Mortise chisel restore
Vintage French bedanes
I was lucky to get these old French mortise chisels at a fair price (app. 25 dollar for all including the convex spokeshave) on E-bay.
Or I was lucky to get this junk metal on E-bay some might say… Others again might just call me stupid!
This is what I decided to give new life.
In France they call mortise chisels for Bedanes.
The chisels are Klingenthal (Klingen=blades, thal= valley), was originally located in Alsace.
The factory was founded by the French king king Louis XV to make swords for the French army, but since then the French cut of the head of the king, so they produced swords for Napoleons great army instead.
This was the reason why I fell in love with these chisels.
The handles were well used, so I could not see any reason to keep them,
But I looked at the shapes and studied books to see what they wood have looked like.
And the fact was that the French and the English actually agreed on something! The shape of the mortise chisel handles.
I visited mi Friend Michael, and in his fire wood I found a good piece of beech.
Then it was just to cut some good hand size pieces.
And find a proper size for each tang.
Here the puzzle.
I cut them roughly in the shape.
Some handles came of really easy, others needed love.
Carefully I used a chisel and a mallet to break it apart.
Now time to clean up the tang, this is really a heavy mother blogger…
Shoulders were filed down to level.
Drill a hole in the handle in a small size and all the way down to the length of the tang.
Step up one size and drill only half way.
At the end I used a long countersink to drill with but it could just have been a larger drill that was slightly smaller than the widest part of the tang.
Now clean up with a long thin drill.
To make the sides coned.
I used my knife maker tool to clean out.
It’s a jigsaw blade that I grind in shape and gave a handle.
Fitting the tang in the handle, the hole must be a little too small.
Fasten in the vice.
Now draw an ellipse on the end of the chisel.
I used a spokeshave to do the rough shaping but stopped before I touched the metal shoulders.
(And yes there is a dry out crack in the wood so I actually needed to shape more…).
Next part was done like this, holding the iron and spinning the machine, it was quite easy.
And a final touch on the top.
That’s it for the first part second and last part will be about sharpening, flattening, finish and more, I hope this can inspire some to give new life to old tools.
(Yes I post too much these days, but since I’m in my bed due to a nerve in my back that hurfts like …. I was thinking it’s time for some old unfinished posts and blogs).
-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.