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Paring Chisels cutting up my fingers!

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Forum topic by funchuck posted 07-15-2011 03:02 PM 1480 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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funchuck

119 posts in 1743 days


07-15-2011 03:02 PM

Topic tags/keywords: chisels

Hello,

I am pretty new to working with hand tools, and just got the neander bug a few months ago. Anyways, I have been paring out some waste in a tenon should and I keep getting cuts on my fingers. The cuts are not from the tip of the chisel blade, but from the sides of the chisel.

When I am paring, I have one hand on the handle of the chisel, and the other hand is gripping the chisel neck for control. The hand that is gripping the chisel neck keeps getting cut when I am paring.

Should I round off the edge of the chisel, or is my technique bad?

BTW, I am glad we have a new Hand Tools forum!

-- Charles from California


9 replies so far

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

2536 posts in 1463 days


#1 posted 07-15-2011 04:17 PM

I ease the corners about a 1/2” up from the cutting edge to the neck. I round them just enough to take away the sharpness but not round the corners.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2335 days


#2 posted 07-15-2011 04:25 PM

what chisels are you using?

just use the finest sand paper grit you have (600+) and give it a few strokes on the edges that cut you to take off the wire edge. don’t completely round it off though – just make them use friendly

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View CMDEvans's profile

CMDEvans

28 posts in 1212 days


#3 posted 07-15-2011 04:29 PM

I would not round those edges over.

Try wrapping leather or a fabric tape sound the chisel part that cuts you, or use some medical tape on your hands. (Or, continue as is. You will get callouses pretty quickly.)

Rounding the edges of a chisel over like that pretty much ruins its ability to “register” against tight corners .

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PurpLev

8476 posts in 2335 days


#4 posted 07-15-2011 04:46 PM

CMDEvans – theoretically I agree with you, but we ARE talking about the rear side of the chisel halfway and to the back towards the handle arent we? how many decades of daily use would it ever take to grind the bevel to reach that area in the metal? also – I don’t think that a rounding over is required – just taking off the wire edge that is obviously there which is just a touch to take off and while theoretically could affect that side of the blade in practice will probably never be noticed.

not trying to argue – just putting things in hopefully different perspective ;)

from my experience, if I’ll start using finger protections and leather wrappers around my tools I’d probably be less inclined to reach for those tools when I’m “just in need to touch up a shoulder here”. I like to have everything accessible and ready for use

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Dave Pearce's profile

Dave Pearce

108 posts in 2359 days


#5 posted 07-15-2011 05:12 PM

I agree with PurpLev, and have done so myself. Although I would use a lower grit than 600, probably closer to 220 to ease those edges. The key is, leave the edge alone at the cutting end. I left the last 1/2 alone. You’ll want the sharp edges for clean cuts into the wood.

If you have a cheaper set of chisels, you’ll probably find out those edges aren’t nearly as finshed as a finer set would be. I have several sets of cheap chisels and one set of much (much) nicer chisels, and I immediately noticed the finer set were already eased slightly.

Either that, or let your hands develop enough calouses from the cuts…

-- http://www.pearcewoodworking.com

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

2536 posts in 1463 days


#6 posted 07-15-2011 05:20 PM

I use a strop to take off the “cut aspect” of the corner about 1/2” above the edge to the handle. If I am removing a 1/2” or better of the blade, then I either broke it or the steel is junk. If I broke it, I will reflatten and move forward, if the blade is junk, who cares, it will be repurposed to something else and replaced.

If I take more than a thousand of an inch, I am being agressive. To reflatten past this would take about 5-10 passes on a 6000 grit stone.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View CMDEvans's profile

CMDEvans

28 posts in 1212 days


#7 posted 07-15-2011 05:48 PM

Purplev. . .

I tend to have a stone, strop and a bunch of leather and rags in reach of my bench at all times. I don’t permanently affix things like that to my tools, but will grab a rag or leather strip when I need one. Like you, if permanently fixed to my tools, I doubt I would reach for them often.

That said. . .

If there is a wire edge, it SHOULD be removed on any chisel. If not, you can’t register it to a surface and it will mar your work. the suggestion of stropping may have some good possibilities for that. I use hardwood scraps to break off wire edges on newly ground tools and parts, which effects the wire edge only, not the tool surface.

Whatever method works best for you will be the best solution. The rest of us aren’t using your chisels.

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12292 posts in 2784 days


#8 posted 07-15-2011 06:12 PM

Chuck, what brand chisels are these?

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View funchuck's profile

funchuck

119 posts in 1743 days


#9 posted 07-15-2011 08:13 PM

The chisels are Pinnacle brand chisels from Woodcraft. I have had them for a long time (2 or 3 years), and this always bothered me, but I never bothered to ask this question…. I am so glad I did!

I think I will go with the stropping route, since that seems the least aggressive. Hopefully, that will take care of them.

Thanks to all who replied!

-- Charles from California

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