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Thread: Owner Shaped Chisels and Gouges

  1. #1
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    Owner Shaped Chisels and Gouges

    An interesting feature of buying used chisels or gouges in groups or lots is you end up with some strange alterations by previous owners. The oddest one for me was a gouge with a couple of scallops filed in to the edge. With a try out on a piece of scrap it produced a flute with beads. It may have been used for coping a particular molding shape. Since the size wasn't duplicated in my gouges at the time it was ground to a regular bevel.

    Today while carving some letters for a sign project it came to me that one of my gouges that was ground to a toenail shape might be the answer to getting in to the inside curves on a letter. It worked great:

    Using Toe Nail Gouge.jpg

    This was a duplicate of another gouge so it wasn't reground.

    This brought to mind other purpose ground tools:

    Owner Shaped Chisel:Gouge.jpg

    The chisel is a 1" that was a duplicate size. For the longest time it made me wonder why someone wanted a rounded edge on a chisel. Then when making a box with a sliding lid, the light bulb went on:

    Finger Catch Stop Cut.jpg

    The round edge makes a nice stop cut for following up with a gouge to make a finger catch.

    The skewed edge chisels were my first set made from 1/2" chisels. They work great on paring waste on larger dovetails. My second set was made from 1/4" chisels.

    It was a bit on the cool side in the shop today:

    Cold in the Shop.jpg

    It actually got up to 38 after running the heater for a few hours. Of course the heater is pointing at my end of the bench.

    jtk
    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 01-15-2020 at 8:10 PM.
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  2. #2
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    Jim,

    I am currently working on sharpening some old Stanley 60s that I have had quite a while without sharpening them. The skew chisel uses are of interest because I have wanted to grind a couple of 3/8ths inch chisels into left and right skew chisels for awhile.

    Stew

  3. #3
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    Jim, I have wondered about how to make the finger catch on sliding box tops. I'd thought about it but hadn't come up with an answer. You provided an "aha!" moment. Very cool!

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    Good post, Jim...Thanks!!!
    Jerry

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stew Denton View Post
    Jim,

    I am currently working on sharpening some old Stanley 60s that I have had quite a while without sharpening them. The skew chisel uses are of interest because I have wanted to grind a couple of 3/8ths inch chisels into left and right skew chisels for awhile.

    Stew
    3/8" is one of the sizes under represented in my accumulation of chisels. Seems the same with auger bits. My 1/2" were too wide for some of my dovetails. That is why my pair of 1/4" skews were ground.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Manning View Post
    Jim, I have wondered about how to make the finger catch on sliding box tops. I'd thought about it but hadn't come up with an answer. You provided an "aha!" moment. Very cool!
    That image was from my A Box from Firewood post > https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?259750

    The finger catch is in the 15th post in the thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Olexa View Post
    Good post, Jim...Thanks!!!
    Thanks for the kind words Jerry.

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

  6. #6
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    When I was in my 20's (a long time ago) I worked for a painter and on one of the jobs we had to strip and prep a houseful of fancy cornice molding. I got the idea to grind a 1-inch chisel with a round end to act as a scraper. It worked beautifully. I used an old 1-inch yellow plastic handled Fuller brand chisel. I've had it for nearly 40 years and I use it pretty regularly for all kings of stuff! Very handy if a bit unconventional.

    DC

  7. #7
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    Jim,

    I like the 3/8ths inch chisel size, and that is part of the reason for thinking of a pair of them as skew chisels. However, your comment on size makes quite a bit of sense, so I will be thinking more on the issue, and may go the 1/4th inch size instead.

    Thanks and regards,

    Stew

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    It is always possible to use a narrow chisel in a wide space. A wide chisel in a narrow space isn't so easy.

    This is getting to me on my current sign project. Last night a 2mm #3 sweep carving gouge was ordered. My 1/8" paring chisel was able to help in some places, but the slight curve of a carving tool is easier to control at times.

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

  9. #9
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    Hi Jim,
    a toenail (I have seen it called "nosed") shape on a gouge also allows you to :
    1. make a tapered stopped groove with a perpendicular "stop", like your finger catch- if the gouge were squared off, the bottom of the groove wouldn't cut all the way to the "wall" or the wings would cut past it.
    2. if you are carving a raised half-cylinder, like a relief of a vine, carving with a nosed gouge upside down (concave side facing the wood) allows you to end the vine gracefully into the surface of the wood without cutting into the background surface- basically an inverted version of the finger catch.
    3. it also allows you to under-cut a raised object in a relief, where you want parts of it detached from the background.

    Some insist that all tools should be squared off at the end, but I have found it useful to have square, skewed, and nosed carving tools.
    regards,
    Karl

  10. #10
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    Some insist that all tools should be squared off at the end
    In my opinion, anyone who insists there is only one way something can be done, are at best lacking imagination.

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

  11. #11
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    Late to the party, but I just made a round nose chisel right before I left for vacation. I picked up a 3/4" with a serious nick in one corner and rounded the nose for paring. Like a timber slick, only with a with a flat back, and model maker's sized. I have only used in on two tenons so far, no mortises, but I don't think I wasted that eight bucks.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Winners View Post
    Late to the party, but I just made a round nose chisel right before I left for vacation. I picked up a 3/4" with a serious nick in one corner and rounded the nose for paring. Like a timber slick, only with a with a flat back, and model maker's sized. I have only used in on two tenons so far, no mortises, but I don't think I wasted that eight bucks.
    Hi Scott, are you able to post images of your chisel? My interest is in seeing the shape and the action.

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

  13. #13
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    Here are three.

    The slick is new to me in the last few days. In one of the recent chisel threads a guy was chopping mortises, and then re grinding his bevel to a paring angle, doing his paring, regrinding to chopping bevel and it was a light bulb moment for me. If you really like to sharpen stuff, go ahead and do it that way. Or get two chisels, one for chopping and one for paring. That was my take home any way.

    When I was emailing Patrick I specifically told him I wanted a slick with a bit of belly in it so I could lever the edge up and down in the cut. I had been paring tenons greater than three inches cheek width with my flat backed Barr 1.5 framing chisel. The flat back does ok on flat grain, but if the grain is rising or falling in the tenon a flat back is just not ideal. This slick Mr. Leach says was made by Underhill, I can make out "U hill" in an arc over the words "Edge Tool Co" and am inclined to believe him, I have no idea if this is a typical amount of belly for a three inch slick.

    On page one of my current shop list is "model of Sobon shed." Jack Sobon popularized a 12x16 feet Shaker Style timber framed shed design as a beginner timber framed project. Then another guy back east, Will Beemer, built a scad of them and wrote a book specifically about actually cutting the frame and assembling them. The wife and I are looking at timber framing a retirement home seriously enough for model building to make it to page one on my to do list - so I "need" a scale model slick. If the frame comes out OK I'll sheathe it and put a weiner dog sized doghouse on Craigslist.

    Next time I see my local blacksmith we will talk about putting a bit of belly in nominal 3/4" wide chisels, but that will be in the weeks/months window.

    FWIW el jefecito is stamped "Stormont Sheffield England", first impressions are pretty good steel.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #14
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    Thanks for the images Scott. They are appreciated.

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

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