Used / Vintage Chisels - Page 2 - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #21 of 30 Old 10-29-2019, 03:46 PM
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It's certainly difficult to find any vintage chisels at 2nd hand stores within 100 miles of my town. The ones we (my son and I) have found were in generally bad shape, chipped and not well maintained; looked like they were used to open paint cans, chisel concrete or other abuses, and found at the bottom of random tool bins. $2 each, and and hour of work would get them into some form of workable condition. Once there, they were pretty good to use for general woodworking. Sadly, I've never found any of the sought-after brands in the wild.

The only modern brand of chisels I've ever bought for my own use are Narex. I started out with their entry-level set, then moved to their premium sets, which I like a lot. I think they're the same metal, but different grinds and handles. Note: I'm not trying to sell people on them, but for as much as they cost, I think they're a good buy, and hold up pretty well to the more expensive brands.

When my son was sharing my shop space with me, and when my bro-in-law wanted to try out woodworking, I bought the Harbor Freight $7 yellow handled chisel sets. They were cheap enough I could give the chisels to them and not feel bad if they dropped them and damaged the cutting edge. And the fact they are rough ground gave them experience honing them, and a sense of accomplishment when they converted a "turd" to a workable tool.

The biggest things I notice when using chisels is the balance, and the weight. A light, easily maneuverable chisel is so nice, especially when chopping and paring dovetails. I've not met a plastic-handled chisel that felt balanced.


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Originally Posted by Tool Agnostic View Post
I never tried the HF chisels, but I have seen their combination squares and their hand planes. Yuck! I returned them.
I bought one of their hand planes. Because they're so cheap (in all ways that matter), I converted it into a scrub without feeling like I was destroying something of value.
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post #22 of 30 Old 10-29-2019, 04:45 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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Every woodworker has a mix .....

If you are starting out, then asking this question will be helpful, but you'll get a myriad of answers. Some as stated above will be fine after considerable fettling? others won't be salvageable. When I started out 50 years ago, there weren't many choices, either Sears or Ace Hardware. I ended up with some Dunlops, and some Kmarts? Then I realized some were made to hammer on, others were not. Some had steel caps on the plastic handles, others didn't. Why?


There were two types, framers/carpenter's chisels and wood worker's chisels. You shouldn't hammer on the wood handles ones or any without a striking cap. The all steel ones were made for heavy duty, on site work. Fast forward 50 years. Now I have an entire mix, all steel, handles of plastic, handles of wood, Japanese Damascus, framer's, mortising, bent necks, Japanese slicks and gouges......




Don't buy any set thinking it will be your last...... you will always have room for a different brand, a different style, you may inherit some that just have sentimental value.....?
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post #23 of 30 Old 10-29-2019, 11:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmishElectricCo View Post
Personal observation: A big reason people tend to prefer vintage hand tools is quality control. If you purchase something made during the "golden era" of manufacturing, you can say with a high degree of certainty that it's a decent product that was built to last a lifetime. Regardless of who made it.
I dunno about that, quality control has always been a crapshoot. The only difference now is that any of the crappy old stuff is dead and off the used market, so it just looks like everything was good
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post #24 of 30 Old 10-31-2019, 09:56 PM
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A very timely post by Paul Sellers: I Read a Review

Everyone posting in this thread should give it a read.
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post #25 of 30 Old 11-01-2019, 05:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmishElectricCo View Post
A very timely post by Paul Sellers: I Read a Review

Everyone posting in this thread should give it a read.
One thing I've learned is the more false virtue signaling about using low cost tools and minimal inventory the more likely the false virtue signaler has a plethora of expensive tools....

Nearest Aldi to me is an 800 mile round trip. Think about the carbon emissions, oh the horror!
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post #26 of 30 Old 11-01-2019, 08:46 AM
where's my table saw?
 
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Search for "low cost" bench chisels ....

I found this basic and informative:
https://www.finewoodworking.com/2007...w-cost-chisels


Which ones to buy?
https://toolguyd.com/narex-bench-chi...s-on-a-budget/


Some very nice sets here under $100.00:
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=bevel+edg...l_43anpqee0j_b



Basic info:
https://woodandshop.com/woodworking-...guide-chisels/
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post #27 of 30 Old 11-01-2019, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmishElectricCo View Post
A very timely post by Paul Sellers: I Read a Review

Everyone posting in this thread should give it a read.
Read it, and I agree, mostly. But there is certainly a difference in the quality of the metal between my Harbor Freight $7 sets, and my Narex ($40 for the same size set). Even after flattening, shaping, polishing and sharpening, the HF chisels feel like low-carbon Chinese pot metal. Even when mirror shiny, they don't slide through wood like my Narex. I don't know if annealing would make a difference or not.

The blog can be extended to other tools, e.g. hand planes. When I first started, I went expensive with the Veritas #4 hand plane, because I thought "go big or go home" based on reviews and articles. That hand plane now sits in my storage cabinet, largely unused. I use my old early 1910(ish) Stanley planes as my preferred bench tools, as they are comparably lighter and more maneuverable. I could have bought an army of them for the money I paid for my Veritas. Am I sorry I bought it? No, not really; it's a good plane. And it taught me a good lesson.
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post #28 of 30 Old 11-14-2019, 08:28 PM
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Ive noticed a lot of people "knee jerk" to buying complete sets of chisels. I'd make a strong argument that most people starting dont need a 3/16" chisel for instance.

If you're dead set on a full "set", Narex makes quality chisels that dont break the bank. Or you could go my route and piece-meal chisels you need that are inherently good quality. Every now and then I'd buy a stanley sweetheart chisel of whatever size I needed. I started with a 1/4" and a 3/4", that does most everything I need. Worked up to a 1" and 1/2". I've yet to encounter any situation I cant use with these 4. For quality of life, I will be purchasing some angled head chisels and some mortising chisels, but that will come when it comes. While individually they can be expensive, they DO go on sale from time to time.
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post #29 of 30 Old 11-15-2019, 05:22 AM
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I totally agree with the comment about not needing sets of chisels.I also use 1/4 inch and 3/4 inch chisels for almost everything.I do own a couple of sets of chisels and many more chisels that were picked up because they were too tempting to leave for somebody else to buy at various sales.They all get sharpened and tried and if they feel "right" they get used,doesn't matter which magazine or online guru endorses them.The feel and the quality of cut determines whether I use them.Besides the two mentioned earlier,the only other chisel I rely on is a crank handled 3/4 inch Henry Taylor paring chisel and I would estimate that over the years at least ten other people have bought one after seeing it in use.
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post #30 of 30 Old 11-15-2019, 08:50 AM
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Repeating what I said earlier:

My 1/2 inch chisel gets the most use, by far. When I asked my friends which chisel they used the most, every one of them said the 1/2 inch, without any prompting from me.
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