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Thread: Timber Framing chisels?

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Milton, GA
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    I was looking at “slicks” on the auction site earlier. Wow, sellers are proud of those tools. I believe slicks, like Japanese paring chisels, are designed with longer shafts, so more leverage can be applied. Most slicks seem very wide for the joints I plan to make.

    I am wondering what size, shape, handle styles, others find useful? 1.5” seems to be the most popular framing chisel size, though the one I won is 1.25”. I won an auction for a 3/4” corner chisel. I have large gouges.

    I have Japanese paring chisels for paring. The blades may be a little short but the long handles should allow me to get down into large joints. The slicks I have seen are much larger than my Japanese chisels though. I am wondering if there is a significant mechanical advantage to having a longer tool with room for both hands? Maybe a framing chisel with a longer handle. 2” seems the most popular paring size.
    Last edited by Mike Holbrook; 01-22-2018 at 1:43 AM.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    Dublin, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Holbrook View Post
    I was looking at “slicks” on the auction site earlier. Wow, sellers are proud of those tools. I believe slicks, like Japanese paring chisels, are designed with longer shafts, so more leverage can be applied. Most slicks seem very wide for the joints I plan to make.

    I am wondering what size, shape, handle styles, others find useful? 1.5” seems to be the most popular framing chisel size, though the one I won is 1.25”. I won an auction for a 3/4” corner chisel. I have large gouges.

    I have Japanese paring chisels for paring. The blades may be a little short but the long handles should allow me to get down into large joints. The slicks I have seen are much larger than my Japanese chisels though. I am wondering if there is a significant mechanical advantage to having a longer tool with room for both hands? Maybe a framing chisel with a longer handle. 2” seems the most popular paring size.
    You have a fundamentally incorrect mental model about what a slick is and how/why it's used.

    The distinction between slicks and others isn't directly about length or leverage, but rather the fact that they have a combination of blade bend and handle configuration that allows the blade to rest flat against the work at any distance from the edge, without interference from the rest of the tool. If you thought of them as the framer's answer to a cranked-necked paring chisel then you wouldn't be far off the mark.

    They do tend to have large, angled handles, but they do so to ensure clearance as noted above, not for leverage.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Dickinson, Texas
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    5,468
    If you're interested, there are over 30 slicks on the auction site.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    twomiles from the "peak of Ohio
    Posts
    6,554
    Sold these two items a while back....
    IMAG0015.jpg
    The corner chisel is a 7/8" PEXTO the chisel was 1-3/8" Van Camp, with a laminated blade. They were too big for what I was doing, at the time....
    BTW: Corner chisel was stamped..P.S. & W......

  5. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Holbrook View Post
    I was looking at “slicks” on the auction site earlier. Wow, sellers are proud of those tools. I believe slicks, like Japanese paring chisels, are designed with longer shafts, so more leverage can be applied. Most slicks seem very wide for the joints I plan to make.

    I am wondering what size, shape, handle styles, others find useful? 1.5” seems to be the most popular framing chisel size, though the one I won is 1.25”. I won an auction for a 3/4” corner chisel. I have large gouges.

    I have Japanese paring chisels for paring. The blades may be a little short but the long handles should allow me to get down into large joints. The slicks I have seen are much larger than my Japanese chisels though. I am wondering if there is a significant mechanical advantage to having a longer tool with room for both hands? Maybe a framing chisel with a longer handle. 2” seems the most popular paring size.
    The "leverage" that is helpful with the length of a slick is the fine control we have of the angle of cut. For a paring cut the angle has to be just right. We like long, say 20", turning tools for the same reason, having the hands far apart. The short "dovetail chisels" being made by some afford very poor angular control.

    Generally slicks are around 3 inches wide or more and chisels tend to top out at 2 inches wide. For heavy timber work we usually sit on the beam when mortising, so a chisel over 15" long or so would be rather clumsy because it would be effort to get your arm high enough.

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Milton, GA
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    Thanks again Warren,

    The description you provide is much like Toshio Odate gives for the longer handled Japanese chisels. Odate also refers to the longer handles as a better way to guide the tool. I was noticing the much wider blades on the slicks I was seeing, some over 3”. i was concerned that slicks might be difficult to pare with due to the wider blade. I was guessing that, in addition to the added control and room for two hands, there might be some mechanical advantage that allowed one to pare with those wide blades? I am thinking about adding a roof to a porch area via timber framing.

    Right Lowell,
    I have been looking at timber framing chisels and slicks on the auction site, which has raised the questions in the OP.

    Patrick,
    My inquiry above related to the greater width of slicks and was not meant to imply anything in terms of what these tools are designed to do. Slicks tend to be expensive, compared to the “smaller” other timber framing chisels. I was hoping to get comments on specific work people use slicks for.
    Last edited by Mike Holbrook; 01-23-2018 at 4:15 PM.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Crystal Lake, IL
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    474
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Holbrook View Post

    I am wondering what size, shape, handle styles, others find useful? 1.5” seems to be the most popular framing chisel size, though the one I won is 1.25”.
    The reason why 1.5" is the most common size is because in traditional timberframing, 1.5" is the width of almost all mortise/tenon work.

    As far as "slicks" are concerned, I find that a 3" to 3.5" width would be ideal. Slicks, unlike bench, firmer, or timber framing chisels, have a "bent" handle construction so that the long handle bends up away from the work. They are usually in the neighborhood of 25" to 30" long, with handle, and were designed with the idea of using one's shoulder/body behind the chisel for force. Not a tool for smacking with a mallet, but more of a forceful paring tool. Ideal for cleaning up the sides of large mortises and tenons, as well as larger scarf joints, etc.....working down to your lines. In capable hands, as effective as a plane for quick stock removal to flatten or clean up a surface for fitment.
    Jeff

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