What are dovetail chisels and how are they different than normal bevel edge chisels? Would these be considered a nice to have tool or rather important. I’m assuming we will be introduced to more complex dovetail techniques like half blind dovetails and would like to know if these specialized chisels are somthing to consider purchasing?
Not a expert on the subject but recently I received a set of Ashley Illes roundback dovetail chisels. I got the 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, and 3/4 inch ones. I can’t tell you how they perform because I haven’t had an opportunity to use them. I can tell you they are thinner and have great relief on the sides than normal bevel edge bench chisels. The fishtail chisels are considered good for cleaning up the corners on half-lapped dovetails. I think the Blue Spruce dovetail chisels are considered top of the line, although there may be some Japanese chisels considered better.
Personally, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have bought these special chisels. I’m sure I’ll like them but a good set of real, real sharp bevel edge chisels will definitely get the job done. The problem I’ve had with dovetails has much more to do with layout and sawing than with the chisels. Nevertheless, if I had been purchasing the chisels I would have gotten the 1/8 in instead of the 3/4 in. They do have a better feel than my Marples Blue Chips.
They are a handy tool, I have a custom made 3/8″ fishtail one with one of the newer metals that was given to me. It really is very nice and cleans up corners very nice.
Having said that is this a necessary tool, not really, you can get by with a 1/8″ or 1/4″ beveled chisel
Steve Massie, I live in the great State of Florida, US
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