Mortise chisel restore (Vintage French bedanes) #2: Flatten, sharpen, finish and more.

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Blog entry by mafe posted 05-13-2011 12:45 PM 6414 reads 1 time favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: New handles from fire wood Part 2 of Mortise chisel restore (Vintage French bedanes) series no next part

Mortise chisel restore
Vintage French bedanes

This is the number two of two in the blog, so if you did not read the first blog then press here.

So last time we stopped here where we finished the shaping of the handles.

Tome for a good soak of linseed oil.

(That does look really interesting yes?).

First three ready, next three waiting to go.
Woodsman look what is there on the left…

I went rough on the edge, to shape the metal too.
(This was one of these pictures that had no home…).

One of the handles broke when I beat it in, this is why you should spend a little time on the hole, don’t think it can be ‘just’ beaten in.

So off we go!
(Another lesson learned).

Cutting a new piece.



This time I used a draw knife for the rough shaping, I do love this tool.
Remember to hold it in an angel when shaving then you can make wonderful shaves, and it will not cut in, as if you go just 90 degrees to the wood.

Then the spokeshave.

Getting there.

Some old and rusty steel,
at the price of a single meal.
A price of fire wood I save,
into this life I gave.
A pig sticker set is born!
and I will smoke on the corn.
Then beat it as a man,
this wonderful bedane.

Ok I am better at working wood…
Here soaking in linseed oil.

You can see how I do this on the scraper shave blog post 6 here .

Here we are.

Then an antique wax from Paris.

And we are there almost!
Notice the one that got a handle from another piece of firewood got his own charm.

My beloved water grinder.

Bedane set up for sharpeneing.

And some for stabilization.

New shaped bevels.

Sweet steel.

A diamond stone can be used for shaping.

Now I need to be violent with some of the backs since they did not pay as much attention to this in the old days as we do now.

Getting there.



That’s it!!!
A wonderful set of bedanes / mortise chisels / pig stickers are reborn.
As you can see I also gave a big firmer chisel a matching handle just more square (for cleaning up of large mortises).

And here they are in the set, together with my restored gauges (another blog another day).

My homemade re handled dovetail chisel set:
My review of the Ashley Iles Mk 2 Bevel Edged Cabinetmakers Chisels:

This was last part of the blog, I hope this blog 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 hurts like …. I was thinking it’s time for some old unfinished posts and blogs).

Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

15 comments so far

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 2855 days

#1 posted 05-13-2011 12:52 PM

You are going to have a HUGE collection

These are nice, they are great for green oak


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View mafe's profile


11725 posts in 3088 days

#2 posted 05-13-2011 01:06 PM

Jamie I am simple so I want one one of each…
Big smile for you, thank you,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View racerglen's profile


3112 posts in 2779 days

#3 posted 05-13-2011 01:12 PM

Great finish to another wonderful job. It’s truely amazing what can be found hiding under some rust and battered wood isn’t it !

-- Glen, B.C. Canada

View patron's profile


13603 posts in 3340 days

#4 posted 05-13-2011 01:21 PM

this is repeated a second time
under itself
there are
2 the same
need to erase one (edit)

i am happy for you
these are wonderful
new life

watch out pigs !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View mafe's profile


11725 posts in 3088 days

#5 posted 05-13-2011 01:45 PM

Hi Glen, yes it really is amazing what a few hours of dedication can do. I am sure these will be my only set of bedanes in this life time, but now I have a wonderful set and for the price of 10 dollar or so if you take away the spokeshave that came with the set. Here is what WK CC writes about mortise chisels.

David, I got it, thank you. These blogs seem to grow by them self…
Yes I will be hunting pigs now.
Big smile, get well.

Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6856 posts in 3978 days

#6 posted 05-13-2011 01:52 PM

Hi Mads;

Nice job on a great set of chisels. Very nice handles.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Brit's profile


7376 posts in 2842 days

#7 posted 05-13-2011 01:57 PM

No wonder the internet is slow today, Mafe is posting pictures again :-) and did I see a little bit of poetry creeping in there Mads? Seems I’ve started something.

Nice set of chisels my friend. Hope you feel better soon.

-- - Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20487 posts in 3104 days

#8 posted 05-13-2011 02:46 PM

Hi Mads. Nice work on the chisels. You need to get a wood lathe . You would be right at home making custom turning tools with good steel like that. Great job, my friend!!.....................Jim

ps. I’ll bet you could build a fine wood lathe, too!!!!!!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View mafe's profile


11725 posts in 3088 days

#9 posted 05-13-2011 03:53 PM

Jim, look at this: it is my Record lathe and I also have a little unimat 3 for small metal items so I manage, even I would love some cnc for metal… I use my wood lathe mostely for making handles and stuff like that, eben these were freehanded since I wanted them to be personal and different for each chisel. And when you learn us to make bracelets I will try this also…
I have plans of making a little footpowered lathe just for fun.
Andy, yes the little rime was meant for you. Microsoft just called me and asked me if I will continue posting on LJ, because then they need to put a cable directy into my brain not to get overloaded. I promised them to take it easy, no one wants to be in my brain.
Lee, big smile here.
Thank you for the kind words,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View swirt's profile


2737 posts in 2971 days

#10 posted 05-14-2011 04:47 AM

Beautiful. Why is that every time I disappear for a few days, you go wild and start posting a whole series of stuff? ;)

Nice work, as always, and very entertaining.

-- Galootish log blog,

View mafe's profile


11725 posts in 3088 days

#11 posted 05-14-2011 09:34 AM

Hi ho,
Swirt, I do that on purpose, I keep a eye on you and when you least expect it kapauuu. ;-)
Hope you are fine my friend, and that you enjoyed beeing out.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2718 posts in 3285 days

#12 posted 05-14-2011 07:52 PM

Mads, as always, great blog on some really fine work

Thanks once again


View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3114 days

#13 posted 05-17-2011 10:46 PM

thank´s for a very fine toturial Mads
they look very good I now that first hand :-)
and they does feel great to have in the hand
the best part of it is the historic behind them
thank´s for that too Mads

take care

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3333 days

#14 posted 05-19-2011 11:53 AM

I thoroughly enjoyed your post on these mortise chisels Mads. I can see what a great design the metal part is with the collar being flat where the handle end grain meets it. This will provide a really stable platform for some serious banging, which mortise work requires. Your handles look absolutely wonderful and also should be able to withstand quite a beating.

In case you are interested, I posted a tutorial some time back about how to correctly chop a mortise quickly and accurately. Unfortunately I don’t have any mortise chisels so I used a bench chisel for the demo. However, the principal is the same. here is the link:

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View mafe's profile


11725 posts in 3088 days

#15 posted 05-19-2011 02:27 PM

Dennis, yes you have hold them, so I’m happy for your confirmation.
Mike, thank you for the link I will jump right over there and look.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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