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Forum topic by tenderfoot posted 08-01-2013 11:31 PM 665 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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tenderfoot

22 posts in 521 days


08-01-2013 11:31 PM

Pretty much I just got the hang of making some tools and need money, and am toying with selling them. Is there a market for just tanged or socketed chisels without handles? I can make a serviceable handle but I always seem to make them the wrong size for anyone but me. It seems like people may buy some unfinished chisels (i.e. forged, lapped, sharpened etc but no handle or a rough handle blank just fitted with a ferule).


10 replies so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5119 posts in 2467 days


#1 posted 08-02-2013 12:16 AM

What would you have to sell a chisel at for you to sell it profitably?

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

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Loren

7831 posts in 2402 days


#2 posted 08-02-2013 12:19 AM

There sure is a market for fine working chisels: Barr,
Blue Spruce, Lie Nielsen, etc.

I have some Barrs and the handles are nothing special -
it’s the forge work that makes them special. I’ve been
averse to filling out my four chisel set of Barrs due to
the price of the individual filler chisels.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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tenderfoot

22 posts in 521 days


#3 posted 08-02-2013 12:33 AM

I would have to sell them for about $100 to turn a profit(the metal bits I can do for about $50). The time is really fitting them neatly and finishing carefully ( I refuse to do anything but a true oil finish on the wood). I have set up a lapping plate and lap the backs accurately to about +/- .01, I actually spend about an hour and a half making them and 45 minutes lapping them flat.

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Loren

7831 posts in 2402 days


#4 posted 08-02-2013 12:37 AM

At that price you’ll need to offer a money back guarantee
and/or put them in the hands of people who know what
to expect in a $100 chisel.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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tenderfoot

22 posts in 521 days


#5 posted 08-02-2013 12:46 AM

I dont do money back guarantees. If there is something wrong you tell me exactly what it is and Ill make another and ship it to you, you keep both of them. Never been happy with money back guarantees, I just want something to work.

But that is also the issue, it makes more sense to do the grunt work and let somebody fit the handle themselves so that they get exactly what they want how the want it. I don’t have a lathe so I need to carve everything by hand, and that never seems to look good.

View JustJoe's profile

JustJoe

1554 posts in 792 days


#6 posted 08-02-2013 12:49 AM

Keep your eyes peeled for an old blanchard grinder or similar piece of machinery that can do the lapping for you. Maybe something will pop up at a local auction and you can get it cheap. That would knock your time down a bit.

For $100 a piece, I gotta have a socket – no tangs – and a handle turned from some nice exotic hardwood and a lifetime guarantee. Boxwood just aint gonna cut it. And if I use it to open a can of paint or to pry nails out of an old pallet I expect it to hold up or get replaced for free. Of course If I buy a set of 3 I’d also expect Playboy’s playmate of the month to show up the first Saturday of every month wearing nothing but a smile and carrying a set of waterstones to touch up my chisels while I sit nearby with a beer and a smile supervising.

-- This Ad Space For Sale! Your Ad Here! Reach a targeted audience! Affordable Rates, easy financing! Contact an ad represenative today at JustJoe's Advertising Consortium.

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tenderfoot

22 posts in 521 days


#7 posted 08-02-2013 12:58 AM

Ironically enough when I really beat on socketed chisels they are no stronger than tanged if you do the tang right (i.e. double band and have a properly shanked tang), but if that is what the customer wants. I use Red or Sugar maple as they hold up well and finish up nice and are dirt cheap (drop and dry the tree myself).

I will guarantee my workmanship but if you are opening paint cans with a chisel or prying nails that is abusing it and pretty much nothing will hold up. No way will I guarantee against abuse, but I will guarantee them if you will use them like they are intended even on the nastiest of exotics (Ipe eats chisels which is why I started making my own)

Setting up mechanical tools is an issue to to limited space, but I guess I gotta do what I gotta do. Plus running the darn thing and that is just one more skill to learn.

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tenderfoot

22 posts in 521 days


#8 posted 08-02-2013 01:09 AM

Actually, what I believe a good way to get feed back would be to make a paring and mortising chisel and do a pass around and basically use the sum of the comments to create a better chisel and use that as my ‘production’ model.

View shampeon's profile

shampeon

1378 posts in 938 days


#9 posted 08-02-2013 01:23 AM

At $100 apiece sans handle, you’re basically pricing them higher than an established prestige brand (Blue Spruce) that has impeccable fit and finish and expensive-wood handles (cocobolo, African blackwood, etc.). I’ve heard of Blue Spruce, but who are you? I’m not being insulting, but that’s what you’re up against. People might take a flyer on a new brand if it’s a better value for an equivalent product. But they won’t pay more for an unknown product that requires more work on their part, for sure.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

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tenderfoot

22 posts in 521 days


#10 posted 08-02-2013 02:05 AM

$100 apiece with a handle. I stated that finishing and fitting is the slowest most time consuming part (plus drying and prepping the lumber). $50 apiece without a handle to break even. Nowhere did I say an incomplete chisel was $100. The metal bits refers to the actual body (aka the metal part) of the chisel.

Its also entertaining how BS actually are tanged chisels and someone up higher noted how you should only do socketed as thats what sells. Tanged will be lighter (less steel) and can be made slimmer without compromising strength (tang supports the wood). I make mine with the tang just flush with the striking face for my own work just to support the wooden handle bit, though it eats up whatever you hit it with, but a piece of firewood works just fine and you burn it when it gets eaten up.

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