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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a few old tools that belonged to my great grandfather who I'm told was a master carpenter. I would love to put some of them back into service. What type of chisel is this and how should I restore it? The markings say "Graves&Sons" and "smeafwor..something". The tip has a bevel on each side, like a knife edge, but both different angles. Any ideas?
 

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Looks to me like a bench chisel that has been abused some, and needs to have the back flattened and the bevel re ground.

Please correct me if I'm wrong on the details guys, but as far as I know Greaves & Sons was a smithy company in Sheffield, England from the early 1800's to (I think) the late 1850's. They were well known for producing knives and straight razors, etc. Sheaf Works was the tool making arm of their company.
 

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Wood carver's chisels (#1 sweep in the old & standard London Pattern Book) normally have both faces beveled for a sum of 20 degrees total included bevel (very hard woods, maybe 25.) They are used for the stop cut around the perimeter of a form to stop/prevent long run-out cracks and splinters as the carver comes back to that line with a mallet and gouge.
I can understand how two slightly different bevel angles could well work to the carver's advantage in different woods.
Hmmmmm. Gives me some ideas.
 

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As you can see from the above replies ,
depending on how you sharpen it , it can be whatever works for you :thumbsup:

At present , it is a scruffy scraper / wedge / cold chisel :laughing: ,
with a very good handle :yes:
 

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Please correct me if I'm wrong on the details guys, but as far as I know Greaves & Sons was a smithy company in Sheffield, England from the early 1800's to (I think) the late 1850's. They were well known for producing knives and straight razors, etc. Sheaf Works was the tool making arm of their company.
I think that's correct. Here's an image of their imprint on a razor:



Uploaded with ImageShack.us
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So when is it not okay to take an old tool and restore it? Ya know, like take away the patina its taken years to acquire.
 

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IMO unless you have a museum piece or a tool with historical value it's always okay to restore a tool.

They were made for using and as long as they can still perform that function they should.
 

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So when is it not okay to take an old tool and restore it? Ya know, like take away the patina its taken years to acquire.
That's a personal opinion sort of thing.

Personally, I prefer seeing the mark of years of use on an old tool. If it's been heavily used, I like seeing the proof of that; wear in places where it was gripped, discoloration from the oils of a user's hands, even the occasional nick or hammer mark where someone wasn't quite careful enough. That said, work surfaces need to be correct. I had no problem dropping a wooden plane in my vice and truing the bottom with a try plane, or grinding a new bevel on an old chisel.

So, in my opinion, there's a difference between cosmetic and functional restoration. Cosmetic restoration is only ever reasonable if the tool is messed up to the point of "I can't use that, I can't even bear to LOOK at that!" Functional restoration is always acceptable unless the point is to have a museum piece that will never be used. I make an exception for metal tools that need a finish (like japanning) replaced to prevent rust.

Other people have other opinions, ranging from "Old tools should be preserved exactly as they are, without even functional repairs" to "pass the wire brush, I'm gonna make this thing look factory new!"
 

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This is just my humble opinion but what you have there Pete is a firmer edge chisel,if it was thicker it would be called a registered chisel and before that a ships chisel and before that a shipwrights chisel but I would lay money it was a firmer edge chisel.
Looking at the pics I would say you have maybe a 1/4"to 3/8" to take off the bevel side to get back to square steel.

Then the biggest job would be to put a true face on the chisel what a lot of people call the back of the chisel is in fact the face, the other side being the bevel side no big deal.

If I had the connection what you have to this chisel I would take the time to fettle it and bring it back into order.

Just think of the Buzz your greatgrandfather would get looking down at you using his sharp edge tools or the buzz you get every time you reach for your go to chisel enjoy it man its called heritage its where your roots are:thumbsup:.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The width tapers from about 3/4 at the tip to about 5/8 near the handle. If I understand you correctly, I would flatten the face and simply put a bevel on the opposite side. What angle do I want?
 

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Pete if the chisel was mine I would concentrate on the bevel first the angle of the bevel depends on what you will use the chisel for.

A normal bench chisel that was going to be used with soft woods or hard wood that are not to hard I would put a primary bevel of 30 degrees and a secondary of 25 degrees.If I was going to use it for paring I might go as low as 20 degrees with just one bevel and leave it at that.With a low bevel like that you would not be able to use a mallet on the chisel the edge would just crumble and turn back on you.

I don`t know if you have a grind stone a water cooled one would be ideal if you just have a normal grind stone set something in front of it so when you return to the stone you will have the same angle each time, have a can of water just handy so as you feel the chisel warm you can dip it into the water to cool.

Don`t ever let a tool blue on you with the heat from the stone this will take the temper out of the tool and leave you with a lot more grinding to do.

When your happy with the bevel that's when you can start work on the face.you can do it with wet and dry paper, oil stone ,water stone or a diamond stone that's up to you.What you are trying to do here is to bring two surfaces together at a given angle when you think its OK hold the point of the chisel up to a light and what you are looking for is a flash of light of the edge of the chisel if you can see the flash that means the edge is not there keep working the edge.

The old guys used to say" look for the sharp edge son and if you can see it its not there, keep working it".

Have fun pete but you can do it. Billy
 
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