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Thread: There is a "new" manufactor of high end forged chisels from the north.

  1. #1
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    Dec 2015
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    There is a "new" manufactor of high end forged chisels from the north.

    If you google Northmen Guild you will find their website, they produce lots of stuff not related to woodworking also but im sure some creekers will find them interesting anyway.
    However I would like some comments on their set of chisels. There is only limited info on them available on the website and I have i three different ways tried to get more info without reply. Anyway if someone like Stan would look at it and tell me what his first thougt is I would appreciate it. Comments from others are ofcourse welcome too :-)

    http://northmen.com/en/products/wood.../bench-chisels
    Last edited by Bruce Page; 07-29-2017 at 10:18 PM. Reason: added link
    Best regards

    Lasse Hilbrandt

  2. #2
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    Ste-Julienne, Qc, Canada
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    Expensive chisel set but beautiful. Let's see what the others have to say.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Normand Leblanc View Post
    Expensive chisel set but beautiful. Let's see what the others have to say.
    Very expensive indeed
    Best regards

    Lasse Hilbrandt

  4. #4
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    Longview WA
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    Six chisels for $1290 +shipping, that is ~$215+ per chisel.

    For my work, that is enough information to know the purchase price is going to be tough to recapture.

    Unless there is a heavy import tax you would likely do better with Veritas PM-V11 chisels.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  5. #5
    I can't see where they bring much to the table....Blue steel? Much rather have #1 White Paper from a master craftsman for much less money. Maybe it's the box, nice looking box but not sure it is worth $600 USD or there about. I wish them luck.

    ken

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken hatch View Post
    I can't see where they bring much to the table....Blue steel? Much rather have #1 White Paper from a master craftsman for much less money. Maybe it's the box, nice looking box but not sure it is worth $600 USD or there about. I wish them luck.

    ken
    Can you elaborate on why you would prefer white steel?
    Best regards

    Lasse Hilbrandt

  7. #7
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    Edmonton, Alberta
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    Can't see myself every wanting to purchase these chisels, and I'm a sucker for new and fine tools. IMO if you can afford them, the Veritas PM-V11 chisels Jim mentioned are the best chisels you can purchase - the handles are beautifully crafted, the steel is top notch and goes forever without needing sharpening, not to mention backed by Veritas customer service. Fine Japanese chisels in white steel seem to perform just as well from what I hear (don't have any myself). If you want fine chisels at a much lower price, the Ashley Ile's bench chisels are excellent value, the O1 steel sharpens fast and takes a keen edge.

    The only chisels I would splurge for beyond the PMV11 cost would be the Blue spruce chisels, and I'm ashamed to admit it's because of their beauty and innovation in some of their other tools. In reality however, I think I would get a set of fine Japanese chisels instead, as I'm not a fan of A2 steel.

    My point is, I don't see the point of these tools - their steel is nothing special, they aren't particularly beautiful, and they don't have the same pedigree as other chisels half (and even less) the price. Most fine toolmakers are small enough that their products are bespoke enough for me without needing to get a craftsman in the northern forests make me tools out of their cabins, which seems to be what niche these tools are supposed to fit...and that coming from someone from Edmonton, AB, the northernmost metropolis in North America.
    Last edited by Hasin Haroon; 07-29-2017 at 7:08 PM.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Normand Leblanc View Post
    Expensive chisel set but beautiful. Let's see what the others have to say.
    It is pitiful. Traditional bench chisels were tang chisels; socket chisels were carpenter's tools. These are too heavy for serious work. The 12mm chisel is 220 grams. My current 1/2 inch chisel is 63 grams.

    If they want a "revival of medieval traditions" and to "preserve history" they might do some homework, not just fantasize. If they want to attract serious craftsmen, offer the chisels one at a time. And without handles. We don't want to pay extra for somebody's idea of a souped up handle.

    Here is a chisel from 1596:
    chisel zembla 1596.jpeg

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Lasse Hilbrandt View Post
    Can you elaborate on why you would prefer white steel?
    Lasse,

    Sure....While not quite the same it is like the preference for O1 vs. A2. I do not normally work abrasive woods and #1 White Steel will take a sharper edge vs. Blue steel much like O1 vs. A2. Longer edge life means little, my preference is to work with very sharp tools and sharpen often instead of working with almost sharp for longer.

    ken

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Mickley View Post
    These are too heavy for serious work. The 12mm chisel is 220 grams. My current 1/2 inch chisel is 63 grams.
    I agree. If you look through the rest of your "woodworking" products you'll notice that they're of types more suited to carpentry (timber framing etc) than to fine work. I think these guys just don't understand the market they're trying to address with their bench chisels. A swing and a mind-bogglingly expensive miss.

  11. #11
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    Broadview Heights, OH
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    Not to mention they are ridiculously ugly. Looks like they have been buried in a northern peat bog for 500 years. Agree on the crazy swing and miss!

  12. #12
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    These tools/products are for people with more money than common sense. One of the fellows John Neeman, who is now Northmen made some very expensive axes IIRC.
    But what do I know I'm just a carpenter.
    Rick

  13. #13
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    Perth, Australia
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    Very striking ...



    .. and designed to be struck.

    Full marks for a beautiful presentation.

    Hard to say more than that without a closer inspection and a review.

    What are the alternative in a similar price range (around $200 per chisel)? Something Japanese?

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  14. #14
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    Rick, one correction, John Neeman is a trading name that is anglicized from the name of Janis Nimanis, one of the smiths associated with John Neeman Tools. Janis left John Neeman Tools some years ago and formed a company Autine that advertises itself as the sole working enterprise of John Neeman, the man. It seems like the former John Neeman Tools wants to remove itself from the old conflict of former partners and forge ahead without carrying on with old disputes and confusion.

    Among timber framers, there are satisfied users of tools from both shops. I would think that the bench chisels are more for status collectors than working woodworkers

  15. #15
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    Thanks Rodger, I knew that there was some sort of story just never delved into the why fores. In the axe/knife/whatever collectors world there people who buy this kind of stuff just for the bragging rights. The cost of that set of chisels is more than I'll spend the whole year for tools.
    I only brag when I come back from the swap meet some old tools.
    Last edited by Rick Malakoff; 07-29-2017 at 11:42 PM.

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