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Choosing Chisels

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James C

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Hey Guys,

I'm new to the forum and seeking some advice about buying some chisels. I have spent some time looking at Ashley Iles Bevel Edged Cabinetmakers, Narex 8116 Cabinetmakers and Narex 8105 Bevel Edged Chisels.

I have around £150 to spend and for that I could get a set of 6 AI, a set of 12 Narex Cabinetmakers or a set of 17 Narex Bevel Edged Chisels. Obviously a set of 17 might be a bit too much to start but a set of 6 at £70 leaves with £80 for other purchases :D

Then again I'd be just as happy to buy three LN at £47 a pop, I know you should buy the best you can afford and I want to have chisels that I'm not going to replace in 10 years time, but are they really worth the difference?

I want chisels that could be used for some basic paring but could also be used to make dovetails if lightly hit with a mallet. (hammer)

Cheers,

James

p.s. I know someone will probably ask what I'm using them for. I have acquired some nice Oak boards which I'm going to use to make some small items from, before working my way up to some larger furniture.
 

RogerP

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I have some Narex Cabinetmakers chisels and they seem as good as any others in my small collection. The handles may not be so pretty but they're nice to use and the blades take and retain an edge just as well as the Sorby, LN and Iles I also have.
 

Modernist

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Don't buy anything made of A2 steel. Personally I use AI's which are quite fine for hand work and take a clout if necessary e.g dovetails but for serious malleting you would be better with something a bit heavier.
 

Dodge

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+1 for Narex



No doubt if Jacob reads this he will disagree albeit he has never owned or used or used them! See other thread #-o (hammer)
 

Jacob

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Dodge":yzg84usr said:
+1 for Narex



No doubt if Jacob reads this he will disagree albeit he has never owned or used or used them! See other thread #-o (hammer)
I'm sure they would be OK, after all most chisels are. Very few are unusable. In any case the sharpening is far more important than the quality of the chisel.
It's just that Narex have become the latest fashion and I always distrust fashions - here today and gone tomorrow. Remember A2 steel? Nobody wants it now. Woodworker's fashions change faster than hemlines!
I'd advise our OP to get any old chisels - just 3 or 4 different ones to start, and worry more about sharpening as a priority.
6 is a lot. Sets of 12 or 17 are really OTT :roll: nobody really needs that many.
 

RogerP

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I'd advise our OP to get any old chisels - just 3 or 4 different ones to start, and worry more about sharpening as a priority.
6 is a lot. Sets of 12 or 17 are really OTT :roll: nobody really needs that many.

cheers
Jacob
We mustn't start confusing "needs" with "wants" otherwise we lose all the fun :wink:

I have a lot more than 17 chisels/gouges but only because I can't resist 50p boxwood handled jobbies at car-boots. I reckon half-a-dozen spanning ¼" to 1¼" is about right for the average user. Narex are fine and aren't expensive but if you can get up early car-boots is the way to go. :)
 

James C

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I do have one or two old non-descript sheffield steel chisels including a 3/4 bevel edged and a 1" firmer chisel which are quite good. The main issue is finding a good way to regrind the primary bevels as the 3/4 b/e is at 40 deg and the firmer at 45deg #-o

I don't have access to anything that can do serious grinding even though I have put a really good sharp edge on my Jack Plane using WH's Scary Sharp adhesives.

I still want to have some new chisels as well, hence this thread, a nice decent set of 6 would suit me fine.

Don't worry I will still keep picking up older stuff and restoring where I can.

Has anyone got the LN O1's?
 

Fat ferret

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Another vote for car boot sale/ebay chisels :) . Anything with cast steel on it seems to be particularly good. These can be made really sharp and hold their edges well.
 

Jacob

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James C":137zpbyy said:
I do have one or two old non-descript sheffield steel chisels including a 3/4 bevel edged and a 1" firmer chisel which are quite good. The main issue is finding a good way to regrind the primary bevels as the 3/4 b/e is at 40 deg and the firmer at 45deg #-o

I don't have access to anything that can do serious grinding
Belt sander is best. Angle grinder? Coarse sanding disc on a drill? Otherwise it's 60 grit wet n dry (wet). Bench grinders are cheap and very versatile.
You only have to do it once, if you keep them in good nick.
I still want to have some new chisels as well, hence this thread, a nice decent set of 6 would suit me fine.

Don't worry I will still keep picking up older stuff and restoring where I can.

Has anyone got the LN O1's?
LNs are ludicrously expensive. For the price of one you could buy some good sharpening kit, which is more important than the chisels.
 

Dodge

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Jacob":3n4lyhm1 said:
LNs are ludicrously expensive. For the price of one you could buy some good sharpening kit, which is more important than the chisels.
My God, let me just sit down before I say this - "I have got to agree with Jacob" #-o

No seriously you can take a Lie Nielsen out of the box and use it straight away, but if you cannot sharpen it properly when its blunt you might as well have saved a couple of hundred quid and bout a Faithful

First and most important lesson - Learn how to sharpen your tools properly, buy the appropriate equipment to sharpen tools - Then buy the tools that need to be kept sharp.

And remember the old saying "If you can see the edge - It isn't there!!!!" think about it
 

James C

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Belt sander is best. Angle grinder? Coarse sanding disc on a drill? Otherwise it's 60 grit wet n dry (wet). Bench grinders are cheap and very versatile.
You only have to do it once, if you keep them in good nick.
What kind of Belt Sander is ideal to use? The only thing close to Belt Sander is the Band Facer at the school were I work but it's a woodwork room with large multi-machine extraction system and I have heard enough horror stories about wood dust fires to be a bit cautious about using it to do grinding.
 

James C

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Dodge":3cebgsmc said:
Jacob":3cebgsmc said:
LNs are ludicrously expensive. For the price of one you could buy some good sharpening kit, which is more important than the chisels.
My God, let me just sit down before I say this - "I have got to agree with Jacob" #-o

No seriously you can take a Lie Nielsen out of the box and use it straight away, but if you cannot sharpen it properly when its blunt you might as well have saved a couple of hundred quid and bout a Faithful

First and most important lesson - Learn how to sharpen your tools properly, buy the appropriate equipment to sharpen tools - Then buy the tools that need to be kept sharp.

And remember the old saying "If you can see the edge - It isn't there!!!!" think about it
The issue is that I lack the equipment to regrind incorrect primary bevels. All of my attempts at sharpening good bevels and honing secondary bevels etc. have been pretty satisfactory.
 

James C

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James C":1pgx3mor said:
What kind of Belt Sander is ideal to use? The only thing close to Belt Sander is the Band Facer at the school were I work but it's a woodwork room with large multi-machine extraction system and I have heard enough horror stories about wood dust fires to be a bit cautious about using it to do grinding.
I managed to find an example of what I'm talking about

http://www.technologysupplies.co.uk/Deer-Bandfacer-1ph-on-pedestal
 

Jacob

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Any old ordinary belt sander will do. But yes you have to watch out for the sparks. Blow out any wood dust first.
Bench grinders are cheaper but not as good.
Or go up-market for a Sorby Pro-edge.
All methods depend on a good bit of practice to get right. Non of them are like a pencil sharpener where you just stick it in and pull it out sharp.
 

Pete Maddex

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Hi, James

Another vote for Cast Steel Chisels I have collected a set mostly from car boots and Ebay. I have yet to find a duff one.

But I use a set of modern Stanley/Marples for any thing out side of the workshop, So get a set of Narex and look out for Cast Steel chisels.

And decide on a sharpening system and stick with it even if you don't get good results at first.

Pete
 

Jacob

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Dodge":2yns11am said:
.....
First and most important lesson - Learn how to sharpen your tools properly, buy the appropriate equipment to sharpen tools - Then buy the tools that need to be kept sharp.......
Before tools and sharpening comes WOOD. And the design, project, whatever it is.
This detail tends to get neglected in all the tooly chatter and noise!
 

Jacob

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James C

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I think after the outlay for granite block, and all the rolls of adhesive glass paper you would end up needing that looks pretty expensive. I mean he used 6 sheets to sharpen one chisel. Seems to take quite a long time as well, I enjoyed the cut from slightly dirty paper to dark grey paper.

Anyway I'm pretty sure I'm going to get a set of 6 Cabinetmakers Chisels either Narex or Ashley Iles to get me started off on the projects I want to do.
Don't worry I'm still going to be building a nice collection of quality older Chisels
 
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