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Thread: Chisels

  1. #31
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    Funny. Since this thread, I checked ebay, and found a few of the no. 40 chisels that I like up for auction. No one bid against me on any of them, so I'm now the owner of 5 more of them, and one no. 60 that was offered with one of the no. 40's. Less than 10 bucks each, to my door, averaged over the lot.

  2. #32
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    Wise advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Corey View Post
    Brian,

    It sounds like you don't use chisels very often. Maybe there is another option.

    Are your "cheap throw away Stanley chisels" sharp? I mean REALLY sharp.

    Steven C Newman mentioned the Harbor Freight chisels. Fresh out of the package they barely cut anything. They are great chisels AFTER using proper (whatever that is to you) sharpening to get that smooth ultra sharp edge that we all crave. I'm not going down the sharpening technique rabbit hole. There are dozens of threads here that explore that rabbit hole.

    I bet most "bad chisels" are not bad, just dull.

    TonyC
    I was to write something similar. That is my own experience.

    Best regards.

  3. #33
    The easy part is the chisels. The hard part is the sharpening. You will go down the rabbit hole, but to make even the best chisels usable for more than a couple uses, you will need to invest in some kind of sharpening. A straight forward way is some reasonable waterstones and an eclipse style honing guide. Alternatively, there is a method called "Scary sharp" that uses sandpaper, but it gets old for many people eventually.

  4. #34
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    The easy part is the chisels. The hard part is the sharpening. You will go down the rabbit hole, but to make even the best chisels usable for more than a couple uses, you will need to invest in some kind of sharpening.
    This is another one of those aspects that depends on the work actually being done with the chisels.

    Pairing the waste from tenons or dovetails is different from notching out a 2X4 for a cable or pipe.

    When buying sharpening equipment keep in mind you often get that for which you pay.

    Lowes has a three stone set listed on their website > https://www.lowes.com/pd/Smith-s-6-i...System/1266429 < $31.98

    It looks like a Crystalon, India and a soft Arkansas. This is far from a premium set. It will likely be able to get a blade up to an acceptable sharpness for many folks.

    They also list another single stone > https://www.lowes.com/pd/Smith-s-6-i...-Stone/3063983 < $19.48

    Just for the heck of it one of the single stones was purchased for my shop. (ended up also buying one for my grandson) It is softer or more abrasive than a Dan's Whetstones soft Arkansas stone. It is about on par with my Washita stones. It wasn't as flat as one of Dan's either. Mine does get used especially when a nick needs to be removed or some fast action is required on my oilstones. It is good for some fast touch up on a drill bit.

    For following up on a cut made by a table saw this would likely be enough.

    If you want to get sharper on the cheap, find someone in to lapidary (rock hound) and see if they can get you a piece of jasper that has been cut flat. It is about as hard as an Arkansas stone and can polish an edge like a hard Arkansas stone. It doesn't cut as well as a hard Arkansas.

    If you want to get in the realm of razor sharp then invest in the good stones from the beginning. It will cost less.

    If you can work with less than hair splitting sharp, $20 to $35 should get you started on your way.

    jtk
    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 12-23-2021 at 1:10 AM.
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    IMO, Stanley made the #60s to stand up to the abuse they would receive from people in various building trades.

    Here is an old thread on the #60s > https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?230951

    jtk
    Jim or anyone,

    How can you tell the good older Stanley #60s that were so good from the more recent vintages that probably aren't on par? I'd like to start looking for them as I hit estate and garage sales.

    Mike

  6. #36
    I bought a 1/4, 1/2 and 1" Lie Nielsen just to try them.

    They seem to be all people say they are.

    The first chisels I bought when I decided to actually be a ww'er not a carpenter was Irwin Marple blue handles. They are pretty decent chisels I consider them a "firmer" chisel. I did a lot of dovetails with them. A good entry level set.

    I can't imagine HF chisels having decent steel.

  7. #37
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    There's a median point to be struck.

    Some will recommend cheap chisels, all the while having quite literally a four figure investment in honing stones, Tormeks, Sorby system, etc. Some will recommend chisels you have to wait for over a year to get from some Japanese master chisel maker who recently turned 140 years old.

    Long story, short: you've asked an unanswerable question.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Manning View Post
    Jim or anyone,

    How can you tell the good older Stanley #60s that were so good from the more recent vintages that probably aren't on par? I'd like to start looking for them as I hit estate and garage sales.

    Mike
    My knowledge on this is limited. There was a member here who had a website with a lot of information on Stanley's plastic handled chisels. Just now checking on it the site seems to have disappeared down the interweb memory hole.

    Here are my Stanley plastic handled chisels:

    100_3401.jpg

    The first on the right and the third from the right are both Stanley Handyman #60 chisels from the 1950s for my best guess. The black handled one is a #40 to the best of my knowledge. It is of the 'everslasting' genre. Those have steel caps and a rod from the cap to the metal of the chisel. They were made for abuse.

    The chisel on the far left is also a #60 to the best of my knowledge. Not sure what attacked the plastic.

    The plastic was removed and a new handle was fitted:

    #60 with New Handle.jpg

    At the time it was my only 3/8" paring chisel.

    Later versions of the #60 have a black ring of plastic at the base and look an awful like Buck Brothers chisels from the same time period.

    The 1/2" #60 was one of my first chisels purchased. It was at a flea market in Berkeley, CA for fifty cents or a dollar. That was about forty years ago so my memory has faded.

    For the various types of work around the property it makes sense to me to have different sets of tools. There are my beater chisels for when working on dirty wood or a tree stump. My set of Buck Brothers chisels are ground at a very low angle for paring. They are seldom even tapped with a mallet.

    Surely my nicer chisels could do the dirty work. But it is heart breaking to spend an hour regrinding a chipped chisel that hit an unforeseen stone or nail. Much less cleaning off the mud and yuck that accompanies working in the woods or other outdoor locations.
    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 12-23-2021 at 12:30 PM. Reason: words, words, words
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  9. #39
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    Everyone has their own methods. This is how I separate chisels. One set at 20* from 1/8 to 1 1/4. One set, kept in a roll at 25* from 1/4 to 1 1/4. One set of metric from 6mm to 3.8cm. One set of 4 butt chisels. I use them all of them as needed with no regard to the where or what. I also have some larger 1 1/2 to 2 if needed and some miscellaneous I donít use often.
    Jim
    Last edited by James Pallas; 12-23-2021 at 1:43 PM.

  10. #40
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    I use them all of them as needed with no regard to the where or what.
    Would you use one from your set at 20ļ to chop away on a root of a tree that was blown over in a storm?

    One of my sets is just for such tasks. This year there are a half dozen trees that blew over out in back of me to clear out.

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

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    Would you use one from your set at 20ļ to chop away on a root of a tree that was blown over in a storm?

    One of my sets is just for such tasks. This year there are a half dozen trees that blew over out in back of me to clear out.

    jtk
    I have other tools for such tasks. I have what I call flooring chisels and such that are all metal and made to he struck with a metal hammer. If I needed to use a 20* chisel I would use it. Donít know why I would need to do so with my many other options. I would use a 20* chisel to chop dovetails in pine or other soft wood, not so for oak and the like. I do use 25* chisels for oak, hard maple and such. Mortise chisels for mortises.
    Jim

  12. #42
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    My question was in regards to:

    I use them all of them as needed with no regard to the where or what.
    Your reply seems to indicate there is some "regard to the where or what.

    My intent is to use a tool intended for the job at hand or at least the best that is available to perform the task. One engineer in my past employment would use a thread die for a hammer if it was closer to hand than a hammer. Another co-worker thought a chisel was just as good as a crow bar for bending metal.

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

  13. #43
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    I thought chisels were for opening cans of paint.

  14. #44
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    Jim, Thank you. That was helpful.

    Very interesting thread.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom M King View Post
    I thought chisels were for opening cans of paint.
    Right tool for right job. Paint can chisel.
    Jim😳
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