I have to ask. What kind of slamming did you do to the chisels. I keep
reading similar posts in the news group. I conclude that the wood is very
hard or . . .
I'm not an expert, but I have built two rocking chairs with over 40 m&t
joints each, using blue handled marples bench chisels and never had that
kind of problem. One chair was walnut and the other was mesquite.
I'm curious if technique might have some bearing on all these bad chisels we
keep hearing about. (Not you, but many other wood workers)
Having written the nonsense above, FWW has a video by Jim Cummings, "Small
Shop. Tips and Techniques". It deals with many things, one of which is
sharpening chisels and includes a very good session on removing the temper
from the steel, shaping the steel as required and then setting the proper
Also as I re-read my post, I'll add the following.
I keep a leather strop, charged with a sharpening compound close at hand.
When an edge develops a burr, a couple of passes on the strop normally takes
care of it. I don't use scary sharp techniques. I prefer diamond EZ-lap
hones. I suppose I expect chisels to turn under with use.
I think the burring issue is why many wood workers use micro bevels.
I typically do not use them, but on one of my hand planes I do use it.
once, in the distant past, buck made nice edge tools. that time is
you might try giving them a few more honings- if the factory grind
burned the steel you will need to hone past it.
at best you'll end up with a decent utility set.
No... these are new_old_stock Buck Bros. bench chisels. If you go to
http://www.craftsmanstudio.com/ you'll read the story there. Quite a
nice find really. These blades were made in the 60's and were found
in factory storage at The Riverlin Works. I use the "Scary Sharp"
Oh why oh why pray tell? What do you know that everyone else doesn't?
Is that Riverlin works long gone?
Take a look at the Deifenbacher website, he sells chisels that are his own
brand, and are as well identical to these Bucks. They are still being produced
(Bill Kohr could be fibbing in which case...who knows), site:
This concerning craftsmanstudio.com for what he says about his Bucks is
something to think about.
...hhmmm... I have an old mid 90's article on chisel steel testing and testing
for use by known woodworkers, back then (in that article) the Buck steel
tested to be "barren" plain steel, not special at all though it was chosen by
one woodworker for how it was made.
In the 60's it was a real and acceptable tool steel. I agree with that because I
have sharpened the ones I bought, my OP here of the 6th paragraph states why.
I really believe these days they have improved their steel though. That article
was about 9-1/2 years ago or so.
On Sun, 13 Mar 2005 03:14:03 GMT, the inscrutable Rick Cook
But didn't they say "new 'OLD stock'", Rick? I couldn't wait to use
single quotes with you, BTW. <ww,nn,saynomore>
Life's a Frisbee: When you die, your soul goes up on the roof.
http://diversify.com Comprehensive Website Development
The typical complaint about Marples is the opposite of his complaint
about the vintage Bucks. Marples tend not to hold an edge implying
that they are too soft, hence the frequent honing you reccommend.
Perhpas the Buck should be ground to a steeper angle. Unless they
paring chisels in which case you shouldn't pound on them in the
That was my point. If the chisels are adequately sharp, you don't need to
"pound" on them. I use a wooden mallet when making mortises. I never have
to pound on them to chop the mortises. It doesn't require that kind of
force. I have old wooden handled Stanleys, more modern plastic handled
Stanleys, wooden handled Soligan steel, Robert Sorby, Marples, and some
others. None of them require heavy handling.
If the chisel is burring when it is used, I'd think the steel tends to be
more ductile, if it chips, more brittle.
However, having said all that dumb stuff <G>, I keep reading posts about
people destroying their chisels. I just wonder what they are doing to cause
that, Tag Frid didn't pound his and in the videos I've watched, Frank Klausz
gives them a sharp rap, but nothing destructive. Rob Cosman doesn't beat his
either. It is a re-occurring complaint though.
I think I remember someone complained about Two Cherry's, and you can find
detractors for all those I mentioned.
Try a Stubai chisel, superlative. But, have you ever chopped into douglas fir?
It has grain that is seriously thick with a rubber-like hardness. You'd wind up
doing a bit of slamming.
The Stubai, as I said, did not take burs. I think when I used the 2" Buck
was the wideness of the blade causing too much resistance, the Stubai being only
1" (26mm). Same reasoning behind making a proper low angle block plane's
blade 1-3/8" wide rather than 1-5/8" wide, less resistance on end grain.
As with chopping into the DF wood, these were the "cheeks" that are around the
tenons, which is end grain. Very tough stuff.
I'm not sure what DF wood is. I have a scrap of fir in the shop. I'll have
to chop a large mortise in it to see how it goes.
When I build wooden fence gates, I put a header across the gate posts at 90"
above grade. I make the connections in the 4"treated pine M&T joints. I was
using a 2" carpenter's slick but some previous owner has lost the wooden
handle and generations have struck the steel socket with a steel hammer. I
decided this both dangerous and sacrilegious. I went to the local hardware
man and purchased a 2" plastic handled Stanley no. 60 (recent manufacture)
After giving it the treatment, the chisel performed reasonably well chopping
mortises in the treated pine (with it's wet stringy fibers).
My strop is a piece of rawhide glued to a flat board. I have a "brick" of
wax impregnated with aluminum oxide. The strop is charged with this
compound. This waxy surface will almost polish the edge to a mirror sheen. I
wouldn't want to use a nice horsehide strop in that manner either. Each of
us use the sharpening technique we like and I certainly was not impugning
those that scary sharpen their tools. :-)
I think obviously you are not satisfied with the Buck Brothers chisels. With
you having examined the conditions surrounding their use, I think
conversation with the people that sold them to you would be appropriate, to
determine if they thought your set is defective. I would be inclined to take
some of the hardness out of your chisels and see if it made an acceptable
difference. See the Jim Cummings tape to learn the technique.
I hope you get it worked out. :-)
Douglas Fir, here in California it is the only standard construction lumber
for house and small building framing. I believe it is in the pine family. It
has a very wide open and knotty grain, irregular grain but there is the straight
grain and knot free cuts as well, more expensive. The color is very orange.
You would not dare use the basic knotty cuts for fine work in any genre. I am
using it for the trestle of my first woodworking bench. The top however, will
be hard sugar maple. In the grain of DF, the harder ribs of grain can be
I have an old Stanley 200 series 1/4" currently made, and the replacement model
for 60 series is the current 900 series. On the website, both product listings
900 and 200 say that the steel is "ball bearing grade", well this 200 I have
grinds down like chalk when scary sharpening. I hope your 60 is better than that.
But, modern factory chisels like that are made for exactly what you are using it
for, construction work. Not dovetails and benchtop work.
The current Buck bros. chisels have a plastic handle and a black steel cap and a
thinner blade, there is a fellow in my adult ed. class using one for dovetail
on a large mahogany blanket chest, as he bought it accidentaly intending to pick
up a stanley, he has no complaints as i spoke with him about his opinion on it.
I bought the horse butt just for stropping, I just wouldn't use it for burs. No
impugnation taken. It is the only leather I have right now. Get your self a rip
of it, thin and smooth perfect and very high quality, link:
Scroll down to "North of Cordovan", large piece for the money, that's a yard
sitting on them in the picture.
I'll keep'em. The wider blade merely meant more resistance. Thanks for the great
reply too, kinna hard for me to get one in this n-group.
How do you know how hard they are? Your photos of the edges over in the
binaries group show all the signs of too-soft steel. If they were really
RC 59 I'd think they'd be more likely to chip the edge than curl it.
That would be true even if they were sharpened too acutely to use with a
mallet, like paring chisels.
If you're relying on what Buck Bros told you about the hardness, well. .
I only know by what http://www.craftsmanstudio.com/ says about them.
RC 59. But thanks for the tip... neither Buck Bros. nor the Riverlin works
has a website. You are saying stuff without reading the rest of the thread
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