Sharpening hollow mortice chisels.

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Robbo3":1p21fp8b said:
Bob, this any good? As it's a #1, I think it's for English chisels whereas #2 was for Japanese.

Robbo, you may be right but I'm not 100% sure.

I have the Clico 539 No 1 sharpening set and also the Clico 539 No 2 set. They're both imperial, both cover the same range of 1/4" to 1/2" chisels, but there's a note on the No 1 set to say use it with Sedgwick chisels, and as I have a Sedgwick morticer that's what I do!

So perhaps the No 2 set is for, say, Multico chisels? Only guessing as I don't know.


To make things more complex there's also at least one further Clico sharpening set, designated the 539 No 1J, again I'm only guessing here, but perhaps that's for Japanese pattern, imperial dimensioned chisels?

One final point. Like a lot of cabinet makers I used to be a bit sniffy about using Japanese chisels, swearing blind that properly sharpened Clico tooling gave a better result. Maybe that prejudice was based on cheap Chinese mortice tooling, however I've now had quite a bit of hands-on experience with the Japanese chisels that Scott & Sergeant sell, and I have to confess that they are absolutely superb.


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Thanks for further replies.
Re hardness, I was thinking the chisels couldn't be very hard if they can be reamed with the type of tool Robbo pictured. Eric is right that the corners of the chisel in my pic have rolled over - when I've got it sharpened I'll give it a workout and, if it happens again, re-harden.

Hi Bob, just spotted your mortice chisel thread. Had sharpening prob myself just recently. Been using same (Japanese) set for years just occasionally fettling the auger but not much attention to the chisel, but needing attention now. Sharpened the chisel very easily and cheaply with two diamond cones from Axminster - drill press - chisel in a hole etc to keep accurately aligned in woodwork terms if not precision engineering.
Still didn't cut.
Sharpened the auger.
Still didn't cut.
Auger on it's own cuts really well.
Solved after a lot of examination - the radius of the auger cut is very reduced, (age, wear, sharpening etc) such that it doesn't quite reach the square cut of the chisel. This means the chisel has to cut out much more. In good condition the chisel takes out the four corners of the hole, which fall in and are picked up by the auger, but with a reduced auger it has to take the whole square out, with a hole in it, but it stays firmly in place and stops you dead
So it's scrap, unless I can buy an auger to fit.
Making do with cheapo set from Screwfix, which gets not bad reviews
cheers Jacob
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