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Thread: A new set of chisels from Stan

  1. #16
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    Bill Brasky is the SNL version of "Waiting for Godot" . . . and before we run on that particular trail:

    Both are characters that many people know, many people talk about, many people reminisce over, but do not make an appearance in the scene themselves.

    Stan, like many people, was here to enjoy discussing woodworking - particularly from the Japanese philosophy. He was here for a time, had strong opinions (like so many), made some dear friends - stepped on several toes . . . and life goes on. He's still in Japan working, but doesn't come around these virtual parts anymore. And that's all I have to say about that.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent Tai View Post
    Nice looking chisels! can you post pics of the backside, hollows etc?
    here you are Vicent
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #18
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    Nice! Very nice choices.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  4. #19
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    Apologies for interrupting the thread. I hope I have chosen the right moment for me to ask a question that has bugged me from the first time I saw pictures of Japanese chisels like these. I can't be the only one wondering about this.

    What is the depth of those hollows? Is it so shallow that as the edge is worked, a corresponding new flat is created on the back? Or is the plan that the steel is so hard, responsible sharpening would take decades to use up the few millimeters of flat back that is available?

  5. #20
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    Ura-Dashi is used if the hollow gets away from you.
    Last edited by Brian Holcombe; 05-02-2019 at 12:48 PM.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

  6. #21
    I agree, Stan is a good guy. I learned from him regularly. I always appreciated his insights. I wish I knew what forum he hangs out at these days.

    The OP obviously has a taste for good tools and the ability to buy them. I'll bet those chisels will be superb! Post a review after a few uses, please!

    Fred
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  7. #22
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    I've had extensive correspondence with Stan over the past few months. I too bought a set of chisels from Stan and have more on order. Candidly, I think most of the jazz about Japanese chisels is hype with the exception of one thing. They are ridiculously hard. The path that took me to Japanese chisels is that I was working with some very hard exotic woods and ordinary western chisels just didn't cut it. When you are chopping into lacewood, after just a few cuts the edge was trashed. That was with my best premium western chisels which are hardened to between 60 and 61 C.

    I read about how hard the japanese temper their tools, because they can. The entire chisel is made to allow a super hard cutting edge. The high carbon steel welded to a much softer iron back for one. The second is the ura (dish on the back). It would take a lifetime to flatten a back that was super hard if it was continuous. So, I ordered a set and they live up to the promise. Mine were exactly 65 C which is crazy hard, and sharpened to a 35 degree bevel resulted in a very durable edge. It holds up like a western chisel would in normal use on normal woods.

    The back is a pain. On the chisels I have, the high carbon steel is plenty thick, so there is no fear of wearing it away. The ura is there to allow you to more easily lap the back because 90% of the back doesn't make contact with the stone. The pain part comes in because as you sharpen your chisels, the flat part just behind the cutting edge gets smaller, which leads you to relap to get it back. So, unlike a western chisel where the lapping exercise is a one time thing, it is a constant process with a japanese chisel. The good news is that it doesn't take as long.

    So, if you don't like to sharpen your chisels in normal use, or have a demanding application like I do, AND don't mind the maintenance required to keep a Japanese chisel cutting, it is an excellent choice. There is a lot more to it, such as setting up your chisel when it arrives, etc. The handles on Japanese chisels are meant to be struck with an iron hammer, and if you use yours this way, then the handle needs maintenance too.

    As to Stan, he doesn't lurk on any forum. The exile that resulted from him being discussed as a vendor on this forum has permanently soured him on participating in most online discussions. If you need a set of chisels, or even a few, talking to him direct is your best option. Stan has personal relationships with the Smiths he uses and will get you the very best chisel for the dollar. Plus, from the time I ordered mine until they were in my hands was a total or 3 days, all the way from Japan! The chisels I wanted were in stock. It might take a few weeks to several months to get chisels made that are not in stock.

    Stan only operates by word of mouth and by having customers referred to him. He doesn't have a website or any other way to contact him other than email. If you would like to reach Stan, send me a PM, assuming you are a contributing member and have the ability to do that!

    A couple pictures of my chisels attached, just after they arrived. The two dimples on the back of the chisel shown is from the diamond penetrator of my Rockwell Tester to measure the hardness. These are regular Oirenomi chisels which are sort of like butt chisels in the western world.

    ChiselSet.jpgChiselBack.jpg

  8. #23
    It seems somewhat peculiar to read that our chisels might not be good enough to work hard timbers. Perhaps the premium chisels do no hold up, but 19th century chisels don't seem to have a problem.

    We see plenty of historic examples hard timbers in 200 year old work: East Indian rosewood, boxwood, satinwood, ebony, kingwood, etc. Andre Roubo lists many exotic hardwoods, which the Parisian ebenistes were working in mid 18th century, including five kinds of ebony: dur, dur, dur, dur, and tres dur.

  9. #24
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    Warren,

    I've tried all manner of chisel, old and new. I have several hundred. None are harder than 61 C. 65C is a lot harder. The facts don't lie. Trust me, if I could use a Western Chisel I would, but these Japanese Chisels really deliver on the promise.

  10. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Taran View Post
    Warren,

    I've tried all manner of chisel, old and new. I have several hundred. None are harder than 61 C. 65C is a lot harder. The facts don't lie. Trust me, if I could use a Western Chisel I would, but these Japanese Chisels really deliver on the promise.
    We must have different technique.

  11. #26
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    Warren,

    Does that technique include chopping into super hard, abrasive wood with the aid of a hammer? I'm not saying western chisels don't work, they just don't hold up. I'd much rather be working wood than constantly fussing with an edge. The Japanese chisels allow for that. That is really a huge difference in hardness (65C vs 61C). Like the difference between a 60C chisel and one that is 56C. To each his own.

  12. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Taran View Post
    Warren,

    Does that technique include chopping into super hard, abrasive wood with the aid of a hammer? I'm not saying western chisels don't work, they just don't hold up. I'd much rather be working wood than constantly fussing with an edge. The Japanese chisels allow for that. That is really a huge difference in hardness (65C vs 61C). Like the difference between a 60C chisel and one that is 56C. To each his own.
    I don't use a hammer with chisels. I use 30 ounce dogwood mallet or a 16 ounce persimmon mallet. I do not have trouble with hard woods. I think that if the chisels were as bad as you suggest we would have figured out (sometime in the last 400 years) to temper them less and have harder chisels.

    A friend once gave me some English chisels that he hardened and tempered very lightly so they would have high hardness. They hold up fine in use, but do not sharpen as easily. Our chisels are tempered out of preference, not out of ignorance.

  13. #28
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    Warren,

    Good for you. I didn't say they were bad, just not great for my application. You are welcome to use what you like in your shop, including a chisel you hand forged from a meteorite if that trips your switch. I posted my experience. Yours is clearly different.

    Regardless, Japanese chisels are VERY hard, and easy to sharpen. Harder than any western chisel, by a wide margin.

  14. #29
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    Pete, I think that I know what Warren is referring to when he mentions “technique”. (Warren, it would help if you were more direct).

    Technique is not about the type of hammer used - although for Japanese chisels the steel gennou is traditional and I do find the feedback more direct than a wooden mallet ... still, I also use a UHMW head in quieter times.

    Thinner sections chopped will have less affect on an edge. Chopping a 1/16” slice will cause the edge to last a lot longer than chopping a 1/4” slice. The unspoken question is what one uses when chopping and reporting edge longevity. It is possible to make a good chisel last a brief time, and a lesser chisel last longer.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  15. #30
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    Jul 2015
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    Broadview Heights, OH
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    Derek,

    I appreciate the perspective. In my application, the cuts are all identical. Namely, to clean out the corner resulting from a 1/4" end mill. Both are stop cuts into end grain, and the amount of wood removed is identical in every case. See the attached picture to get an idea of what I'm talking about. Western chisels do work, but after three or four operations, the edge is dull and ragged. I'm talking Record mortise chisels (vintage), Sorby Chisels (modern, two different lots), Witherby cabinet chisels, Charles Buck chisels, and some random single chisels I had to include Greenlee and Stanley. All performed about the same.

    However, the Japanese chisel I got from Stan easily lasts 5 times as long. They are simply fantastic. I even thought about making a chisel out of 0-1 and tempering it to be nearly as hard, but why fool around when you can buy off the shelf and be working?

    chiselwork.jpg

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