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    Richard Guggemos

    Hey gang,

    My first efforts have been humbling. I’m building a tool tote and find cross grain chisel cuts rather vexing. In fact, I’m having better luck cross grain using my knife for each layer I take out.

    I think that part of my problem is related to using a Workmate as my workbench. It appears to have some give or spring and the chisel just bounces when struck cross grain. Of course I can really wallop the chisel, but that leads to bruising the edges and tearing out the end grain. My thinking is that if a lighter strike can be directly transferred to the wood, then I should get the small clean cuts I’m looking for.

    So it seems I’ll have to build a work bench sooner rather than later.

    Related to this, I have access to some weathered cedar 2x4s. While they have some checking, they’re fundamentally solid with good edges. Will these be too light or too soft for the job? Are there likely any problems with combining these with regular stud material? Or should I just bite the bullet and purchase all new materials?



    Rick G


    I’m not sure about the workbench question, but I had the same issue with my chisel cuts as you describe. Especially in soft woods like pine. I re-ground the bevel of my chisel to about 25 degrees or even slightly less. The lower angle helped a lot. I also made sure the bevel was flat, and not convex at all. I know the lower angle puts you at risk of a more fragile edge, but it worked for me in the soft pine I had. Hope that helps. Kevin


    Cedar for me would be considered too light and too soft as you pointed out however if that is what you have it to work with, then use them. I built a 5 foot using standard box store spf lumber and still find it a bit light.

    Ontario, Canada

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