Making a pair of skew chisels

  • Advertise with us

« back to Hand Tools forum

Forum topic by siouxdawgs0409 posted 05-29-2012 06:19 PM 3217 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View siouxdawgs0409's profile


111 posts in 3330 days

05-29-2012 06:19 PM

I am debating on making a pair of skew chisels from some Stanley 1/4 inch that were bought at HD. I have a grinder and some waterstones that I use to sharpen my chisels now. I have never made any of these before and was wondering if there was any good resources on how to make them? Do you simply grind the tip at the angle and then add the bevel to the edge and flatten the back? I believe there is no side bevels at all like and an ordinary bench chisel. Any help is appreciated…specific angles etc. Thanks.

4 replies so far

View tsangell's profile


216 posts in 2929 days

#1 posted 05-29-2012 06:51 PM

Lay out the angle you want on the back, grind the bevel back to the line, and sharpen. As long as you don’t overheat the steel, you shouldn’t have to re-harden or temper. Bottom line: just go for it! The worst you can do is trash a couple of cheap chisels, and I think even that would be hard to do.

Mafe has a good post/blog here:

Derek Cohen has a good one on grinding side-bevels here:

As to specific angles, as long as the skew angle is slightly sharper than the highest dovetail angle you use, you’ll be able to reach the corners of a half-blind socket with it.

View siouxdawgs0409's profile


111 posts in 3330 days

#2 posted 06-01-2012 01:36 AM

Thanks for the reply.

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2723 days

#3 posted 06-01-2012 01:54 AM

You might find that if they are the low end Stanley’s at HD and other box store the hardening is gone after about 1/8”.

You’ll need to harden them again which isn’t for those that are faint of heart.

I have a set of el-Cheapo Deep West Chinese chisels that lost their edge on the first piece of pine I used them on. They look and act and feel just like the Stanley’s I have next to them except they don’t say “Stanley”.

I had to heat them and reharden the steel with a charcoal fire and a MAPP gas torch. With some help from a fellow Iknow that does this for a living, the chisels now work like high dollar chisels and don’t seem to chip or lose an edge.

The Stanley’s? I’m glad you asked.
I tried the same heat and quench method on all of them and they are so brittle the edge snaps when looking at anything as heavy as pine.

Of course, this could have been my fault as I’m not a metal worker by any means.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View tsangell's profile


216 posts in 2929 days

#4 posted 06-12-2012 01:37 PM

It sounds like you need to temper them. If you do a google search for “DIY heat treat,” or tempering, or hardening chisels (or something similar) you’ll see how guys do this in the shop.

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