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Forum topic by manyironsinfire posted 01-25-2011 09:14 AM 1175 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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manyironsinfire

48 posts in 2145 days


01-25-2011 09:14 AM

Hi all,

I’ve been searching around for awhile now on wood chisels.

After some thought , I bought individually stanley fat max steel core chisels, made in england (so they said). Got them home and realized most of the handles were put on twisted, very pathetic Quality control i guess (the chinese stanley handles were dead straight, imagine that). So i took them back and picked out the best i could find.

Sharpened a few up and played around on some oak. With a 25 degree angle, the edge would curl under fairly easy with a good hit or two with a mallet.one of them the sides were ground parallel but they werent straight if that makes sence. And the width sizes were all over the place, not inch or metric. At this point i was getting a sick feeling.

Thinking something was wrong with them, i took them back. Next got a set of german MHG chisels at hartville hardware.
http://www.hartvilletool.com/product/11737
Blades look very similar to firsh hirmer or two cherries? These are ground to within a few thousands of the fractional size, very nice. They seem pretty warped to me, the worst having a .010 dip in the middle. But they all were reasonably flat 2 inches or so from the edge.

They came with 20 degree angles ground. I sharpened one up, did the same thing with oak. I sharpened to 25, same thing but a little better. sharpened to 30, better but still burrs under. They seem to be very close to the stanleys, maybe a little better. But these dont seem to take as good of an edge. I rockwell tested one at work and it matched the advertised 61rc that the desc says.

My question: is it the oak or the chisels? Or me expecting to much? Both the stanleys and the mhg’s say they’re chrome- vanadium or high chrome steel if that makes any difference. I’ve heard some sugest that you need to grind back some to get to the “good” steel. Any truth to that?

Thanks,
Josh


7 replies so far

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TheWoodNerd

288 posts in 2654 days


#1 posted 01-25-2011 10:16 PM

I don’t have experience with either one of those chisels, but from what you describe I wouldn’t think you’d be able to roll the edge with so little use.

You might check out the Narex chisels, I bought a set of these as starter chisels until I could figure out what “nice” chisels I needed. They’re pretty nice, to the point that I’ve never gotten any others. See my review for links to various vendors …

http://www.thewoodnerd.com/reviews/narexBenchChisels.html

-- The Wood Nerd -- http://www.workshopaholic.net

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manyironsinfire

48 posts in 2145 days


#2 posted 01-25-2011 10:29 PM

wood nerd, were the backs flat the whole way back on the narex? Yea i don’t understand either whats going on. Like i said they tested at 61 rc. Shouldnt roll like that.

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TheWoodNerd

288 posts in 2654 days


#3 posted 01-26-2011 03:23 AM

I don’t know about “all the way” back, but they were pretty flat. The first inch or so is all that’s really important, anyway.

-- The Wood Nerd -- http://www.workshopaholic.net

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CL810

3444 posts in 2450 days


#4 posted 01-26-2011 04:13 AM

Flattening the back is the first step in sharpening the chisel. Flatten about 2 inches of the backside from the tip. After you sharpen them at 25 degrees try a 5 degree micro bevel. This will put more steel behind the cutting edge. You might want to read The Perfect Edge by Hock.

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

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Loren

8301 posts in 3110 days


#5 posted 01-26-2011 04:49 AM

I think you may be expecting too much of your chisels.

I’m really good at sharpening. Of course I’ve used junk Chinese chisels
and the steel just folds over when you pound them, but in general
I use a chisel until the edge is not doing what I need. At that point I
either grab another chisel or I sharpen the one I’m using. If you have
only one set of chisels, your choices are limited in this regard, but once
your chisel collection reaches a certain critical mass and you do sharpen
them well enough to shave hair with, then worrying about trying to make
the grind angle and steel in one chisel do every job becomes less of an
issue.

I have the affordable Japanese chisels and I like them best for most light
work, but I’ve also got big Sorby’s and others I collected over the years
that may not take and hold a super-sharp edge for softwoods, but the
can take a pounding.

Oak is tough, fibrous wood. I use my Japan chisels on it but I don’t abuse
them with a hammer when working on oak. They are more designed for
clean cuts in softer woods.

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manyironsinfire

48 posts in 2145 days


#6 posted 01-26-2011 08:15 AM

Loren, I think your probably right.

Now, tonight as i was messing with them somemore, i looked at the hammer i was using and realized it isnt helping either. Its a somewhat large dead blow hammer. Now i picked up that one so i wouldnt be hitting them with a steel hammer but thats got to be nasty on the edge too. I grabed a much smaller dead blow and it seemed to help, and also just not pounding on them so much helped. Planning to make a wooden mallet soon, i know theyre cheap but I think it’d be good practice.

Well that was my main concern with these so i think i’ll hold onto them. The stanleys were probably fine then as well but oh well. These are much thinner chisels and longer then the stanleys. I’m planning to pick up a set of craftsmans as your point about multiple sets makes sense. I don’t expect much but in a magazine rating, the craftsmans did better with edge retention then stanley blue chips and similar. If nothing else, they’re made in the usa.

What japanese chisels do you have loren?

Thanks for the input guys, I apreciate it.

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Loren

8301 posts in 3110 days


#7 posted 01-26-2011 08:36 AM

These ones, probably – the labels look similar and I bought one or two
from Lee Valley but bought the others one at a time from a local
store:

http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/page.aspx?p=46404&cat=1,41504,43500&ap=1

Seeing the prices today, they aren’t cheap, but Lee Valley prices are
a lot higher than they used to be (maybe due to a stronger Canadian
dollar).

It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Japan chisels sold by Grizzly (way
cheaper) are made in the same factory. They look the same to me
from pictures I’ve seen, but accounts of the Grizzly chisels chipping and
not having a hollow-ground back are not reflective of the Japan
chisels I own, which hold a keen edge, seldom chip, and have hollow-ground
backs.

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