Chopping mortises with bevel edge chisels
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- This topic has 15 replies, 9 voices, and was last updated 10 years, 5 months ago by Michael van Zadelhoff.
19 December 2012 at 2:46 pm #5202
Soon I will start chopping mortises for my workbench. I will try Paul’s method for the first time. But I have the Lie Nielsen bevel edge chisels (was a present from my wife, yes I must have the best wife in the world :)) and I am not quite sure if they hold up to the task. Maybe they are to delicate. I don’t want them to break while levering out the waste.
Some advice would be nice . If anyone did it, please tell me.
Thanks in advance,
Michael19 December 2012 at 3:05 pm #5203
You should be fine. I used my Narex bevel edged chisels to chop the mortises for my workbench and didn’t have a problem with the chisels. The only thing to bear in mind is that bevel edged chisels may try to twist in the mortise as you’re chopping. Mortise chisels don’t suffer from the same problem because they’re a lot deeper. If you feel the chisel twisting, twist it the opposite way as you’re striking the chisel and it’ll straighten out.
Have fun with it and let us know how you get on!
"To know and not do is to not know"19 December 2012 at 3:12 pm #5204
Thanks George. Another consideration might be the socket design. I don’t know about those Narex chisels, but I might break the handle of my Lie Nielsen.Anonymous19 December 2012 at 3:19 pm #5205
Michael, they should be fine. Lie Nielsen mortice chisels have the same socked handle as the bench chisels, the steel on the bevel edge chisels is up to the job I’m sure. So I think you would be good to go buddy.19 December 2012 at 3:23 pm #5206
You are right Ken. Forgot about that. I think my signature isn’t that far from the truth 🙂Anonymous19 December 2012 at 3:27 pm #5207
HaHa, If you were stupid, you would never have asked the question buddy 😉19 December 2012 at 3:38 pm #5208
That’s also true.19 December 2012 at 4:31 pm #5222
I am sure the guys are correct but why take a chance you can buy a set of Narex mortice chisels for not a lot of money that you can hammer on and lever all day long and keep your LN chisels for more precise work
Wigan, Lancs. England :
I think that dropping a chisel to the floor can do a lot more harm than chopping mortises. I dropped my 1″ last week (it was rolling off the bench…) and a small corner broke off the bevel. It’s probably only half a millimeter but it hit me straight in the heart 😉 I am using Kirschen bevel edged chisels from Germany. They cost only a third of the Lie Nielsen’s but I’m very happy with them. Maybe it feels safer for you to buy some cheaper chisels for the beginning and use your beauties when you feel more confidence in handling them. The first time I opened the wooden box of my chisels I held it like a baby.
Although those tools can be very pretty that’s probably not the way they want to be treated ;-).
I enjoy working wood in Germany.Anonymous19 December 2012 at 5:03 pm #5243
I have to agree David, I will be using the Narex mortice chisels on my bench legs soon. I think the guys want to stay true to Paul’s method though.19 December 2012 at 8:29 pm #5268
I have a set of Narex mortise chisels and also Robert Sorby. Both are excellent chisels and the are both accurately machined and up to the most demanding work. Also, I have no problem using mortise chisels and especially if I have a lot to cut that are deep. That’s when Im like to use them mostly because I can lever on them with the extra force needed in deep mortises.
I used my stanley sweetheart socketed bevel edged chisels to chop the bench legs. I never had any problems with them and I did’nt have to spend any money buying another set of chisels specific to chopping mortises. The only issue I had were the handles on the chisels are a tad bit small so I occasionally whacked my hand with the mallet… ouch!
I like the way Paul shows us that you do not
need a hole range of tools to perform a certain task.
When i wanted to start woodworking almost every woodworker on the internet said, that i needed alot of
tools to begin with,and that the most expensive ones worked the best.
2 years later i have alot of expensive tools but still no real project was made because i spent
most of my money on tools and their was no money left for the most importend thing to buy.(wood)
Then there comes mr Paul Sellers who tells us you can do about everything with a plane stanley no4
a cheap set of chissels and some other not too expensive tools.
I think it’s wonderful how he gets people in to woodworking and not in to buying alot of expensive tools.
He doesn’t say you can’t chop a mortice with a mortice chissel,but it’s not essential to buy them right away because you
can chop a mortice with a bench chissel.
Sorry for the long story ,but i only hope people don’t make the same mistake i did, and begin
woodworking before buying a hole range of tools.
Lopik - Netherlands20 December 2012 at 1:54 am #5291
Juryaan, I coulnt agree with your statement any more. Paul teaches skill development with common tools, not teaching each tool under the sun.
Meridianville, Alabama, USAAnonymous20 December 2012 at 2:30 am #5294
Unless I read Paul’s post wrong, he owns and uses mortice chisels also. Use whatever chisel feels right for you, personal choice at the end of the day. But it is great knowing you can get the job done with just basic hand tools, and not having to buy every tool under the sun. If you want to buy them and love tools, well that’s great also 🙂
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