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Narex Chisels - lots of photos

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scubadoo

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Just received my set of 6 cabinetmakers chisels and a 6mm mortice from Workshopheaven. I ordered them yesterday - great service from Matthew. I chose the chisels after reading a few threads on them and some advice in a thread i posted here help-on-choosing-chisels-and-block-plane-needed-please-t56196.html And for a more or less first time chisel-er, the price was a big plus.





I'm suprised how light they are but they seem very nicely balanced and feel very nice in the hand. I should say that my only previous chisels have been some cheap Stanley ones with plastic handles and one from Bristol Design tools (which developed a weird blue crazing, very fine but over the whole of the metal - no idea what that was) and some lovely Pfeil carving tools that I bought for my wife.







They are obviously in no way as nice quality as the Pfeils but seem as nice as the Bristols, apart from........

What lets them down a little bit on the aesthetics is the look of the handles. The 'brass' ferule looks a bit cheap and I just don't understand why they stain the beech brown. Why not leave them natural? I guess beech is used because it's cheap? With some nice ash these chisels would look fantastic, but they would presumably be more expensive as well and it's the value for money that made them so tempting.





They look like they will need fettling and sharpening which i'm not suprised by. You can feel the slight grooves on the underside left from the machining. They do feel pretty sharp though and are definitely usable out of the box but really do need a proper honing - better learn how to do that then :lol:
 

Dodge

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Glad you are pleased with them - i am using them on my bench and with the exception of the look of the ferrule/handle as you mention they are excellent and at the end of the day its the cutty bit at the end thats important! :mrgreen:
 

Modernist

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Not wishing to dampen your enthusiasm but I hope the quality of the grinding on the underside is better than the top, judging by the 3rd pic. It looks like it was ground on the back of a breeze block. They cannot possibly have a decent edge now and look like they are going to require a deal of work to get them there. With a bit of luck the steel will be OK when you've done.
 

woodbloke

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You may also find that the first mm or so of the blade is a bit 'mushy' and soft, once you've ground past it a couple of times you'll be into the 'good stuff' - Rob
 

Newbie_Neil

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woodbloke":24nlglqp said:
You may also find that the first mm or so of the blade is a bit 'mushy' and soft, once you've ground past it a couple of times you'll be into the 'good stuff' - Rob
+1

Neil
 

scubadoo

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Ah well, change of plan - after looking at them for a while and comparing them to my Pfeil carving tools, I've decided to return them. At the end of the day, i just didn't like the look of them and the machining seemed a little rough and ready. They probably are the best tools in this price range but I think I'd rather pay a few pounds more per chisel and get something nicer. I'm keeping the 6mm as I'd used it on a test piece.

Workshopheaven have been good about it, and I've ordered an Ashley Iles 1" chisel to have a look at.

I've also ordered 2 of the Pfeil Carpenters chisels -for around £17 each - as I was so impressed with their carving tools. I may also look for some oldies on ebay and try a new Sorby or Kirschen as well. I'd quite like to try a variety.

This in no way means that I think they're bad tools, I just want something that makes me happy when I use them - functional and beautiful.
 

Doug B

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scubadoo":34u9no1o said:
Ah well, change of plan - after looking at them for a while and comparing them to my Pfeil carving tools, I've decided to return them. At the end of the day, i just didn't like the look of them and the machining seemed a little rough and ready.
I can understand your change of mind, when I finally got to see a set last October I was completely under whelmed by every aspect of them, what I can`t understand is the hype that has surrounded them.
 

James C

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Doug B":3hgxupa2 said:
scubadoo":3hgxupa2 said:
Ah well, change of plan - after looking at them for a while and comparing them to my Pfeil carving tools, I've decided to return them. At the end of the day, i just didn't like the look of them and the machining seemed a little rough and ready.
I can understand your change of mind, when I finally got to see a set last October I was completely under whelmed by every aspect of them, what I can`t understand is the hype that has surrounded them.
I'm wondering if it is more of a consistency problem. I got a couple of these chisels last week, 5 in total and one of the chisels had a slightly dodgy back with the rest slightly hollow ground as expected.

The primary bevels and the ferrules were all in great condition and my chisels have been performing really well.


Matthew @ Workshop Heaven has asked me to return the single chisel I was unhappy with and he would get it sorted. So excellent service strikes again.
 

scubadoo

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Doug B":31fryogm said:
scubadoo":31fryogm said:
Ah well, change of plan - after looking at them for a while and comparing them to my Pfeil carving tools, I've decided to return them. At the end of the day, i just didn't like the look of them and the machining seemed a little rough and ready.
I can understand your change of mind, when I finally got to see a set last October I was completely under whelmed by every aspect of them, what I can`t understand is the hype that has surrounded them.
underwhelmed is probably the right word.

I'm looking forward to getting the Ashley Iles 1" and I also love the design of their elliptical dovetail chisels.

I'll post some pics of the AI and the Pfeils if anyone would like to see them.
 

Jacob

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Hate to say but; I told you so! There was a similar chisel thread a bit back where I said not to buy Narex. Reason being that they were being heavily promoted on this site and everybody was getting over excited about what were obviously just some cheap imported chisels. Cheap imported is OK of course but you get what you pay for.
Ashley Iles a lot nicer but three times the price, as you would expect.
But why buy a "set" anyway? Why not just get them in ones and twos as you need them? Not necessarily the same make either. It's not like a mechanic's socket set where you really need the range of sizes all neatly arrayed side by side so you can put your hands on the right one straightaway. There are very few occasions when only a single specific size of chisel will do the job. Morticing yes, but not the others.
And don't forget to buy some wood!

PS what were they like on the flat face side? Back doesn't matter much, bevel gets honed away but face is important. If the faces are as bad as the back I'd bin them! Those cheapo axminsters look like a better deal.
 

bugbear

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Jacob":3fb1sq85 said:
PS what were they like on the flat face side? Back doesn't matter much, bevel gets honed away but face is important.
The flat side is (also) normally called the back. I point this out for the benefit of the OP.

Yes, this is surprising.

BugBear
 

scubadoo

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Jacob":naf7xlyg said:
But why buy a "set" anyway? Why not just get them in ones and twos as you need them? Not necessarily the same make either.
That's why I'm doing now, just getting three from 2 different brands.
 

scubadoo

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All of the faces seemed pretty much the same to me. I should add that they look worse in the photos than they actually were, i just have a very good macro lens and the parallel lines weren't as grooved as they appeared.
 

GazPal

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bugbear":24psq7cr said:
Jacob":24psq7cr said:
PS what were they like on the flat face side? Back doesn't matter much, bevel gets honed away but face is important.
The flat side is (also) normally called the back. I point this out for the benefit of the OP.

Yes, this is surprising.

BugBear

I think you'll find the majority - before the interweb and americunisation - commonly called the flat of a blade/iron it's face and the bevel was applied to it's back. This was primarily due to the fact the flat of a blade/iron faces the direction of work, whilst the bevelled back of the blade/iron faces away from the work. (In addition to this, knives don't have a face side unless sharpened from one side of the blade and creating a flat face on the other. The area behind a knife or sword's sharpening bevel is called the back or spine of the blade).
 

Jacob

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In my experience it's only on this forum that people call the face the back. Mind you I've had a quiet life.
I didn't realise it was an americanisation. Or should it be "realize it was an americanization" ?
 

markturner

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Well Jacob, that's a surprise! I thought you were of the persuasion that you don't need expensive tools, cheap basic ones do the job just as well... :wink:

cheers, Mark
 

Jacob

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markturner":3ehao3le said:
Well Jacob, that's a surprise! I thought you were of the persuasion that you don't need expensive tools, cheap basic ones do the job just as well... :wink:

cheers, Mark
They'd be fine for me. A bit on the expensive side perhaps. I bought those axminster cheapoids some time back. :roll: Looked like a better deal than these.
I've got all sorts - mostly 2nd hand. Best are the Stanley 5001s though I have some nice old wood handled ones too.
 

bugbear

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GazPal":23t5wl78 said:
I think you'll find the majority - before the interweb and americunisation - commonly called the flat of a blade/iron it's face and the bevel was applied to it's back. This was primarily due to the fact the flat of a blade/iron faces the direction of work, whilst the bevelled back of the blade/iron faces away from the work. (In addition to this, knives don't have a face side unless sharpened from one side of the blade and creating a flat face on the other. The area behind a knife or sword's sharpening bevel is called the back or spine of the blade).
The last time this was discussed, I actually checked a large number written sources. The usage is as I described, although it is not 100% uniform, depending on period.

It wouldn't surprise me if the odd workshop and/or training colleges had a local convention - how would one know wether it was universal or local?

BugBear
 

scubadoo

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stop it! you're all confusing me :lol:

i don't know which is the back, front, face or side now :roll:
 

bugbear

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scubadoo":ddfhknpd said:
stop it! you're all confusing me :lol:

i don't know which is the back, front, face or side now :roll:
That (sadly) probably means you've understood correctly!

"flat side" and "bevel side" are a little long, but not prone to misunderstanding.

BugBear
 
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