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Thread: Bench chisels?

  1. #76
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Olexa View Post
    Generally, buying used vintage chisels as they become available, I think, yields good results...
    I've never had good luck finding vintage user chisels in the wild. Nearly all of my used chisels came from eBay. In 30 years of casual looking at garage sales, flea markets, and antique stores, I have maybe seen only seen maybe a half dozen good chisels, and bought maybe 3. I'm not counting old plastic handled chisels though.

    I always hear that vintage chisels are easily available for only a few dollars a piece. Where ever that is, it certainly isn't around here. It has even gotten to the point where some of the vintage stuff is priced higher than newer, better made chisels (like 750s stamped with "750").

  2. #77
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    I'm not sure what your budget is, but the best value for performance and quality in the western style chisels right now IMO are the Ashley Iles MKII bench chisels. They are O1, so they won't hold an edge like PMV11, but they sharpen faster and finer. I don't think LN or Veritas chisels fall into the 'affordable' category, they are definitely on the pricey end.

    The Narex bench chisels are pretty good too once you get past the initial decarburization. I find the hooped handles very ugly, but to each their own.

  3. Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Seemann View Post
    The only thing is that they are A2 steel
    No one actually knows with certainty what kind of steel Kirschen uses because they keep it a secret. My guess is it's an alloyed high carbon steel.

  4. #79
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    No, we keep imperial measurements around so we can continue to remind those snooty Europeans there are only two types of countries in the world: Those who have landed a man on the moon and those who use metric....

    (the joke worked better before google let everybody know about Liberia and Myanmar).

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Ranck View Post
    Huh, I always thought we haven't switched so we could show solidarity to our good friends on Liberia and Myanmar.

  5. #80
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    I can't recommend LN A2 socket chisels enough. By far my favorite chisels even compared to the popular mentioned LV PMV11. I have a couple sizes of the LV's but always reach for the LN's. I also have nice Japanese chisels and once again just reach for the LN's. Just pick up a couple sizes at a time and before you know it you'll have a complete set.

  6. #81
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Shea View Post
    I can't recommend LN A2 socket chisels enough. By far my favorite chisels even compared to the popular mentioned LV PMV11. I have a couple sizes of the LV's but always reach for the LN's. I also have nice Japanese chisels and once again just reach for the LN's. Just pick up a couple sizes at a time and before you know it you'll have a complete set.
    Are the handles falling off as big an issue as it is sometimes reported to be?

  7. #82
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    The handles may fall out if your shop drops down to a lower than normal humidity. A short spray job with some cheap old time hairspray (think 1960's girl bands) on the handles, then jam them in place to dry there will solve the problem.
    David

  8. #83
    Quote Originally Posted by David Eisenhauer View Post
    The handles may fall out if your shop drops down to a lower than normal humidity. A short spray job with some cheap old time hairspray (think 1960's girl bands) on the handles, then jam them in place to dry there will solve the problem.
    Thanks David. They seem like really nice chisels.

  9. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimA Thornton View Post
    Are the handles falling off as big an issue as it is sometimes reported to be?
    Quote Originally Posted by David Eisenhauer View Post
    The handles may fall out if your shop drops down to a lower than normal humidity. A short spray job with some cheap old time hairspray (think 1960's girl bands) on the handles, then jam them in place to dry there will solve the problem.
    One or two of my older chisels had problems with the handles becoming loose. Taking the time to carefully remove the high spots on the handle's tenon solved the problem. The handle would be inserted into the socket and rotated. A 15 grain Auriou rasp was used lightly to remove any of the dark areas created by the oxidation on the inside of the socket. Eventually the handles came out with an even coating. They haven't come loose since.

    One problem with the LN chisels is they are made with modern equipment. The insides of the socket are likely smooth due to being machined. (One time in a thread on the LN handles tendency to become loose it was mentioned the inside of the sockets on LN chisels are smooth.) This could leave the friction fit with a bit less friction to hold the handle. My first experiment with a smooth socket might be to run a piece of 80-120 grit sandpaper around the inside to see if roughing the inside surface improved the grip.

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

  10. #85
    A "tanged" chisel handle doesn't fall off . I know form of chisel is very personal but a tanged chisel tends to be lighter and better balanced than the same sized socket chisel. A socket chisel usually has only two advantages; ease of handle replacement and rough work which may be the reason for ease of handle replacement .

    ken

  11. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken hatch View Post
    A "tanged" chisel handle doesn't fall off . I know form of chisel is very personal but a tanged chisel tends to be lighter and better balanced than the same sized socket chisel. A socket chisel usually has only two advantages; ease of handle replacement and rough work which may be the reason for ease of handle replacement .

    ken
    Just in case that “doesn’t” turns into a does you’ll have a real engineering problem facing you replacing a tang handle
    In seriousness tho checking the fit of a socket handle is a good idea. Also prying with a socket chisel is not good, same with a Japanese chisel but different reason. My opinion is socket bench chisels are okay. Socket mortise chisels not so much. Balance is in the hand of the user, hard to measure unless it’s way off. If you have to replace a tang handle on a modern chisel the problem is worse. They don’t have a pointy end like the old ones All being said I’m a woodworker and I use both and have even resorted to a sharpened screwdriver if nobody is watching.
    Jim

  12. #87
    Quote Originally Posted by James Pallas View Post
    Just in case that “doesn’t” turns into a does you’ll have a real engineering problem facing you replacing a tang handle
    Jim
    I've replaced handles on a number of tang chisels and it's really not all that difficult. Perhaps the hardest part is getting the old handles off. Once you have the old handles off, it's just some lathe work and getting the hole for the tang the right size and depth. That's no more difficult than turning the taper for a socket chisel.

    I drill the hole for the tang on my lathe, and I drill it into the blank before I turn it. That way the hole is properly aligned and centered. I fit the hole to the tang before turning the shape of the handle.

    Mike

    P.S. I'm going from memory here, but I think some of the newer tang chisels that I replaced handles on had tangs that were cylindrical and not pointed. That makes drilling the hole for the tang pretty easy. I replaced the handles on all my Japanese chisels and I think that's the way they were - cylindrical and not pointed. It's been a long time since I did those handles. I know that a Blue Spruce chisel that I made a handle for had a cylindrical tang.
    With a pointed tang, I measure the tang a different points and use a smaller drill as I go deeper. I make a "stepped" hole for the tang and not a tapered hole.
    Pigstickers are always pointed and can be more of a problem because the handle is not turned. Pigsticker handles are generally oval in cross section. So the hole for the tang has to be drilled more-or-less freehand, which makes it more difficult to keep it oriented correctly. I do a stepped hole for those handles, also.
    Last edited by Mike Henderson; 02-16-2019 at 2:06 PM.
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  13. #88
    Quote Originally Posted by ken hatch View Post
    A "tanged" chisel handle doesn't fall off . I know form of chisel is very personal but a tanged chisel tends to be lighter and better balanced than the same sized socket chisel. A socket chisel usually has only two advantages; ease of handle replacement and rough work which may be the reason for ease of handle replacement .

    ken
    I wouldn't say that is the only advantage. The balance on some socket chisels is nice for certain types of work. My 750-type 3/4 chisel is the one I always grab if I don't have a reason for using a specific size or type of chisel. Always having to remember to grab socket chisels by the chisel part is kind of annoying though.

  14. #89
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Seemann View Post
    I wouldn't say that is the only advantage. The balance on some socket chisels is nice for certain types of work. My 750-type 3/4 chisel is the one I always grab if I don't have a reason for using a specific size or type of chisel. Always having to remember to grab socket chisels by the chisel part is kind of annoying though.
    If you make your own handles, and the handles keep coming out of the socket, glue the handle into the socket with epoxy (if nothing else works). It will not come out. If you later decide to replace the handle, you'll have to drill out the socket so use just enough epoxy to hold it in.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  15. #90
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    Socket chisels can be a funny animal concerning handles. I used them starting out and than went to plastic 60s I think they are called. The one thing I'm pretty sure about them is, if you pull on the handles, I mean like prying, the handles will get loose and stay that way. It crushes the wood fibers or something like that. I would not cut mortises with them unless I was careful not to pull on the handles. The LN ones are beautiful and I tried them. I couldn't get along with the A2 because I like such a shallow bevel 25*. When the 750 came back I bought one to try and the bought two sets as I said earlier. I checked each handle carefully and adjusted as needed. The steel is probably not the best but it is okay for me. The balance is much the same as the old 750s. I haven't had any handle problems I don't use hairspray or any tricks and I pull them from the rack by the handle. I do not pry with them. Chop and push. If I need to pry to do the job I use another chisel.
    Jim

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