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View steve6678's profile

affordable chisels

by steve6678
posted 10-28-2012 12:51 AM


25 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112898 posts in 2326 days


#1 posted 10-28-2012 01:17 AM

I prefer Irwin but I’ve heard others like Narex.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Tedstor's profile

Tedstor

1505 posts in 1381 days


#2 posted 10-28-2012 01:25 AM

Narex makes perhaps the best chisel under $20.

View bhog's profile

bhog

2177 posts in 1439 days


#3 posted 10-28-2012 01:27 AM

I have a set of em and am happy.

-- I don't drive a Prius.

View crank49's profile

crank49

3522 posts in 1719 days


#4 posted 10-28-2012 01:31 AM

I love my Narex mortise chisels. If the regular bench chisels are as good, and no reason to think they are not, they should be fine. I have a few old Stanley #60s, some Fullers and a set of Wood Rivers and some made in the USA Buck Brothers and one Irwin/Marples. With that as my reference point, I think the Narex chisels are the best I own.

Now, if I had some Ray Iles, Lee Neilson, Veritas , Two Cherries or similar, I might have a different opinion. But, for the money I think the Narex are just fine. I even think the oval beech handles are nice, but I know some folks think they are ugly.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

View steve6678's profile

steve6678

438 posts in 809 days


#5 posted 10-28-2012 01:31 AM

I have an old set of Marples, and they are spent.
I didn’t know how to deal with sharpening a chisel and ruined them…I think.
Any advise on preparing new chisels from the box would be appreciated,
What do I need, to make new chisels ready…i.e stones, etc.?

-- Steve - Dust sucks!

View steve6678's profile

steve6678

438 posts in 809 days


#6 posted 10-28-2012 01:34 AM

I am Chisel dumb.
help.

-- Steve - Dust sucks!

View crank49's profile

crank49

3522 posts in 1719 days


#7 posted 10-28-2012 01:44 AM

Read up on ” scary sharp”. You can Google it and there will be about a gazillion references along with videos on You Tube.

If I were starting fresh I would get a set of Narex Chisels from Lee Valley tools along with their sharpening jig and then study some of the reference material out there.

DO NOT take to a grinder with a new chisel. Unless you are extremely careful and have a proper brown or white wheel on you grinder you will overheat the chisel and ruin its temper. Besides, the only reason to ever touch a grinder with a chisel would be if you dropped it and chipped the edge or something similar.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112898 posts in 2326 days


#8 posted 10-28-2012 01:50 AM

There are a number of ways to sharpen chisels,a simple low cost method is the scary sharp approach. here’s a video about it.
http://www.woodsmith.com/magazine/extras/165/sandpaper-sharpening/

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Arminius's profile

Arminius

304 posts in 2552 days


#9 posted 10-28-2012 02:02 AM

The Narex are a phenomenal value. There are better chisels out there, but for a small investment you can get a full range of very good quality chisels.

View steve6678's profile

steve6678

438 posts in 809 days


#10 posted 10-28-2012 02:08 AM

Thank’s, thanks, and thanx

-- Steve - Dust sucks!

View John 's profile

John

208 posts in 2150 days


#11 posted 10-28-2012 02:17 AM

Steve- Don’t give up completely on those Marples. I have 3 sets (One set I purchased years ago & 2 sets I found at garage sales from someone like you that GAVE up on them.) They are a little on the soft side but sharpen nicely.

-- John

View Purrmaster's profile

Purrmaster

832 posts in 841 days


#12 posted 10-28-2012 04:40 AM

To prep new chisels the first thing you have to do is flatten the back. Find a very flat surface (a lot of people use glass) and find a way to slap some sandpaper on it. Basically just sand the back up to increasingly fine grits until you get the back shiny and mark free (more or less).

Then you need to sharpen the bevel. I’d get one of the Eclipse style honing guides and some sandpaper. The Eclipse style guides are cheap and everywhere. When hone a new bevel I start with 400 or 600 grit. Then sand up to 2,000 grit. I prefer 3M’s wet or dry sandpaper for the higher grits.

You only need to flatten the back once and subsequent sharpenings of the bevel can start from 1,000 grit and honing the bevel will only take a couple of minutes.

Many people use water stones, oil stones, sand diamond stones for sharpening.

There are also power sharpening systems such as the Work Sharp and Tormek.

I think the most cost effective way to get started is to buy one of the kits from Rockler. They call it their “glass plate sharpening system.” Get the fine grit one. It has the glass, the honing guide, and some stick on sandpaper.

View Kreegan's profile

Kreegan

1452 posts in 895 days


#13 posted 10-28-2012 02:26 PM

I have 3 different sets of what you’d consider affordable chisels, and I like all 3. I have 3 of the Irwin blue chip chisels (1/2”, 3/4” and 1”). I have gotten a lot of use out of those Irwins, mostly mortise and tenon chopping, but also a lot of paring.

I also have a 4 piece set of WoodRiver butt chisels from Woodcraft (1/4”, 1/2”, 3/4”, 1”). I really like these chisels because they’re easy to control. The main thing I’ve used them for is removing the waste from dovetails. They’re short and stubby and very easy to make fine, accurate cuts with.

I recently purchased a set of Narex bench chisels, as well as 2 Narex mortise chisels. I got these from Highland Woodworking and they’re metric chisels, which isn’t a big deal. These chisels are very nice quality and really required very little in the way of tune up out of the box. I’ve mostly used the 6mm chisel and the 6mm and 3mm mortise chisels so far, but they work very nicely. Smooth, clean cuts.

I started with the Scary Sharp method, and it does work quite well, but I found messing with sandpaper and adhesive really annoying after awhile. If you do decide to go that route, I highly recommend some PSA adhesive-backed sandpaper like 3M Stik-it or the Porter Cable stuff.

I recently switched to using diamond stones and a strop, using the method taught by Paul Sellers. It’s been working really well for me. You can check out his chisel sharpening video here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6ykVzL2VAM&list=UUc3EpWncNq5QL0QhwUNQb7w&index=17&feature=plcp

I also learned a lot about chisel prep and sharpening watching Deneb Puchalski from Lie-Nielsen on YouTube. Here’s one of his chisel videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aDPZzMvVTA&list=PL5BE69422F61CEE64&index=9&feature=plpp_video

Rich;)

View BubbaIBA's profile

BubbaIBA

284 posts in 1125 days


#14 posted 10-28-2012 11:47 PM

I have an old set of Marples, and they are spent.
I didn’t know how to deal with sharpening a chisel and ruined them…I think.
Any advise on preparing new chisels from the box would be appreciated,
What do I need, to make new chisels ready…i.e stones, etc.?

—Steve, MA – Dust sucks!

Steve,

I doubt you have ruined your chisels. Most mistakes can be corrected, might need to waste a little iron but most mistakes are repairable.

You can do almost every thing needed; pare, chop mortices, clean up dovetails and tenon shoulders, you name it, with three chisels, 1/4”, 3/8”, and 1/2” bevel edge chisels the rest are mostly for bragging rights and wall decoration. Buy those three chisels and buy the best you can afford. The cost for three Ashely Iles chisels is a little over $75 USD. The Ashely Iles are as good as any and better than most.

Sandpaper is cheap for start up but expensive in the long run and I think there are issues using it but, it is a cheap and fast way to learn to sharpen. I like Diamond and Arkansas stones but now we are getting into religion and you know where that leads.

Go to http://antiquetools.com/sharp/ for a good overview on hand sharpening technique.

Good luck,

ken

View fussy's profile

fussy

980 posts in 1799 days


#15 posted 10-29-2012 07:12 AM

Narex chisels are just fine. I have six, including the two skews, my favorites. They came sharp and the biggest
thing was getting the laquer or whatever they coat the blades to get them across the pond. Best buy out there.

Steve

-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View paratrooper34's profile

paratrooper34

760 posts in 1700 days


#16 posted 10-29-2012 10:08 AM

Steve, where in MA are you? I am in Western MA. If you are close, be happy to show you how to work new chisels and sharpening.

-- Mike

View BentheViking's profile

BentheViking

1755 posts in 1312 days


#17 posted 10-29-2012 02:48 PM

Good to hear about these. I’ve been looking to get a decent set for about $100, and this seems like it could be a great option.

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View knotscott's profile

knotscott

5603 posts in 2124 days


#18 posted 10-29-2012 03:20 PM

It really depends on what feels good to you. My Narex chisel supposedly has better steel than my Irwin’s, but I like the way the Irwin’s feel, so tend to you them most.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2378 posts in 1631 days


#19 posted 10-29-2012 03:26 PM

I have the Narex chisels; not bad for the price, but I’ve had some trouble with edge retention in them. Speaking from personal experience, you can’t really ruin a chisel as long as there is metal left on them to sharpen, unless you have destroyed the temper by overheating them on a grinder…

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View steve6678's profile

steve6678

438 posts in 809 days


#20 posted 10-29-2012 07:01 PM

This is the Marples set I have had for years, they are really beat, and I tried to take bad chips out on a disc sander, I ended up heating up the metal quite a bit and I also did not know what I was doing.
Is there a “too far gone” point to where a chisel is damaged, or can I salvage these.
I will take a pic of my USED ones and add it soon.

-- Steve - Dust sucks!

View BentheViking's profile

BentheViking

1755 posts in 1312 days


#21 posted 10-29-2012 07:23 PM

Home depot used to sell these, but now they are irwins and are no longer made in sheffield, but in china I believe

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2378 posts in 1631 days


#22 posted 10-29-2012 10:09 PM

If you heated them up too much on the disc sander you may have destroyed the temper in the metal. You could temper them again, but probably easier just to count them as a loss and get a new set. Is the metal discoloured from heating it up or does it still look normal? Even if you have messed up the edge angle you can still sharpen them back into usefulness as long as you didn’t destroy the temper.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View steve6678's profile

steve6678

438 posts in 809 days


#23 posted 10-29-2012 11:02 PM

yes, they all got blue and green and blue…tooo hot

-- Steve - Dust sucks!

View Purrmaster's profile

Purrmaster

832 posts in 841 days


#24 posted 10-30-2012 03:34 AM

I just got my Narex mortise chisels. I’ll give you my impressions of them once I get them up and running. The backs need serious flattening and honing the bevel, even with the Worksharp, will take some time.

They’re beefy critters though. Which I hope bodes well.

View Purrmaster's profile

Purrmaster

832 posts in 841 days


#25 posted 11-02-2012 02:13 AM

Ok, I said I’d give you my impressions of the mortise chisels so here goes: I got the backs flattened and honed the bevels on the Work Sharp. Both the backs and the bevels are nice and shiny. So I got out a 1 pound deadblow hammer and started chopping away (using a piece of scrap red oak).

The chisels are solid and feel fairly well balanced. I have little concerns that I’m going to snap or bend the chisels, at least the larger ones.

They do make a pretty clean cut. I think perhaps my expectations were misaligned. I expected a couple of blows to cause the chisel to sink deeply into the wood with a perfectly clean line. That didn’t happen. They didn’t cut any more deeply than my Irwin bench chisels. But they did stay put more easily than the bench chisels. And they created a thicker cut.

I’ll have to practice with them some more. I think their best use will be to chop out the ends of mortises made with a router.

Overall, my first impression is I’m glad I got them. If for no other reason than they are sturdy enough to withstand a pounding. And I can leverage out the waste without worrying about bending the chisels into a pretzel shape.

I’m sure there are better mortise chisels out there but I think these are quite a good value.

I’m not going to write up a review of them until I’ve actually worked with them a while.

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