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Questions on making a long paring chisel from spring steel

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Ttrees

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Hello folks
I've been getting fed up working bevel down in awkward spots, whilst cleaning out old mortises on reclaimed door stiles.
Enough to make me want to scracifice an nice old file for the greater good.

Might have a mooch around for another file in the folks, will need grinding discs anyways, but there's a good chance this one might be the donor.

I have a question about the bent tang.
Can I just hammer it back flat again without heating?
Thanks folks
 

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MusicMan

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It depends on at what stage and to what length it was hardened. (someone else may know the answer to this). You could try scratching the tang with say a marking scribe. If it digs in then probably yes, if it skates over then no. No guarantees offered, though!
 

Ttrees

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Thanks MusicMan
I was thinking much the same, so did a scratch test as far as the teeth
It seemed hardened, but probably not as hard as further up.
I cracked on, and the highly mushroomed tip broke off straight away, but was able to get it fattened out somewhat.
I don't think I will try and bend it further, and may settle for either a cranked handle, or
grinding a bit off the taper/working the handle, for it to fit squarely.

SAM_2681.JPG


In my mind, a non cranked chisel is more reliable for paring cuts to ensure coplanar mortise bottoms.
It certainly is the case when chopping them out, my Tesco chisel gets used on this occasion :)
I want this chisel, which will be used regularly for this single operation only, as I can't think of a better way to do it.
Not having spent time researching them much, apart from reading other folks being appreciative of the English paring chisel what can give great feedback being so thin and flexible.
This tool will not be as refined as those, maybe more like a firmer chisel so I can see if one side is diving too deep.

I have ground teeth off hard non annealed files before, and know its a lot of work.
Will this chisel be very delicate, if it gets dropped?

Thanks folks
Tom
 

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Ttrees

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For what it's worth, I gave it a few taps, and didn't feel like it would bend further.
Change of plan, I just found this, what I presume to be a leaf spring of sorts...
This will save me using the file, and provide me with a longer tang. :D
I just hope I can procure a flat section from it, using a thin cutting disc.

Don't know if I've ever cut spring steel before, presuming I need to keep it cool(ish),
but how much I wonder...
Have to clean it up to find good stock, and hopefully would be able to see any bluing happening from the cutting afterwards.

Looks like it's time to crank the ol' angle grinder on...
Another mess in the workshop :D

Betya can't guess what timber the handle will be made from... :lol:

Any tips appreciated
Thanks folks
 

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Pete Maddex

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Get some ground flat stock from eBay and fire up the BBQ.
It will be much easier to make a paring chisel that way.
Pete
 

Ttrees

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I'm waaay too cheap for that Pete :wink:
Although, I know the grinding discs will add up eventually :roll:
Kinda nice to use what was dug out of the ground aswell.

Tom
 

--Tom--

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It will be tough going if you’re not planning to anneal and then reharden

Do you have a belt grinder to do the shaping with?
 

Ttrees

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I have a belt sander, but will just use the angle grinder as its less messy and probably quicker.
Tom
 

ED65

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Ttrees":1zwyt414 said:
I have a question about the bent tang.
Can I just hammer it back flat again without heating?
Too late for you now but in case it's of help to someone in the future, IME dealing with dozens of files over the years tangs are usually soft. On most files the tang will be unhardened as that's the way they're supposed to be, and occasionally with files in good condition you can even see the spectrum of temper colours showing the tang was annealed post-hardening to make sure it was fully soft. IIRC this is something I've seen most often on Nicholsons.

If you find a bent, or twisted, tang this pretty much tells you it was soft to begin with, otherwise it would have snapped (sometimes seen on vintage files). But the bending may have hardened it too much to make it safe to bend back cold, either in a metalworking vice or, more riskily, by hammering.

So it's safest to heat the tang to red/orange if you want to be sure you won't introduce a crack or snap it off. Do the bending while it's glowing if you can manage it, reheating as often as needed.

To do this you don't need a torch, the burner on a gas cooker is more than sufficient to heat a thin section of steel like this to the required temp.

With a file especially (all hard) you may want to protect the body from transferred heat which you can do by wrapping in a damp cloth. Or you can use an old blacksmith's trick and stick the tool through a potato :)
 

Ttrees

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The blades nearly finished, got the three sides lapped, and flattening the plane of the top of the chisel.
Unsure if it will end up tapered yet, I will reply in detail later.

Another question I am asking myself...

Is there an advantage to putting side bevels on a chisel this long?
And if there is, would the angle of say, a 1 in 6 dovetail give the necessary clearance for anything else that requires a chisel this long?

I don't want to introduce movement like what just happened on this a few times (hammer)
But it probably will need a bit of fettling again before its done, so I am considering a Lie-Nielsen
style grind if there is the need for side bevels.
Thanks
Tom
 

Mr_Pea

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Without the bevels on all 3 sides you are just making a long firmer.

Decent paring chisels are wafer thin, they just don't make them like that any more.
 

Ttrees

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Agreed Mr Pea
Can you think of a need for these bevels on a chisel this long though?

I've just finished the blade now, and am thinking I'll not bother with the bevels,
unless someone changes my mind.
I can always grind the sides later on anyway, as I'm going making the handle now.
Must go looking for some brass compression fittings in the attic, and see if that suits.

I'm thinking of not grinding away any metal for the tang, not seen any photos of this using keywords like... chisel flat tang, apart from carving gouges.
I will see how things go, I have loads of wood and a lathe, so can make it again if need be.

Thanks
Tom
 

Mr_Pea

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The joy of a thin, old, sharp bevel edged chisel is the angle of attack. Hand powered and just poking the corner in to begin with , easier to show than to explain

Its a chinese chisel but the same idea, skip to 1:40 for the chisel bit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Cuj-_R20xE

Tend to use my firmers for less subtle work, usually at right angles and with a mallet.
 

Ttrees

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Hi folks
Took a while getting the place cleaned up for an update
I should have posted earlier, but was in full swing wanting to get this done and back to the short amount of woodworking I was doing beforehand.

Here is a recently unearthed farmyard component.
1.JPG


Got it cleaned enough to select the least pitted and cut it with a thin disc
2.JPG


Rough ground the edges parallel for mounting in the vice
3.1.JPG


Grinding down to the pitting
3.JPG


Blued it with permanent marker and gave a rub on the surface plate to reveal high spots
4.JPG


Probably about here I might have switched to a flap disc instead of the grinding disc
5.JPG


Cut to rough width from the best looking of the stock.
Hoping there wasn't a huge pitting on the opposite face, that might render the blank unusable for this project
6.JPG


Went about grinding the high spots off again
7.JPG


Got new flap discs, forgot how hungry they are when new, difficult to use for something narrow
compared to the grinding disc which is very good for hollowing.
Using flap discs felt like it was giving better results not centered on the work, but to the right.
maybe that's just me?
8.JPG


Got the blade good enough, the top could do with some more lapping, but it will be fine for now.
I'm eager to get woodworking again.
Sourced some nice plumbing fitting, which I'd be quite interested to know the name of
9.JPG


Continued on next post...
 

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Ttrees

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The threads on this unknown plumbing fitting made nice witness marks to grind and file down to.
The inside had raised part which needed drilling out, which I should have done first #-o
I didn't want to hold it with vicegrips on my powerful drill press, so I turned the bit by hand on it instead.
It still needed some filing as I didn't have the right size bit.
10.JPG


Getting closer
11.JPG


Sourced some suitable stock for the handle
12.JPG


These marking knives from Axminster are handy for something like this
The handle was finished with one coat of BLO
13.JPG


Not good enough though, so I needed something to get down into there, what's the name of that tool...
I've got it!, a chisel is wot you need
A pre made off cut strip of the spring steel was very nice to have about then :D
14.JPG


Me all happy with myself thinking I was sorted for the job, I chopped into the handle as much as I could with that wee chisel, which wasn't enough.
I should have made a custom thin long drill bit for the job from an old nail or something, because the handle didn't set at the depth I had planned for, and had cracked. :cry:
15.JPG


None the less the handle is secure and it is probably better this long anyways, if a bit awkward to find somewhere to put it....
Note to self, find one of those chisel tip protectors :p
The crack doesn't look too bad to my eyes anyways
16.JPG


Got back to work and this chisel makes things a breeze.
17.JPG



Lessons learned...
Make sure to use wooden blocks to hammer the steel flat, as I made more than a nick or two down the blade, so don't hit it with metal.
Not that it will affect anything, but nicer not to have done.
Flatten it properly from as soon as you can, and keep an eye on it after each heavy grinding session.

Get some long thin drill bits for the tang, if you choose a full width tang.
Maybe make a stouter chisel, as the wee one I made was way too delicate and got bent a few times.

Thanks for reading

Tom
 

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ED65

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Well done you for having the follow-through =D>
 

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