LumberJocks

Paring Chisels in need of some TLC

  • Advertise with us

« back to Hand Tools forum

Forum topic by Coddiwomple posted 07-06-2018 04:55 AM 945 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Coddiwomple's profile

Coddiwomple

3 posts in 671 days


07-06-2018 04:55 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question chisel refurbishing

My first post to Lumberjocks!
I recently acquired a set of paring chisels that belonged to my grandfather which were probably made in the 1930s or 1940s. The appear to be good quality chisels but there are no makers marks on any of them and I have no idea what kind of steel they are made from. All in all, they are in pretty decent shape though they need to be cleaned up, reground, sharpened, and honed. I can handle all that.

Upon closer inspection, I noticed that all of these chisels are bent to varying degrees, some as much as 1/8” out of flat! It’s almost as if they were used to pry something.

These somewhat delicate paring chisels should, I believe, be dead flat. Does anyone have any suggestions about how to flatten them or have them flattened in a way that won’t damage them further? Any and all comments/suggestions would be most appreciated.
Thanks.

-- Bill in Asheville, NC


13 replies so far

View Andre's profile

Andre

2139 posts in 1981 days


#1 posted 07-06-2018 05:32 AM

You probably only need to get 3 or 4 inches flat for most work, but with a paring chisel it is nice to flatten the entire blade. Took me many hours on a set of Stanley 720’s, don’t think I have ever used them? Almost always use crank neck for any Paring.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View John Smith's profile (online now)

John Smith

1442 posts in 337 days


#2 posted 07-06-2018 11:10 AM

what are your plans for them ?
are you going to put them into your tool bin and actually use them?
I think they would look nice if left “as is” and you build a nice display case
with a glass front, like a shadow box and display them proudly in your home.
very nice set of vintage tools

-- I started out with nothing in life ~ and still have most of it left.

View Coddiwomple's profile

Coddiwomple

3 posts in 671 days


#3 posted 07-06-2018 12:23 PM

I plan to use them though I had thought of displaying them. Would trying to bend them flat and following that up with grinding work?

-- Bill in Asheville, NC

View BlasterStumps's profile

BlasterStumps

942 posts in 614 days


#4 posted 07-06-2018 01:59 PM

I would smith them using a rubber faced mallet and some strips of wood strategically placed under the blade. Checking your work often using a flat surface to reference to. It might take some trial and error. I have straightened chisels and even made a crank neck chisel this way. easy does it.

-- "I build for function first, looks second. Most times I never get around to looks." - Mike, western Colorado

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

6608 posts in 1313 days


#5 posted 07-06-2018 03:10 PM

You can try to bend them like BlasterStumps suggests. I’d use a propane or MAPP torch to heat localized areas to aid in bending but keep the heat well away from the cutting edge. If you really like the chisels and want to put them into service, you may consider taking them to a machine shop and having them surface ground flat.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

15649 posts in 2793 days


#6 posted 07-06-2018 04:06 PM

I suggest not risk the damage you may cause and use them as they are. Plenty of surface to register the work against, you’ll get used to (and excel at) using them just as your granddad did.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View Coddiwomple's profile

Coddiwomple

3 posts in 671 days


#7 posted 07-30-2018 11:59 AM

Okay, Smitty I have decided to take your advice and do a minimal intervention. Clean them up, flatten the first few inches past the tip, grind a new edge, sharpen, hone, and use.

Thanks for all your suggestions.

-- Bill in Asheville, NC

View bilyo's profile

bilyo

389 posts in 1277 days


#8 posted 07-30-2018 02:50 PM

I think you have made a wise decision. Trying to straighten them risks breaking them. If they were estate sale finds then I would suggest giving it a try. But these belonged to your grandfather. If they are not usable then put them on display. Otherwise, sharpen them up and put them to use. That small bend will likely have very little adverse effect; if any.

View Bluenote38's profile (online now)

Bluenote38

451 posts in 563 days


#9 posted 07-30-2018 03:05 PM

Curious to know what did your Grandfather did for a living? Mine was a Pattern Maker and Tool and Die Master and he modified (and made) many of his tools to suite his needs including the needs of the moment. Quite a few of he’s chisels are bent (not cranked) specifically so he could pare surfaces/places that would not be accessible to a off the shelf flat chisel.

-- Bill - Rochester MI

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

15649 posts in 2793 days


#10 posted 07-30-2018 05:34 PM

You go, Bill! Get ‘em working, enjoy!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View KYtoolsmith's profile

KYtoolsmith

33 posts in 35 days


#11 posted 10-13-2018 11:39 PM

Hello all! Read the above an had to join… From my long time collecting old wood working tools, I have found that nearly all early firmer and paring socket chisels have a very subtle curve. The “modern” convention is for all chisels to be dead flat. But this was not always the case. I recommend that you do nothing to alter what look to be a fine set of chisels. In my own use, I find the curve is an advantage when truing a dado or rebate.

-- "Good enough" is just an excuse. Good workmanship needs no excuses.

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10502 posts in 1661 days


#12 posted 10-13-2018 11:47 PM

Yep. The whole surface doesn’t need to be flat. Would be nice but it’s not necessary.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Derek Cohen's profile

Derek Cohen

394 posts in 4143 days


#13 posted 10-14-2018 12:35 AM



Okay, Smitty I have decided to take your advice and do a minimal intervention. Clean them up, flatten the first few inches past the tip, grind a new edge, sharpen, hone, and use.

Thanks for all your suggestions.

- Coddiwomple

Yep, that’s what I would do.

The Japanese slicks (paring chisels) I use have a slightky canted blade, which makes it possible to use the blades flat to the surface. I suspect that yours (are they Witherby) are for the same purpose.

Regards from Perth

Derek

-- Buildiing furniture, and reviewing and building tools at http://www.inthewoodshop.com

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com