Chisels

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
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  • #11514
    dborn
    Participant

    I’m looking for a new set of chisels. Currently I have a small set of Irwin Marples they are working ok, but think it is.time to upgrade to a better set. I am looking at a set of Narex chisels from Lee Valley, but my.concern is of upgrade-itus and after having these chisels for a couple months and will want a set.of.ashley ilyes or two cherries. What do you guys have and do you wish you had a different set?

    #11515
    Ken
    Participant

    Hey Dan,
    Narex chisels are good, remember they do two types the 8116 cabinetmakers’ chisels, and the 8105 bevel edged chisel.

    Ashley Iles Mk2 bevel edged cabinetmakers’ chisels have been designed and optimised for paring work, although a bit of gentle tapping with a mallet will do them no harm at all. No good for chopping mortices though. I have the Ashley Iles Mk2 butt and dovetail chisels, and I like them a lot.

    I have a couple of Lie Nielsen chisels I really like them, they can do just about everything you would want, but I find it hard to justify the price.

    For a day to day chisel it’s hard to beat Narex, sharpen to a razor edge quickly and hold it well, and the price wont brake the bank. I’m still trying to decide on a set of day to day chisels my self buddy. Decisions,Decisions 😉

    #11529
    George Bridgeman
    Participant

    Hi Dan,

    What do you like and dislike about your current chisels? If there’s nothing you dislike and you’re getting good results, keep using them and spend the cash on replacing a tool you don’t get along with, or some nice wood!

    If you’re set on replacing them there is lots of feedback about the Narex chisels, and plenty other types, here: https://woodworkingmasterclasses.com/discussions/topic/chisels/

    If there’s a feature of your current set that you really like (handle shape, sizes, etc), make sure that any set you buy has the same or a similar feature or you’ll end up missing it.

    Hope this helps.

    George.

    "To know and not do is to not know"

    #11530
    dborn
    Participant

    Good point George! What I don’t like is they don’t hold an edge very well. They work fine in pine, but not so well in cherry. After chopping one dovetail I start to feel heavy resistance. It might be my sharpening skill and maybe something I need to just work with for the time being. Other issue is I only have 3 chisels, so is not a complete set, which isn’t the end of the world because I’m still working on small projects and don’t need a wide variety of chisels, but eventually I will…

    Ken thanks for the input! Narex chisels is what I’m leaning toward, definitely don’t need pairing chisels right now.

    Anyone have experience with buck bros chisels made in America? They seem to be inline with the cost of the narex chisels, tempered to a hardness of rc59… But I can’t find much information on them besides what is on craftsman studios website…. I think its cool buying American made tools, but not if they are not worth it and I cannot afford the ultra premium brands….

    #11541
    Craig
    Participant

    Ken,
    ” No good for chopping mortices though”
    Really? Why?
    I guess I’m gonna be disappointed by my new purchase, wish I’d known.
    Craig

    SW Pennsylvania

    #11542
    Scott
    Participant

    Anyone have experience with buck bros chisels made in America? They seem to be inline with the cost of the narex chisels, tempered to a hardness of rc59… But I can’t find much information on them besides what is on craftsman studios website…. I think its cool buying American made tools, but not if they are not worth it and I cannot afford the ultra premium brands….

    There is a thread at Sawmill Creek that clarifies the nature of the Buck bench chisels. Only one person reports their findings with the paring and gouge chisels he bought. It seems as if Craftsman Studio sells Buck gouges and paring chisels with steel that was forged back in the 1960’s, while the bench chisels use steel that is forged today.

    The Buck Bros chisels that you find at Home Depot have a dubious reputation, so I am unsure why the steel on these Buck bench chisels would be any different unless they are hardened using a better process.

    -Scott Los Angeles

    #11543
    Ken
    Participant

    Ken,<br>
    ” No good for chopping mortices though”<br>
    Really? Why?<br>
    I guess I’m gonna be disappointed by my new purchase, wish I’d known.<br>
    Craig

    They have light, very thin blades that taper to almost nothing on the sides but are still plenty strong enough for gentle tapping with a mallet.

    Ken

    #11548
    Craig
    Participant

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>Craig Gates wrote:</div>
    Ken,<br><br>
    ” No good for chopping mortices though”<br><br>
    Really? Why?<br><br>
    I guess I’m gonna be disappointed by my new purchase, wish I’d known.<br><br>
    Craig

    They have light, very thin blades that taper to almost nothing on the sides but are still plenty strong enough for gentle tapping with a mallet.

    Ken

    Yes,
    I understand that, but I don’t understand the concern for chopping mortises.
    The handle will split?
    They’ll bend or break readily?
    I’m confused.
    Well, I guess I’m wondering if I should send these back.
    Thanks,
    Craig

    SW Pennsylvania

    #11561
    dborn
    Participant

    @rroselavy

    The fact the label buck bros is sold as cheap consumables makes me believe, when something sounds to good to be true then it probably is to good to be true!

    How about Ec Emmerich chisels?… They lo pie they may be

    #11564
    Dave
    Participant

    Dan, the narex from lee valley are decent chisels for the money, beware of the handle size if you have small hands, I found them unweildly and awkward for me. I picked up a set of sorby’s but they are a little more money, not so much as N.American made tho. I couldn’t be happier with them.

    -Canada

    #11565
    Scott
    Participant

    @rroselavy
    How about Ec Emmerich chisels?… They lo pie they may be

    E.C.Emmerich, Ulmia, Two Cherries, MHG, (and maybe Bracht) chisels pretty much seem like the same chisel to me. I have even seen some older Ulmia’s that had the Two Cherries logo (and others with another name that I cannot recall) on them if I remember correctly. Perhaps Ulmia and/or Emmerich may sub-contract the production of chisels for their respective product lines.

    The chrome-vanadium alloy in the steel of these german chisels allows them hardness (RC 61) and rust resistance, but some say they take longer to grind/flatten and can have a “gummy” feel when honing. I have a set of MHG chisels I purchased early on. Although I would not hesitate to use them to cut mortises, they are not adept at paring dovetails since the vertical side lands on the chisels are very tall. The shallow bevels that are ground on the chisels seem ornamental more than functional. Ulmia offers their chisels as “firmer chisels”, which seems to me to be an accurate description of their intended use.

    Older (vintage?) Ulmia chisels have had finer milling with minimal side lands compared to those that are produced today.

    -Scott Los Angeles

    #11566
    Scott
    Participant

    I have a couple of Lie Nielsen chisels I really like them, they can do just about everything you would want, but I find it hard to justify the price.

    On a lark, I bought one 3/8″ chisel the year before last, and I must admit it is a superlative chisel. How would I justify the price? Here are my opinions:

    1) The grinding is extremely precise, so no flattening is needed. I’ve spent a large amount of time (and experienced some frustration) flattening new and vintage chisels in the past, so I have to say I was impressed and relieved.

    2) Polishing the chisel back was also fast because the chisel was already so flat and smoothed to 400 grit. Unlike other chisels, Milling marks are a non-issue.

    3) The steel is noticeably thicker than many others, which makes them sturdier for chopping.

    4) The carefully ground side bevels have very,very small flats (lands) on either side, which are consistently thin from the edge to the shoulder. This makes them great for dovetail work. The lands on many other chisels (including the original Stanley 720 and 750 chisels) get thicker toward the shoulder. As you grind away the LN chisel edge during its lifetime, you will never end up with chisel with thick side lands. I’ve seen too many stubby vintage chisels that were rendered useless for dovetailing.

    5) The A2 steel holds up very very well under use. I was really impressed with how much longer the edge seemed to be usable over my vintage Buck Bros chisels. I’ve read that A2 does not get as sharp as O1, but I have not had any problems with sharpness.

    6) If you take care of any LN product, you (or your children, or grandchildren) can probably sell it for 85% of the original purchase price. This does not alleviate the initial cash outlay, but does provide some piece of mind.

    The only downside I can think of is that the handles can come loose during use. This is easily remedied with some hair spray, or an occasional tap on the bench.

    -Scott Los Angeles

    #11567
    JDykes
    Participant

    It was perhaps 8 years ago that I bought my first “cabinetmaker’s” chisel. I studied and researched and compared for weeks. I finally decided on the Hirsch brand (which I think is made by Two Cherries).

    As Scott V has said, these very hard, highly polished chisels aren’t quite the same beast as you might expect. I spend literally days trying to prepare my new chisels. The hard, polished backs were the very devil to flatten.

    After one particularly long session of trying to prepare the 3/4″ Hirsch, I decided to try and hold a bit of wood and pare it a bit. It took a great deal of effort to try and get any shaving – however, due to being tired, frustrated, and lazy – it seemed to take no effort at all when the chisel came off the wood I was holding (I KNOW! I KNOW!) and took off the top 1/4″ of my right thumb….

    At that point (well, after I got back from the Emergency Room), I decided to splurge and get the newly released Lie Nielsen chisels. I’ve been quite happy with them…. (and yes, I need to try the hair spray trick)

    Since then, I’ve tried the Blue Spruce bench chisels – I think they are measurably better than the Lie-Nielsens. I don’t own any of Dave Jeske’s (Blue Spruce) bench chisels, but I do have several of his dovetail and long paring chisels. Again, I’ve never used a better tool.

    I also have a Japanese paring slick made by Tasai that I got back at the first Woodworking in America conference in 2008. Some people like the Japanese chisels (Charlesworth, Kingshott, et al)… eh…. As David Charlesworth says, they’re a bit of a thoroughbred – it takes a time and a touch to get the best out of them. The Tasai chisel is a fine tool, but perhaps I just don’t have the talent to fully appreciate it.

    That said, I’ll never buy another tool from Hirsch or Two Cherries. Some people love them; but just hearing the name makes my thumb ache……..

    #11604
    Michael Petre
    Participant

    I have even seen some older Ulmia’s that had the Two Cherries logo (and others with another name that I cannot recall) on them if I remember correctly. Perhaps Ulmia and/or Emmerich may sub-contract the production of chisels for their respective product lines.

    Could it be Matador? I do have quite a few German antiques in the shop, including Matador chisels and Ulmia/Matador plane irons. I guess Ulmia ended up buying Matador at some point.

    #11605
    Scott
    Participant

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>Scott V wrote:</div>
    I have even seen some older Ulmia’s that had the Two Cherries logo (and others with another name that I cannot recall) on them if I remember correctly. Perhaps Ulmia and/or Emmerich may sub-contract the production of chisels for their respective product lines.

    Could it be Matador? I do have quite a few German antiques in the shop, including Matador chisels and Ulmia/Matador plane irons. I guess Ulmia ended up buying Matador at some point.

    Michael-

    YES! It was Matador. The name was peculiar for a German chisel since it obviously sounds like a Spanish tool maker. Thanks for refreshing my memory.

    -Scott Los Angeles

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