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Old 02-08-2008, 02:24 PM   #1
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Wood Chisels


Looking for a good wood chisel to do some mortising on new doors. I don't have any wood chisels and was wondering if anyone had suggestions on a good chisel brand, size?

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Old 02-08-2008, 02:40 PM   #2
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Wood Chisels


Get a range of sizes from 1/4" to 1 1/4". Marples Blue Chip is a really good, and reasonably priced brand. I think you can get a set from a woodworking store or catalog for $40 or so.

But remember, any edge tool is only as good as the sharpening job, so spend a few bucks on some stones, and a few minutes to learn how to properly sharpen those chisels before putting them to wood. It'll be a much more pleasant experience if you do, and you'll get better results.

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Old 02-08-2008, 02:57 PM   #3
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Wood Chisels


Thanks Nate. Any suggestions on where I can pick up some sharpening techniques?
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Old 02-08-2008, 03:14 PM   #4
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There are articles from time to time in Fine woodworking. You could also probably visit the woodworking forum associated with this site (click "woodworking" in the yellow bar at the top of this page), and you'd likely find advise there as well.

Personally, I use 800 and 1200 grit water stones. The first step with a new chisel is to lap the back of each chisel until it's perfectly flat. Lay the chisel bevel-up on the stone, and rub it in a wide figure eight over the stone until the back is uniformly buffed. You'll be able to see which spots are not getting hit. Continue until at least 1/2" along the edge is flat. Then do it again on the 1200 grit stone. Next I use a bench grinder to hollow grind the bevel. Then lay the bevel on the waterstone (the chisel handle will be angled up towards you at about 30 degrees). With the chisel resting on the concave grind of the bevel, move it carefully in a broad figure eight without rocking it at all, until you've honed about 1/16" at the cutting edge. Move to the 1200 grit stone and repeat. Then I like to dry the chisel and run it a couple times across a leather strop (flat on the back, and then up on the bevel, same way as it was sharpened). And then you're done.

As the edge dulls you can skip the grinder and go straight to the 800 stone to resharpen once or twice. Just do a couple strokes on the back of the chisel, and sharpen the bevel real good. Every other sharpening or so, you'll want to hit the grinder again, then touch up the back, and then the bevel. Once you get used to it, this takes about 10 minutes for your entire set of chisels. If you use hand planes the process is the same.
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Old 02-08-2008, 05:38 PM   #5
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Lowes and hd use to carry the marpels in a 4 set 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, and 1" great start and great tools. Have used my for years. Sharpening is a very personal issue, I'm with Nate and use water stones but they cost about $50 to get a good set and gauge. there are sand paper and oil stone meathods that are cheaper but I think the water stones are the best. Good Luck and alway have it pointed away from any part of your body, ALWAYS LOL
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