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StewieH

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hi guys,

the company i work for , last week announced i was to be the workshop joiner to get a new apprentice to teach, so, in preparation i ordered some tools for him, most of the tools that have been delivered im happy with , but the marples splitproof bevel edged chisels, iamb very disappointed with, the quality of finish to the handle/ blade section, the very poor quality of finish to the flat side( underside) of the chisels is to be honest really really poor and to cap it all off the edges to the chisels are not even close to being square to the extent i would have to grind then hone each chisel before he could even start to learn to use em.

Am i being too hyper critical or is the standard of finish to these tools gone way down since i was presented with my first set , way back when........


well 1979 to be honest! :D :D

thanks guys,

Stu.

ps i work for a house building company with its own in-house kit manufacturing facility plus the usual bench joiners to put out the doors, stairs and stuff..
 

Alf

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Up the proverbial creek
StewieH":2n6r5zev said:
Am i being too hyper critical or is the standard of finish to these tools gone way down since i was presented with my first set , way back when........
Apparently the standard has dropped way off since Rubbermaid bought Irwin/Record, although it was already getting pretty bad before that, so I gather.

Cheers, Alf
 

StewieH

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Thanks Alf,
this is the first time ive had to set up an Apprentice's tool kit for him since I wasnt in charge then . i was given ( Thanks Davey where ever you are :roll: ) a set of bevel edged ash handled chisels which i use to this day and the finish , even after 24 years is so much superior to whats out today, but im glad things have moved on in other areas tho, ( the 131b stanley yankee springs to mind..... :lol: ), there are others too, but the english translation of 'dooks' slips my mind.....


Cheers again,

Stu.
 

engineer one

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stewie, my recent experience is that this particular brand does not
either take or keep a good edge. the brand is really not what it was.

sadly they seem only to be made for one time use by cowboys.
paul :(
 
A

Anonymous

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Hi Stu,

You could be right.
I've got some Blue Chip Marples I bought when I was an apprentice (set up by me though!) which I still use today, and i've also got a couple of newer ones (about 5 years or so old) and these are pretty equal in performance, ie. they hold a decent enough edge, both in hard and softwood, don't need honing every five minutes, and I can whack 'em with a hammer when I need to.
OK, i've used and own some with harder steel so will hold the edge longer, but take longer to sharpen, but i've also got some old box handle ones that are truly awful, looking almost new from the state of the blade length, work on the back etc, yet soft as butter. Everyone has a bad day I suppose.
Sometimes a reasonable edge retention and quick sharpening time is a good trade off in my opinion, and when I was younger, it got me into a good habit of sharpening frequently, (which I still do. Sharpening before use, whether needed or not tends to be a habit that sticks!) and also learning to do so without the need for honing guides, so a bonus for me at least!
As a matter of course, some of it down to articles I occasionally read and other postings, I thought i'd check both of my 3/4 ones for continual flatness, neither seeing heavy use over their lifespans, so I flattened them back along their entirety on a diamond stone. Both were in my mind, very good, requiring little, but almost identical amounts of work, maybe 10 minutes each, and polishing well.
Interestingly, the newer one shows a Rockwell dent on the flat back, so at least when Record were still in force, they were actually checking the steel, even if it was only an occasional tool from a batch. This may be why my new one and old one share almost identical properties in use, but what has happened since, I don't know.
Mind you, the Rockwell test will only determine if it meets their desired steel composition, so won't be as hard as an A2 Lie Nielsen for example, but if it falls within their design parameters, then it hits the stores. Whether this criteria is still relevant is anyones guess, the Irwin website makes no claims to Rockwell hardness of any description, so you have no way of knowing if you have a tool that is substandard to what they are claiming.
One other thing, apart from the steel composition, is the side grinding on the bevels.
My old one has them taken down almost as fine as Lie Nilesen, certainly almost on a par, where as the newer one is markedly thicker, but still finer than any newer ones I've looked at, not only from Marples.
This is another part of cutting back the cost I suppose.
I would much prefer a company such as Marples/Irwin/rubbermaid, or Stanley for that matter, getting back to where they used to be and concentrating on quality, both in the consistency of the steel used and higher quality castings for the tools that require it.
There is undoubtedly a market for it, proven by TLN, Clifton and Veritas, plus the chisel makers out there.
I feel sorry for any apprentice/NVQer coming into the trade at the moment, because the industry standard tools are so poor.

Andy
 

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