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Eric The Viking

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I don't want to start an exchange of fire, but I wish you lived closer to Bristol: we have a superb secondhand tool shop, Bristol Design, where, from time-to-time I rummage in their "cheap" bins for old chisels. I have found some beautiful tools, which I love using. I also have a set of plastic handled Marples, and to be honest they are the best ones I own.

The thing is, until I learned to sharpen well, I never enjoyed them, and never really understood how to put them to work properly. Having learned - I still mostly use "Scary Sharp", as it is close to being silly person proof (draw your own conclusions! - I can now make them work well. And as others have said, I like varying handle sizes, too.

The skills of sharpening and wood finishing are pretty much all you need to restore chisels. If/when you can make old ones good for you, you'll know what you seek in any new ones you buy.

Just my twopence, E.
 

powertools

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Personally I think that when you start to value you time a £400 to £500 per day you will never enjoy woodworking.
Even the best quality tools will need maintenance over time.
 

AJB Temple

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I will add my tuppence worth.

Time value is subjective and not that relevant in my view. In my field it is common place to charge £1,000 an hour. That is not to say I value time in that way - woodwork is for enjoyment and that time is free.

I looked at various chisels a year or two ago when I was in a buying frame of mind. I looked at Blue Spruce, Veritas, Lie Nielson etc, found I preferred LN socket chisels and bought quite a lot. They are superb to use.

I still have a set of red plastic handle footprint chisels that my dad gave me when I was a kid. These have excellent steel, and I still use them. The LN are nice for fine work, but I can get either just as sharp.

I have a set of good quality Japanese chisels. Prefer the LNs in the hand.

I have quite a lot of Ward etc eBay chisels. All sorts of sizes. Ever so cheap. Some of these get used a great deal as every day chisels. I use the wide ones and the big heavy pig sticker type mortice chisels a lot on the green oak framing work I do. I also have a couple of big slicks - can't remember the manufacturer, that are very occasionally handy.

If I had to stick with just one set it would be the LNs. They hold their edge for a long time, and they are very tough for chopping out dovetails, mortices etc. really well made handles too.
 

SMALMALEKI

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AndyT":jvx8sewg said:
Just4Fun":jvx8sewg said:
AndyT":jvx8sewg said:
Second, the steel is the same thickness all the way up the blade. That means that the bevels stay the same width, until the grinding wheel lifts off.
Can you expand on that Please, as I think I am missing your point. I don't see why this might be a problem.
The difference comes, I assume, from a different method of construction. The Blue Spruce ones are probably cut from a flat strip of steel, then ground.

Older ones would be forged from a piece of round bar. By hand, with hammer and anvil, drawing out the steel to shape. This has a side effect of aligning the grain structure but I'm no metallurgist and am not claiming any special advantage from that.
For the old chisels we're likely to own, this would have been done by drop forging, where a red hot blank is bashed into a hollow "mood" (mould) to shape it. This used to involve skilled men with tongs, reheating and manipulating as required. For later production - including the blue handled Stanleys - it was more mechanised.

Chisels made by forging are thicker and stiffer at the handle end, slenderer at the tip.

This mostly affects the balance in the hand and may matter or not according to the preference of the user.

With a bevel edged chisel it does mean that the working end can be pleasantly thin and delicate. I think it's easier to make small accurate adjustments with a light, slender tool, the opposite of an all purpose firmer which is ideal for rougher work. The Blue Spruce don't appear to have that delicacy, so don't tempt me to buy them.
Just to say that they don’t forge them hot but press than on stages and then harden them by heat treating them.
I just posted my short tour of Ashley Iles factory.
 

SMALMALEKI

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powertools":14s9qo8l said:
I cant understand why anybody would question what you are interested in buying.
I do find it strange when some people who have a taste for fine quality tools like to think that unless you have the best you will never be able to enjoy the hobby.
Part of my enjoyment is to create something I am proud enough to say I made it with tools that I have and have made them work inorder to do it. I enjoy using and restoring old tools as much as I enjoy woodwork the 2 things go together for my enjoyment of the craft.
Just out of interest did you actually buy the tools you enquired about?

I admittedly am a novice woodworker and don’t have knowledge of hunting gems in the rubbish bin yet. I am. It skilled enough to fully restore a tool either. At present I will keep it to maintenance of tools only. One day I can be skilled enough to do all of them myself.
I know a chisel with flat back and thin bevel edge can do the job when properly sharpened but I decided to spend the ticket money for my cancelled flight on some tools. =P~
 

SMALMALEKI

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Eric The Viking":2e2co233 said:
I don't want to start an exchange of fire, but I wish you lived closer to Bristol: we have a superb secondhand tool shop, Bristol Design, where, from time-to-time I rummage in their "cheap" bins for old chisels. I have found some beautiful tools, which I love using. I also have a set of plastic handled Marples, and to be honest they are the best ones I own.

The thing is, until I learned to sharpen well, I never enjoyed them, and never really understood how to put them to work properly. Having learned - I still mostly use "Scary Sharp", as it is close to being silly person proof (draw your own conclusions! - I can now make them work well. And as others have said, I like varying handle sizes, too.

The skills of sharpening and wood finishing are pretty much all you need to restore chisels. If/when you can make old ones good for you, you'll know what you seek in any new ones you buy.

Just my twopence, E.
Thank you for the comment. It seems most of chisels I see need new handle fixing. I don’t touch wood turning yet. Sharpening is an amazing world of its own.
 

SMALMALEKI

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powertools":bzchnxgv said:
Personally I think that when you start to value you time a £400 to £500 per day you will never enjoy woodworking.
Even the best quality tools will need maintenance over time.

Well I enjoy wood working but travelling to shop to restore a faulty tool or spending my time struggling with not salvageable tools is not fun.
 

AndyT

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Old tools don't have to be a lottery. Living in Derby, you have a head start on most of us.
Quite near you there are the David Stanley specialist tool auctions, held at Whitwick, near Leicester.
Alongside the auction are a dozen or more well stocked used tool dealers. There you can see loads of examples of good quality used but usable tools, talk to knowledgeable people and pay a fair market price. For example, one stall probably had over 20 no 7 planes last time I was there.
The next one is Thursday and Friday, 12-13 September.
 

SMALMALEKI

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AJB Temple":23hhsgve said:
I will add my tuppence worth.

Time value is subjective and not that relevant in my view. In my field it is common place to charge £1,000 an hour. That is not to say I value time in that way - woodwork is for enjoyment and that time is free.

I looked at various chisels a year or two ago when I was in a buying frame of mind. I looked at Blue Spruce, Veritas, Lie Nielson etc, found I preferred LN socket chisels and bought quite a lot. They are superb to use.

I still have a set of red plastic handle footprint chisels that my dad gave me when I was a kid. These have excellent steel, and I still use them. The LN are nice for fine work, but I can get either just as sharp.

I have a set of good quality Japanese chisels. Prefer the LNs in the hand.

I have quite a lot of Ward etc eBay chisels. All sorts of sizes. Ever so cheap. Some of these get used a great deal as every day chisels. I use the wide ones and the big heavy pig sticker type mortice chisels a lot on the green oak framing work I do. I also have a couple of big slicks - can't remember the manufacturer, that are very occasionally handy.

If I had to stick with just one set it would be the LNs. They hold their edge for a long time, and they are very tough for chopping out dovetails, mortices etc. really well made handles too.
Hi AJB

I am now in the mindset you were few years ago.
I am just trying couple of different options and will reach a conclusion when I have had use of them.
 

SMALMALEKI

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AndyT":3l6ay0p0 said:
Old tools don't have to be a lottery. Living in Derby, you have a head start on most of us.
Quite near you there are the David Stanley specialist tool auctions, held at Whitwick, near Leicester.
Alongside the auction are a dozen or more well stocked used tool dealers. There you can see loads of examples of good quality used but usable tools, talk to knowledgeable people and pay a fair market price. For example, one stall probably had over 20 no 7 planes last time I was there.
The next one is Thursday and Friday, 12-13 September.
I will start a search to find them. The ones I know and used nearby are not impressive.
 

Rich C

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AJB Temple":2hz7x5hw said:
I still have a set of red plastic handle footprint chisels that my dad gave me when I was a kid. These have excellent steel, and I still use them. The LN are nice for fine work, but I can get either just as sharp.
I have a set of wooden handled footprint chisels from ebay that are my main set. I find them nice in the hand and they hold an edge just fine for my purposes.
 

SMALMALEKI

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By the way after I bought a set of Ashley Iles chisels our UKWORKSHOP fellow generously offered me a very reasonable price and I provided a new home for the chisels. Two new set of chisels to test.
 

Lons

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SMALMALEKI":39bc30lw said:
I admittedly am a novice woodworker and don’t have knowledge of hunting gems in the rubbish bin yet. I am. It skilled enough to fully restore a tool either. At present I will keep it to maintenance of tools only. One day I can be skilled enough to do all of them myself.
I know a chisel with flat back and thin bevel edge can do the job when properly sharpened but I decided to spend the ticket money for my cancelled flight on some tools. =P~
It seems most of chisels I see need new handle fixing. I don’t touch wood turning yet. Sharpening is an amazing world of its own.
Hi Smalmaleki

In light of comments as above but not knowing what sharpening facilities you own I wonder if you aren't perhaps putting the cart before the horse.

Whatever you buy, new or used will need very regular sharpening and honing unless they're just stuck in a display cupboard unused. A bit of restoration to an old chisel in reasonable codition is fairly simple and straightforward as the main task will be sharpening anyway. If a handle is too far gone then they are availabvle for sale or any friendly turner would make you some.

forgive me if I'm wrong but my impression is that you just want to buy some shiny new toys and for some reason are trying to justify that. You don't need an excuse, it's your money, your choice and has nothing to do with me or anyone else here. Most important is that it's your hobby and you get as much enjoyment from it as possible!

In my case as long as my old chisels feel and look good, take and hold a keen edge and do what I ask then I'm a happy bunny.
Best wishes, I hope you find the perfection you're looking for.

Cheers
bob
 

SMALMALEKI

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Hi Bob

Thank you for the reply. If I have not managed to give the right picture I will try to summarise here. I have had few chisels which are designed for site carpentry rather than bench fine woodwork. When I realised my first mistake it was time to look around for a set of chisels. This all started when I was searching for a set of second hand chisels. I can’t afford to take time off work ( self employed) to go tool hunting during working hours. So I use online resources including Facebook, eBay and Ukworkshop.
But if the shopping is not available outside the 9-5 hours is not acceptable for me. There might be a gold bag in the shop but unless I get there it is no good for me.

I usually end up with half my forearm shaved when I sharpen tools in the garage. Therefore I am starting to get the desired results on sharpening.

I was in the market for my first fine chisel sets and I bought a set. When a good offer is available why let the opportunity to pass by?
I might need to seek medical attention as desire to buy expensive items could be sign of Mania in bipolar disorder. :roll:
 

MikeK

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I am barely a hobbyist and am finally getting back into the hobby after nearly a 50-year gap between my first summer as an apprentice and now.

Since I have not had the luxury of decades to acquire tools of the trade, I chose to buy what I consider to be a suitable balance of cost and quality, and spend more time using them and less time coaxing them into a usable condition. One of my first purchases was a workbench. This caused quite a debate with a couple of my friends who built their own shops in the States, since a mandatory rite of passage appears to be building the first bench. Instead, I chose to drive to the local Obi (one of the German big box stores) and buy a Sjöbergs 2000 Elite workbench. I think they have turned their backs on me now.

I own a set of Lie-Nielsen bevel edge chisels and a set of Blue Spruce dovetail chisels, as well as a bunch of Lie-Nielsen planes. I bought them because I wanted and could afford them. Having just completed David Charlesworth's Tool Tuning course in Devon, I am confident saying Lie-Nielsen's claim that their chisels and planes are ready to use out of the box might not be very accurate. While I did spend some time on each tool (much less on the Blue Spuce), I don't think I will repeat the preparation work as long as I own the tools...unless I use them for stone carving.
 

thetyreman

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MikeK":11g3oeyj said:
I own a set of Lie-Nielsen bevel edge chisels and a set of Blue Spruce dovetail chisels, as well as a bunch of Lie-Nielsen planes. I bought them because I wanted and could afford them. Having just completed David Charlesworth's Tool Tuning course in Devon, I am confident saying Lie-Nielsen's claim that their chisels and planes are ready to use out of the box might not be very accurate. While I did spend some time on each tool (much less on the Blue Spuce), I don't think I will repeat the preparation work as long as I own the tools...unless I use them for stone carving.
Really? that surprises me about the LN socket chisels, mine was the most flat chisel I've ever had straight out the box, it really didn't take much work to get rid of the machine marks, we're talking probably 30 seconds, 10 seconds on each grit of diamond stone, then it was like a mirror and perfectly flat.
 

MikeK

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thetyreman":1vmd3mjt said:
Really? that surprises me about the LN socket chisels, mine was the most flat chisel I've ever had straight out the box, it really didn't take much work to get rid of the machine marks, we're talking probably 30 seconds, 10 seconds on each grit of diamond stone, then it was like a mirror and perfectly flat.
The LN socket chisels were flat. As I ran them over the stones, the pattern was uniform across the back. I used an 800-grit water stone to remove the tool marks, then progressed to the 1200, 8000, and 10,000 grit stones for the polishing. This was my first time, so I went slower than David did. I think I took about an hour for for the wide chisels and ten or fifteen minutes for the 1/2-inch and below. I had already ground a 25-degree primary bevel onto each using the Tormek, so the rest of the time was polishing the back, setting the secondary bevel and then the polishing bevel. I think I can split molecules with them now. :p
 

Benchwayze

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The best chisels for me are Marples pre WW2. No contest. The earlier the better. The problem is you have to hunt for them. The steel is first class and they hone, and keep an edge superbly. That way they last a bit longer. You can still find some of the wider sizes with a really good length of blade, because they are obviously not used as regularly as the 3/4" down. Practically speaking the 1.5 inch is as wide as the average worker ever needs, but like a lot of hobbyists I sourced myself a nice 'slick' 2 inches wide, which I have yet to fettle.

So why does a hobbyist need Blue Spruce and the like? Well it's simple really. If you can afford the best, (and that's debatable) buy the best. It's your hobby. Make it as pleasant as you can and you enjoy it all the more.

If you can't afford the best then compromise. If all you can afford is mediocre or worse, sacrifice a few pints and save for a nice tool. (You can't engage in your hobby if you are drunk anyhow.)
Having met Saeid, I can confirm he's a thoroughly likeable, friendly chap who just wants to have some nice tools. Can't knock anyone with those sentiments.

John (hammer)
 

Benchwayze

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MikeK said:
I am confident saying Lie-Nielsen's claim that their chisels and planes are ready to use out of the box might not be very accurate.
I don't know about LN chisels but, all I have ever had to do to a Lie Nielsen plane is examine it first off, then put the secondary bevel on the iron. I don't use David Cs ruler trick. I just flatten the first 1/2 inch or so of the face, by hanging the iron over the edge of the stone. That's all that's necessary. You're looking just for enough flatness to support the cap-iron and get it closed up near to the edge to avoid tear-out. (If you doubt that, check out Richard McGuire on YouTube with regard to tear out. Few do nicer work than Richard. )

The majority of the face is hidden by the cap-iron anyway. Subsequent sharpening advances the flattening as you go, just like the copes in a Japanese chisel. I'd sooner put work into my projects than into unecessary targets for my tools. That's how I saw my Grandfather's work, and there was nothing wrong with that I can assure you. As a self-employed wood-turner, and furniture maker, during the Edwardian era, he didn't have time to make a shaving mirror out of the back of a plane iron! Well okay, he might have done, but seriously I doubt it.

John (hammer)[/quote]
 

Benchwayze

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Trevanion":3fktsvzo said:
SMALMALEKI":3fktsvzo said:
Then the back of the chisel is actually curved quite a large amount back to front...
They're not good, I don't see why people love them so.

There are a few manufacturers left in Britain such as Ashley Iles, Robert Sorby, Crown, Henry Taylor. It's just none have them have really pushed anything for 25+ years, they've all been left in the dust compared to the American and Mainland European manufacturers.
Paul Sellars will explain the curved-back chisels, when he discusses Aldi chisels on YouTube.

An eyes open visit to Sheffield will help to explain why manufacturers are lagging. Seems like Brum. Night-clubs and block paving are more important to the Council than the life blood of the cities.

Feel free to disagree Sheffielders, of course!

John (hammer)
 
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