chinese chisel shock...

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Just a follow up to my request of D_W to buy and send me some of these chisels. Even with 5 sets in a medium flat rate box the cost worked out to about $30Can a set after exchange, GST (tax) and brokerage fee Canada Revenue would charge. That starts approaching the cost of similar ones here when they go on sale. So we decided to pass for now. I appreciate his willingness to do it.

It's a shame that it costs 4 times as much to ship something to canada (closer) vs. shipping to seattle. The US definitely has a postal system set up to consume from elsewhere, not to ship elsewhere. If they were shipped from china, it would probably be $20.
These continue to provide entertainment/meditation (more opportunity to abuse them than I would with hand forged chisels which take much longer for me to make and cost 5-10 times as much in materials depending on steel choice).

They make a good test bed for trying grinding finishes and methods on a contact wheel (Which is round, but used properly, can make a flat surface that's not wavy - wavy is what you'll get if you just use the belt grinder to drop the lands and then sand off marks).

The standing group is handles a bit soft (some shellac turner's finish approaching 15 years old - still works, but dries a little slow), and once they can be handled, they'll get a cleaner finish grind and the tips of the handles will be rounded off and finished.

Since these are in the ballpark of $1.80 each with sales tax here, there's no risk in damaging them. The wood on the handles probably costs more (it's african pear - not a great choice as it's hard, but the durability and directional strength doesn't seem that great). It feels like a double hard african mahogany.
Interestingly, you can see more in a picture with these - the narrower of the two needs about 10 seconds of attention to flush the little bright spots at the top of the chisel. It's hard to see in person, but for some reason, the camera really picks up the fact that it's not totally fine ground there.

All of these that I've bought so far are easily good enough for any work.

The pictures are a bit subtle - the amount of metal ground off to drop the lands is pretty significant, and then the coarse grind marks are removed with a trizact A45 belt. The grind going up into the conical bolster is something I don't have a fix for that doesn't take a significant amount of time, so I just ground it off with the belt grinder to make it flush (otherwise, there's a step of unground metal where the rotary marks aren't removed). Not a great compromise and fixable with more time involved, but not on a chisel of this cost.
not everything is cheesy cheap stuff, though - four of a set of forged and bolstered 26c3 chisels in process - they'll be heat treated and then finish ground with bevels after heat treatment.