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Old Buck Brothers chisel - bad edge - Success!

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Forum topic by coopersdad posted 02-06-2016 01:24 PM 843 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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coopersdad

5 posts in 305 days


02-06-2016 01:24 PM

Hello: new member and first post. I found an old tanged Buck Bros 1 1/2” paring chisel in a dollar bin at a pawn shop, and thought I’d scored. No handle, but otherwise appeared to be in great shape, little rust, edge of course was messed up. I made a handle, and then proceeded to flatten the back, regrind and sharpen. As I’d read, that took a LONG time – the steel is incredibly hard, harder than anything I’ve ever tried to sharpen.

Once I got an edge, however, I tested by paring some end-grain pine. The edge immediately chipped. I resharpened at a bit steeper angle, and the same thing.

So it appears the steel is too hard – brittle may be a better description. I wondered if it had been through a fire, burning the handle off, and it got cooled quickly? Or there was a reason it was in the dollar bin….. I thought I may try heating it with a torch and quenching when the edge is straw. Can’t wreck it since it’s already not usable. Anyone have any insight or experience like this?


13 replies so far

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

3668 posts in 1184 days


#1 posted 02-06-2016 01:39 PM

It sounds like a chisel that might have been worth half what you paid if it did have a handle. Buck Bros. aren’t know for quality, even when new.

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2324 posts in 1760 days


#2 posted 02-06-2016 04:08 PM

If it’s really hard steel you may want to try putting two bevels on it.

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

14583 posts in 2147 days


#3 posted 02-06-2016 05:13 PM

Might just try sitting it in the 400 degree oven for a while…

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

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Tim

3114 posts in 1425 days


#4 posted 02-06-2016 05:36 PM



Might just try sitting it in the 400 degree oven for a while…

- bandit571

Yeah you can temper with a torch, but it’s hard to do. Oven is pretty easy, only problem is kitchen ovens aren’t known for accuracy. If you don’t do it in an oven, another way is heat another piece of metal then touch them together. Much easier to see the colors change that way and not ruin the temper.


It sounds like a chisel that might have been worth half what you paid if it did have a handle. Buck Bros. aren t know for quality, even when new.

- bigblockyeti

The new ones sold now that’s true because the name was bought and quality went down. But originally they were quality tools.

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coopersdad

5 posts in 305 days


#5 posted 02-06-2016 07:18 PM

I had heard the new ones were not great, but the older ones, which I’m sure this is, are supposed to be great. I may try the torch/other piece of steel method, using a heat sink of some kind to protect the handle, as my handle will not do well in the oven. It’s the old sharp tang style and driven on, and likely won’t come off without splitting it off. One of my many projects that, if I took into account my time, I’d be better off buying a new Blue Spruce chisel…..

View James Wright's profile

James Wright

233 posts in 327 days


#6 posted 02-06-2016 09:48 PM

I have a toaster oven for just that use. I have an oven thermometer on it. I just set it for 420 and let it sit for 2 hours or so then turn the oven off and let it sit for another 2.

-- James Wright, Rockford IL, https://www.youtube.com/c/WoodWright

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Tim

3114 posts in 1425 days


#7 posted 02-07-2016 12:45 AM



I had heard the new ones were not great, but the older ones, which I m sure this is, are supposed to be great. I may try the torch/other piece of steel method, using a heat sink of some kind to protect the handle, as my handle will not do well in the oven. It s the old sharp tang style and driven on, and likely won t come off without splitting it off. One of my many projects that, if I took into account my time, I d be better off buying a new Blue Spruce chisel…..

- coopersdad

400 degrees won’t burn the wood, but it will drive the moisture % to about 0 and basically torrefy it.
http://www.silvatimber.co.uk/media/pdfs/torrefied-wood/torrefied-wood-explained.pdf
The drying will probably make it crack. Also tempering it will likely cause the metal to move a bit so your back may not be flat anymore. By the time you’re done flattening it again, your time may be worth 2 Blue Spruces. :) But if you’re having fun then the time invested doesn’t really matter.

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coopersdad

5 posts in 305 days


#8 posted 02-13-2016 01:48 AM

Finally got some time to work on this. Got the handle off without hurting it, then followed James Wright’s advice and hung the chisel in the oven at 420 deg for one hour (used a thermometer – the oven readout is way off. 360 to get 420), then shut it off and let it cool in there – three hours til I got back to it. The polished parts had a noticeable yellowish cast, which should be about right for that temp.

When grinding the chipped edge on a coarse diamond stone, I immediately noticed it cut more like my other chisels. Before, it took forever to get anywhere. Back stayed flat, thankfully. Put a secondary bevel on it and tried it out. Cut end grain pine smoothly, edge stayed good! Then pared some end grain red oak. NO chips, edge remained! No idea why it was the way it was, but now it is a useful chisel. Thanks!

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

3682 posts in 1729 days


#9 posted 02-13-2016 01:54 AM

Not only is useful. It’s got a real story behind it and it’s got a lot of character.

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coopersdad

5 posts in 305 days


#10 posted 02-13-2016 01:57 AM

I think the history and the character are what draw me to old tools. Plus they look fantastic in the tool rack, and I rescued it!

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

3668 posts in 1184 days


#11 posted 02-13-2016 03:21 AM

I stand corrected, that looks nothing like the junk I’ve seen produced by them as of lately. Great job, glad it worked out for you.

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BurlyBob

3682 posts in 1729 days


#12 posted 02-13-2016 03:24 AM

Yes Coop, you certainly did rescue it and I’m certain it will look really cool hanging in your tool rack.

View Tim's profile

Tim

3114 posts in 1425 days


#13 posted 02-14-2016 05:27 PM

Very nice done. What a save.

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