• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Can I do without a mortice chisel?

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

rich.h

Established Member
Joined
28 Sep 2012
Messages
30
Reaction score
2
Location
N.ireland
Started a once a week woodworking course recently to learn the basics of how to do things by hand. Since it's the local collage who runs the course the shop and tools are all the same as used by full time day students, this means obviously some of the tools are damaged, and the collage can't afford to go by new saws, chisels etc everytime one gets bent or chipped.

So this in mind and wanting to be able to constantly practice at home I bought a budget chisel set along with some other basics. However I notice the chisels are are all rectangular and none of them are square (as per a mortice chisel). After looking around online I can find mortice chisels for between 30-50 pound which right now is just abit too much for my wallet. The set I have now has 6, 13, 19, 25mm chisels and I was wondering if I went and bought a cheap 12mm chisel, would it be suitable to use for cutting mortices until I have the cash for the right tool? Or am I likely to bend it within the first few whacks of a mallet?
 

marcros

Established Member
Joined
11 Feb 2011
Messages
11,302
Reaction score
732
Location
Leeds
i have only had 30 seconds to look because i shouldnt use fleabay at work, but if you look on http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Five-mortice- ... 19d58a0b87 the ones on the right hand side are referred to as oval handled mortice chisels, or "pig stickers". You could do a lot worse than getting one of these- not saying this link is good or bad. If you can get a ward, ibbotson, sorby or other sheffield maker, you will get a fantastically good chisel just likely to need a sharpen (providing that the pictures dont show lumps of handle missing). Expect to pay about £10 or so, plus a bit of postage. When searching ebay, search for both MortiCe Chisel and MortiSe Chisel.

Car boot sales may sell these far cheaper if you have the time to search.
 

GazPal

Established Member
Joined
30 Jul 2010
Messages
1,136
Reaction score
0
Location
North East England
Yes, you can mortise without purpose made chisels and - in fact - can opt whichever chisel style you find easiest to use. There's been a bit of debate regarding this topic lately, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating and one excellent source in terms of comparisons between bevel edged and mortise chisels - in use for mortising - can be found here;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_NXq7_T ... plpp_video

Yes, mortise chisels can be had for a comparatively small investment, but whether or not an individual can justify the cost involved must remain with the individual. IMHO if you can afford a good mortise chisel or two (Of sizes you'll typically use) they're well worth the price paid, as they'll last a lifetime (Like all good pro quality tools) if well cared for.

Good all rounders are sash mortise chisels :wink:
 

Jacob

Pint of bass, porkpie, and packet of crisps please
Joined
7 Jul 2010
Messages
20,157
Reaction score
1,504
Location
Derbyshire
I'd agree with that, you certainly don't have to have one. In fact I wouldn't bother unless you seriously expect to do a lot of mortices by hand - then the big heavy duty ones can be thrashed furiously, turning you into a human morticing machine, as in the old days of 'production line' hand making.
 

GazPal

Established Member
Joined
30 Jul 2010
Messages
1,136
Reaction score
0
Location
North East England
Jacob":1eukq7mi said:
I'd agree with that, you certainly don't have to have one. In fact I wouldn't bother unless you seriously expect to do a lot of mortices by hand - then the big heavy duty ones can be thrashed furiously, turning you into a human morticing machine, as in the old days of 'production line' hand making.
I think the key phrase regarding this and most tool purchases is "justification". IMHO such buys are justified if someone is going to put given tools to regular use. :)
 
Top