Chisel preferences? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 8Likes
  • 1 Post By ChuckBarnett
  • 1 Post By Steve Neul
  • 1 Post By ChuckBarnett
  • 1 Post By Brian72
  • 1 Post By JohnTC
  • 1 Post By ChuckBarnett
  • 2 Post By Tool Agnostic
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 14 Old 10-05-2018, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Arlington, WA
Posts: 510
View ChuckBarnett's Photo Album My Photos
Chisel preferences?

I have some chisels but look with awe at videos where there are handsome, polished, and obviously sharp tools being used. I saw an add for chisels from Japan that on average were in the range of $140 each. Or the other extreme of 3 for $10 - 15. I am focusing on luthier if that makes a difference. What do you use and like?

Thanks!

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
JohnTC likes this.
ChuckBarnett is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 14 Old 10-05-2018, 09:33 PM
Village Idiot
 
epicfail48's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Springfield MO
Posts: 4,786
View epicfail48's Photo Album My Photos
Dont go for bottom-of-the-barrel and youll do fine. Your medium-range chisels, Baileys and the like in the ~$20 range are going to have well made simple carbon steel blades with good heat treatment, by and large, and thats all you really need. Sure, the fancy exotic hardwood handles and pattern-welded steel bodies polished to a mirror gloss are nice and everything, but they arent going to get the job done any better. Those $140 chisels are just going to empty your wallet faster, and require sharpening a tiny bit less often. They wont make your work any better though, that depends on what you do with them.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, you dont want to go with the absolute bottom-of-the-barrel stuff because usually the heat treatment of the steel is where costs get cut. Heat treatment is what makes or breaks an edged tool, way more than steel choice. A well-done piece of plain carbon steel will beat our a poorly heat-treated piece of PM-V11 any day of the week.

Personally, ive got a set of Irwin Marples chisels. Plain carbon steel blades, plastic handles, had them for a few years now and think they were less than $40. Put a little elbow grease into lapping the backs when you first get them, sharpen them right and theyll glide through anything you want. Save the super-steels, really theres not a lot of benefit but a whole lot of tradeoffs. Less sharpening for more sharpening time needed, better edge retention for worse edges, etc. As a knifemaker, i maintain that simple carbon steels are where its at unless you have a very specific need

I need cheaper hobby
etsy.com/shop/projectepicfail
epicfail48 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to epicfail48 For This Useful Post:
ChuckBarnett (10-06-2018)
post #3 of 14 Old 10-05-2018, 11:07 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 25,995
View Steve Neul's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckBarnett View Post
I have some chisels but look with awe at videos where there are handsome, polished, and obviously sharp tools being used. I saw an add for chisels from Japan that on average were in the range of $140 each. Or the other extreme of 3 for $10 - 15. I am focusing on luthier if that makes a difference. What do you use and like?

Thanks!

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
I may have around 40 chisels ranging from expensive german chisels to harbor freight. The only chisel I have that is noticeably better is a homemade chisel I made out of a jointer knife. They all hold an edge about the same except for that one which lasts longer. Learn how to sharpen chisels and most anything will work for you.
mike65cuda likes this.
Steve Neul is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Steve Neul For This Useful Post:
ChuckBarnett (10-06-2018)
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 14 Old 10-06-2018, 01:23 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Arlington, WA
Posts: 510
View ChuckBarnett's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
I may have around 40 chisels ranging from expensive german chisels to harbor freight. The only chisel I have that is noticeably better is a homemade chisel I made out of a jointer knife. They all hold an edge about the same except for that one which lasts longer. Learn how to sharpen chisels and most anything will work for you.
I would have no idea how to make a chisel or why I would choose a certain piece of steel over another! I think I will just shell out the money. You know what they say, "Ignorance is... costly."

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
JohnTC likes this.
ChuckBarnett is offline  
post #5 of 14 Old 10-06-2018, 03:49 AM
Be Nice
 
JohnTC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 279
View JohnTC's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckBarnett View Post
I would have no idea how to make a chisel or why I would choose a certain piece of steel over another! I think I will just shell out the money. You know what they say, "Ignorance is... costly."

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
Making some chisels now, but highly recommend purchasing instead of making. I'm only doing it because I have the stock and enjoy blacksmithing as well.



I have a lot of respect for Steve and agree that most any chisel can get the job done, but I've noticed huge differences in feel and performance even between the $10 set of 5 HF chisels and the $10 set of 3 Stanley chisels which are much better. Under light use, they are very similar, but a winner becomes clear when you are doing heavier chiseling like chopping out mortises.

"The kind of man who wants the government to adopt and enforce his ideas is always the kind of man whose ideas are idiotic." -H.L. Mencken
JohnTC is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to JohnTC For This Useful Post:
ChuckBarnett (10-06-2018)
post #6 of 14 Old 10-06-2018, 09:45 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 25,995
View Steve Neul's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckBarnett View Post
I would have no idea how to make a chisel or why I would choose a certain piece of steel over another! I think I will just shell out the money. You know what they say, "Ignorance is... costly."

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
When I took carving classes the teacher commented he liked the carpenter chisels I was using mainly because of the plastic handles. The so called "good chisels" all have wooden handles and you can break the handles even using a wooden mallet.
Steve Neul is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Steve Neul For This Useful Post:
ChuckBarnett (10-06-2018)
post #7 of 14 Old 10-06-2018, 04:42 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: jesup GA
Posts: 380
View Mikhail2400's Photo Album My Photos
My favorite chisel is probably considered "cheap" but I like it. Im sure you have all saw the old Ace Hardware see-thru acrylic? handled chisels with the iron end cap on them. Well thats what it is. I found it and a matching 1/4" in the junk pile which later became my shop. I guess it doesnt matter what a tool costs if it gets the job done and you have confidence in it.
[IMG][/IMG]

Mike
Everything i build comes with a redneck warranty. If it breaks you get to keep both pieces.
Mikhail2400 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Mikhail2400 For This Useful Post:
ChuckBarnett (10-07-2018)
post #8 of 14 Old 10-07-2018, 10:46 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 58
View Brian72's Photo Album My Photos
I have an assortment. I have 2 Barr chisels and quite a few Narex. I got the Barrs for a timber frame project I did. They are excellent for heavy work but are costly. The Narex, in my opinion, are very good and very well priced. Both hold an edge very well.

Sent from my Moto E (4) using Tapatalk
JohnTC likes this.
Brian72 is offline  
post #9 of 14 Old 10-07-2018, 11:25 AM
Senior Member
 
Maylar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: South Central Connecticut
Posts: 1,151
View Maylar's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikhail2400 View Post
My favorite chisel is probably considered "cheap" but I like it. Im sure you have all saw the old Ace Hardware see-thru acrylic? handled chisels with the iron end cap on them. Well thats what it is. I found it and a matching 1/4" in the junk pile which later became my shop. I guess it doesnt matter what a tool costs if it gets the job done and you have confidence in it.

[IMG][/IMG]
I have a set of 5 of those with Craftsman's name on them. They were my first set of chisels, some 35 years ago. I hate them. The steel is terrible and they simply don't hold an edge. I still use the 1 inch size when I need to chisel something that might have a nail in it, out of spite for Sears.

The handles are lovely, but the steel sucks. I hope yours is from a better batch.

Since then I've acquired chisels one at a time as needed. I have a couple by Fuller from the 80's that are my go-to. Excellent steel.

Last Christmas my son bought me a set of Stanley Sweetheart chisels that look really nice but haven't got around to using one yet. The wooden handles fell off while I was fondling them. Stanley couldn't be bothered to epoxy them on. Hope that's not an omen.

Dave in CT, USA
Maylar is offline  
post #10 of 14 Old 10-07-2018, 01:09 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: On the farm in West Texas cotton country
Posts: 624
View WesTex's Photo Album My Photos
The Stanley Sweethearts are socket chisels. The handles are not supposed to be permanently mounted. The handle is friction set. To change handles, hold the chisel by the blade and rap the side of the handle on your bench or other non-metal surface. I do this whenever I want to use the longer paring handle instead of the standard one.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
WesTex is online now  
post #11 of 14 Old 10-10-2018, 01:56 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Arlington, WA
Posts: 510
View ChuckBarnett's Photo Album My Photos
Determined to figure this sharpening stuff out I took a Stanley 3/4 inch chisel (from an inexpensive 3-pack) and lapped the back of it starting with 150 grit, then 220, then 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1200, and finally 1500 grit. By the time I got done it was a nice mirror finish. And then I put it on a 1200 grit stone and it seemed to go backwards. I don't understand how sandpaper grit and sharpening stone grit ratings work.

I then went to work on the cutting edge. Started again with 150 on up through the grits using the Veritas MKII jig, set at 25 as that was the closest to my little gage. Seems the chisel came from the factory with a skew to the angle across the edge.

Finally I put it on that superfine stone and frankly I'm not sure that it got better. I have a Grizzly slow 10 inch sharpening wheel with a stropping wheel. Working simply by eye I held the face and then the back onto the strop for 2 or 3 rotations on each surface.

I'm happy to report that I can get a mirror image of a piece of wood in the back lined up with the wood itself. Then I cut the wood off square. That is pretty cool for a guy who's not done much when working!

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
ChuckBarnett is offline  
post #12 of 14 Old 10-10-2018, 02:22 AM
Be Nice
 
JohnTC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 279
View JohnTC's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckBarnett View Post
Determined to figure this sharpening stuff out I took a Stanley 3/4 inch chisel (from an inexpensive 3-pack) and lapped the back of it starting with 150 grit, then 220, then 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1200, and finally 1500 grit. By the time I got done it was a nice mirror finish. And then I put it on a 1200 grit stone and it seemed to go backwards. I don't understand how sandpaper grit and sharpening stone grit ratings work.

I then went to work on the cutting edge. Started again with 150 on up through the grits using the Veritas MKII jig, set at 25 as that was the closest to my little gage. Seems the chisel came from the factory with a skew to the angle across the edge.


Finally I put it on that superfine stone and frankly I'm not sure that it got better. I have a Grizzly slow 10 inch sharpening wheel with a stropping wheel. Working simply by eye I held the face and then the back onto the strop for 2 or 3 rotations on each surface.

I'm happy to report that I can get a mirror image of a piece of wood in the back lined up with the wood itself. Then I cut the wood off square. That is pretty cool for a guy who's not done much when working!

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
Love the post Chuck, and great job on the chisel. In the US, 1500 grit sandpaper is 8.4 microns while a Norton x-fine 1200 grit diamond plate (assuming that is the same) is 11 microns. So the plate is courser than the 1500 sandpaper.
https://www.popularwoodworking.com/a...rpening-grits/
Tool Agnostic likes this.

"The kind of man who wants the government to adopt and enforce his ideas is always the kind of man whose ideas are idiotic." -H.L. Mencken

Last edited by JohnTC; 10-10-2018 at 02:25 AM.
JohnTC is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to JohnTC For This Useful Post:
Maylar (10-10-2018)
post #13 of 14 Old 10-10-2018, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Arlington, WA
Posts: 510
View ChuckBarnett's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnTC View Post
Love the post Chuck, and great job on the chisel. In the US, 1500 grit sandpaper is 8.4 microns while a Norton x-fine 1200 grit diamond plate (assuming that is the same) is 11 microns. So the plate is courser than the 1500 sandpaper.
https://www.popularwoodworking.com/a...rpening-grits/
John, this is OUTSTANDING!!!

Can't thank you too much!!!


Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
JohnTC likes this.
ChuckBarnett is offline  
post #14 of 14 Old 10-10-2018, 10:18 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 2,296
View Tool Agnostic's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnTC View Post
Love the post Chuck, and great job on the chisel. In the US, 1500 grit sandpaper is 8.4 microns while a Norton x-fine 1200 grit diamond plate (assuming that is the same) is 11 microns. So the plate is courser than the 1500 sandpaper.
https://www.popularwoodworking.com/a...rpening-grits/
To @JohnTC:
I hate to waste a post just to say thank you, but this chart is so useful and helpful, so - THANK YOU!

To others:
I highly recommend this chart.
ChuckBarnett and JohnTC like this.
Tool Agnostic is online now  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mortise chisel bit trvlr77 Joinery 0 07-30-2018 11:47 PM
Dovetail chisel robo007 Joinery 4 01-22-2018 02:35 PM
Large skew chisel holtzdreher Woodturning 2 10-31-2017 12:39 PM
Looking for good chisel recommendations Model A Fan General Woodworking Discussion 4 06-07-2016 10:57 PM
Wood Chisel trentwilson43056 Hand Tools 6 05-16-2016 03:44 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome