chisels seem to be singled out and specifically called out to be "sharp" chisels. What (as I read it) he doesn't see is an article that uses the words, "with a SHARP scraper ... " or "with a SHARP shovel ..."
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That's easy... it's so that your son can drop them on the concrete floor in your shop. My 9 year old son did that to the shaving-sharp chisel he was using last night while I was giving him more training in cutting dovetails by hand. Took the corner right off it!
With that I had to regrind the chisel back to good metal before moving on to Arkansas stones. He was getting inpatient while I restored the cutting edge and started kiddingly complaining that I was cutting into his work time! I reminded him that he damaged the chisel. To that he responded, "No, you did." I asked, "How do you figure that, you dropped it?" With a mischievous grin he said, "You're fixing it so you must have damaged it." Kids! ;~)
John
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[snip]

Kinda tough to argue that kind of logic ;-)
mike
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Because a "cold chisel" is not sharp enough. ;~)
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Woodcraft puts that on their training descriptions. "Bring a sharp gouge". I asked them why once, and they said that if they didn't say that, people would bring dull ones.
Maybe it's because chisels and gouges are tools where the force on the tip is generated by (or controlled by) your hand, instead of a motor? Therefor, it makes a difference if it's dull - a motor can force a dull saw blade through wood, but it's much harder for your hand to force a dull chisel through wood.
Aren't dull chisels used for scraping paint, anyway? ;-)
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I'll agree with this. Unlike the power blades, cutters, sharp is more noticebale when powered AND guided by hand. Even hand plane blades have a structure around them to guide them. Your hand power just pushes the structure. A Lie Nielsen #5 plane with a less than sharp blade will perform far better than a Great Neck #5 plane with a sharp blade. Chisels, saws, and a few other tools, sharpness is number one importance.

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As long as we're pondering such questions....
Why do companies tout their products as being constructed of 'space-age' materials?
The space age's golden period was in the 1960's.
Just wondering.
jc

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says...

I expect that may have something to do with the fact that materials science really advanced in leaps and bounds, particularly in ceramics and alloys, in connection with space research. So the association probably kinda stuck.
-Peter
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It's code for "don't use your chisel as a screwdriver or to open paint cans, you idiot."
--
You can't PLAN sincerity. You have to make it up on the spot! -- Denny Crane

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What is "sharp"? My wood working chisels are sharp enough to shave with, my cold chisel is "sharp" but you couldn't shave with it. Most people think of a cold chisel as dull, and it is for wood work, so you use a "sharp" or wood working chisel for wood work not a "dull" cold chisel. Other tools used for wood work are generaly used only for wood work and do not have common counterparts for other materials. Yes I know that saws etc. are used for other materials but most people think of them and other tools as for wood and not other materials.

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for
with
Geeze Mike, everyone knows the answer to this. Sharp chisels are for paring wood. Dull chisels are for removing common head screws and for prying stuck objects. It's all about the proper tool for the job.
Man - ya gotta explain everything to some people...
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LOL!

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"Mike Dembroge" wrote in message

for
with
Not always. Never heard anyone say "Open that paint can with a sharp chisel" ... but it happens anyway.
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Just curious....how much time do you guys spend sharpening....say a 1/2 in. chisel that has dulled from normal woodworking.....what grit stones do you use/ brand/ water/oil......and what do you use to keep them from rusting?
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"splinter" wrote in message

Books have been written about this subject ... but some of us just go buy a new one. ;)
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