Chisel queries

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Forum topic by tenderfoot posted 07-25-2013 07:47 AM 970 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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22 posts in 2004 days

07-25-2013 07:47 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question chisel

Hello, this is my first post on the forum and it is quite apply named. How flat do the bottoms of a chisel really need to be? I make my own wood working tools for making gunstocks and anything else I need to make. The bench chisels I have made I really only draw file the bottom flat and check with a straight edge. Do you really need to have them dead nuts flat (i.e. surface plate flat)? Also for an all around bench chisel is about 25 degrees +/- a little bit a good compromise? Sorry to be a bit thick, I’m better at metal work than wood, but really ought to learn.

The gouge on the right is one I pounded out today out of an old file since I needed a new one as my other one in that side I gave away. The handle is made of an old shovel handle (hickory). The chisel is from W1 and just had the beveled edge forged in most of the way and cleaned up with a file.

4 replies so far

View planeBill's profile


506 posts in 2646 days

#1 posted 07-26-2013 03:24 AM

Tenderfoot, the only part of the face of the chisel that absolutely needs to be flat is just behind the cutting edge in order to be able to get a sharp edge. The flatter it is the better.
I am going to guess that your chisel chores entail mainly paring? 25 degrees would be good for that.

-- I was born at a very young age, as I grew up, I got older.

View tenderfoot's profile


22 posts in 2004 days

#2 posted 07-26-2013 03:33 AM

Yup, I only do mortising to inlet the recoil lug of a rifle (which isn’t very deep) or I drill them out most of the way. I have never cut a dovetail in my life and only do finger joints. Unfortunately the W1 chisel warped in the heat treat so I have a lot of flattening to do.

Thank you very much, I am learning more about chisels after really starting to use them for anything other than gunstocks or basic stuff.

View Richard's profile


400 posts in 2929 days

#3 posted 07-26-2013 03:38 AM

planeBill is spot on. The business end of it is what counts. Personally flatted the last 1/2 inch because I don’t want to ever do it again in my lifetime. That 1/2” should get me through a whole lot of sharpening sessions.

-- "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain

View tenderfoot's profile


22 posts in 2004 days

#4 posted 07-26-2013 03:48 AM

Wow, so me having don’t almost the whole blade was a waste of time? Makes me feel rather smart.

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