Butt Chisels…A useful addition or not worth bothering.

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  • #683291
    Paul Dallender
    Participant

    I’ve not seen Paul mention or talk about Butt Chisels even if he owns a set.

    I’ll admit I haven’t a clue what they would be used for instead of the standard chisel and wondered what are the benefits if any of owning a set.

    Anyone else have any thoughts on these and if they own some do they find them useful?

    Paul - A southern lad living up north - Nr York England

    #683294
    Christian Rapp
    Participant

    Paul said in a video if i remember correctly he does not see the value of them. More for carpenters for rougher jobs when you have just a few tool. I own some but do not use them (bought them when I started woodworking). Stick to usual ones…

    #683326
    sanford
    Participant

    Stanley’s well known line of everlasting chisels included butt chisels so someone must have thought they were useful. I do not have any everlasting chisels, but I know some folk like them. I myself have some of those hardware store modern Stanley butt chisels, the ones with the plastic handles. Mine take a good edge. The main reason I use them in woodworking, which is rare, is to get into tighter spaces. I assume that is the main purpose of shorter chisels. Short chisels get into tight spaces, longer chisels, like some paring chisels, have extended reach. Is it that simple? If I am off there I hope someone can correct me. In any event, I would agree you do not need them, until you face a tight space and then you do.

    The modern Stanley plastic handled butt chisels are pretty rugged. I have used them when I need to hit a chisel very hard, say for carpentry type stuff. I prefer not to take my better chisels out into the weather and usually reach for the Stanley butt chisels when I have to work on something outside, like a deck or a fence.

    #683340
    Larry Geib
    Participant

    Here is a page from the 1934-ish Stanley catalog during the Sweetheart era. Stanley differentiated their socket chisels by length.

    The 760’s and 750’s were Butt chisels. Carpenters used them mostly to cut the hinge gains for butt hinges on doors, hence the name.
    760’s are very rare. I’ve only ever seen one set.I think they were a depression era attempt at providing a chisel at lower cost. One advantage of butt hinges is they will fit into smaller places.

    They called their intermediate length chisels (740’s) Pocket chisels. These were only made from the early 1930’s to about 1955.

    And they called their 720 size cabinet maker’s or bevel edge firmer chisels, which is a bit confusing, because most manufacturers Called their square edge chisels firmers. These were Stanley’s longest chisels.

    The modern 750’s follow the sizing very close to the old 750 line, but some sizes are a little longer.

    I have 740’s and old and modern 750’s, and once the 740’s are shorter from sharpening, it’s pretty hard to tell them from a newer 750.

    The everlast chisels introduced in the 1930’s weren’t socket chisels, but had a tang that went all the way through the chisel so you could strike on it. And one variant were the original chisel with the yellow plastic. Stanley’s modern construction line of chisels are made the same way.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by Larry Geib.
    #683343
    Larry Geib
    Participant

    Here is a page from the 1934-ish Stanley catalog during the Sweetheart era. Stanley differentiated their socket chisels by length.

    The 760’s and 750’s were Butt chisels. Carpenters used them mostly to cut the hinge gains for butt hinges on doors, hence the name.
    760’s are very rare. I’ve only ever seen one set.I think they were a depression era attempt at providing a chisel at lower cost. One advantage of butt hinges is they will fit into smaller places. The blades were about 3 1/2” long, which matches most modern chisel lengths.

    They called their intermediate length chisels (740’s) Pocket chisels. These were only made from the early 1930’s to about 1955.

    And they called their 720 size cabinet maker’s or bevel edge firmer chisels, which is a bit confusing, because most manufacturers Called their square edge chisels firmers. These were Stanley’s longest chisels.

    The modern 750’s follow the sizing very close to the old 750 line, but some sizes are a little longer.

    I have 740’s and old and modern 750’s, and once the 740’s are shorter from sharpening, it’s pretty hard to tell them from a newer 750.

    The everlast chisels introduced in the 1930’s weren’t socket chisels, but had a tang that went all the way through the chisel so you could strike on it. And one variant were the original chisel with the yellow plastic. Stanley’s modern construction line of chisels are made the same way.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by Larry Geib.
    #683484
    Paul Dallender
    Participant

    I’m a bit surprised they are only classed as a carpenter’s chisel especially as fine chisel makers such as Ashley Iles, Veritas and others still make Butt chisels and I would hardly think of them as making chisels for what we think as jobbing carpenters as opposed to woodworkes and furniture makers.

    I’ll admit my initial thought for them being shorter was maybe you could get more control over a shorter chisel but I guess not.

    Paul - A southern lad living up north - Nr York England

    #683703
    Christopher Manning
    Participant

    I think that – like most tools – if it works for you, then it’s fine, and I know woodworkers who really like them. I have one which I acquired in a job lot, and I’ve never used it seriously, but I can appreciate that the shortness of the blade gives good control.

    For me, the technique of a sharp bevel-edge chisel held low down on the blade for better control works best, finished off to depth with a well-set router plane.

    #683959
    Benoît Van Noten
    Participant

    Chisel control.
    Look attentively to the videos.
    Some time Paul holds the chisel near the edge and sometime by the handle, depending of the work to be done.

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