Using a hand chisel as a lathe chisle????

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Blog entry by nobuckle posted 05-12-2012 03:22 AM 14067 reads 2 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Okay, I just watched this video and was shocked by what I saw. This guy uses a hand chisle as a lathe chisle. Have you ever heard of such a thing? At first I thought he was going to use the hand chisle to remove some more of the high spots, you know, by hand. No, no, he uses it as some sort of scraper. It seems to work pretty well, but I sure wouldn’t put my good Marples through that.

-- Doug - Make an effort to live by the slogan "We try harder"

19 comments so far

View mikema's profile


180 posts in 2614 days

#1 posted 05-12-2012 03:50 AM

I have used bench chisels on the lathe. They work similar to how a parting tool would. One thing to remember, is most turning tools are simply a type of chisel. I wouldn’t use my pfeils on it as it will dull a chisel quick, but I have used my old craftsman chisels with good results.

I wrote most of this before watching the video. I think I would still use a good rough gouge to round the piece first, and if the lathe is moving too much, a) bolt it down, b) slow it down

-- Mike ---- Visit my woodworking blog:

View woodworkerscott's profile


361 posts in 2842 days

#2 posted 05-12-2012 04:44 AM

I don’t see a problem. It is the same principle as most lathe tools. I have tried a pocket knife on the lathe just for fun and it was a success. Can’t see any reason to not use a chisel.

-- " 'woodworker''s a good word, an honest word." - Sam Maloof

View YorkshireStewart's profile


1130 posts in 3930 days

#3 posted 05-12-2012 08:42 AM

Here’s a link to his way of turning with woodworking chisels

Unorthodox eh? Clearly it works very well for him.

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business.

View hunter71's profile


3186 posts in 3215 days

#4 posted 05-12-2012 11:15 AM

I have made several specialty lathe tools out of all kinds of things. Actually on of my favorite custom scrappers is made from a plainer blade. Mind you, I am just turning small projects. I save any OLD OR WORN OUT HSS steel tools in a drawer for such special project needs.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View Roger's profile


20929 posts in 2832 days

#5 posted 05-12-2012 12:50 PM

Very interesting.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View hairy's profile


2720 posts in 3561 days

#6 posted 05-12-2012 12:56 PM

Check this out

The tang on a bench chisel is much shorter than a turning tool. You could get hurt .

-- My reality check bounced...

View willie's profile


534 posts in 2483 days

#7 posted 05-12-2012 01:09 PM

I wonder how long his chisels will last if he sharpens them like lathe chisels. Constant grinding should make for a short life! I think I would have used a gouge for roughing first but he got what he wanted. I would imagine that if you wanted to use a handplane, you could do the same thing. It might work but it’s just not right!

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

View Alan S's profile

Alan S

181 posts in 3346 days

#8 posted 05-12-2012 01:31 PM

Aren’t most bench chisels made of carbon steel, whereas lathe chisels are high-speed steel? The bench chisel would dull much more quickly. I also worry about the tang length like hairy said.

View steliart's profile


2700 posts in 2717 days

#9 posted 05-12-2012 01:48 PM

What ever works for you… as they say
there’s no argument here
nice video nobuckle

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of all inventions

View willie's profile


534 posts in 2483 days

#10 posted 05-12-2012 02:07 PM

After watching the video that hairy posted, tang length should be the least of that guy’s worries. That is an accident waiting to happen!

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 3026 days

#11 posted 05-12-2012 02:42 PM

Well, a chisel is a chisel. Modern high speed steel tools are a pretty recent invention.

He is using horrible technique for a carbon steel chisel though. He is scraping which generates the most heat. He should be using it like a skew. Here is Roy Underhill doing the same thing…. (But a lot better).


-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View nobuckle's profile


1120 posts in 2789 days

#12 posted 05-12-2012 03:23 PM

I don’t want to give the impression that I think his method is wrong. I’ve just never seen anyone use bench chisels as lathe chisels. It’s obvious that this method works for him and I can see his point about spending the money for a good set of latrhe chisels. I’m almost tempeted to try it myself.

-- Doug - Make an effort to live by the slogan "We try harder"

View derosa's profile


1577 posts in 2864 days

#13 posted 05-12-2012 06:51 PM

Actually CJ, handplanes will work just fine if you support them. I used one to finish sizing legs on the lathe by having a couple boards of the same height and slope. Worked perfect and didn’t seem to damage or bother the plane in the least.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View NormG's profile


6156 posts in 3032 days

#14 posted 05-13-2012 02:52 AM

I have never used them. I have seen ther do so

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View bandit571's profile


20266 posts in 2712 days

#15 posted 05-13-2012 03:16 AM

Whenever I’ve wanted to make sure a cylinder was round, I would just sit my block plane up there at an angle, and go the length of the piece. Made nice little curly things. Plus, when the plane no longer bounced up and down, it meant that section was done. A big old wide chisel would sometimes work as a scraper tool, just to hit the high spots. It worked even better when it WAS dull, as it was more like a regular scraper that way.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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