Tagged: Bevel endgrain chisel
Well, the distinction between soft woods and hard woods, should perhaps rather be between their densities; or as R Bruce Hoadley writes on page 15 in his “Understanding Wood: A Craftsman’s Guide to Wood Technology, 2nd ed.” (Taunton Press 2000; ISBN-13 978-1-56158-358-4):
‘A vital message conveyed by the density chart [ref. page 14] is how misleading the familiar terms hardwood and softwood really are. There are indeed differences between hardwoods and softwoods, but as will discussed in the next section, the terms hardwood and softwood simply distinguish the the broad groups of related trees within the plant kingdom. The terms are inaccurate as indicators of softness or hardness of the wood.’
Softwoods refer to gymnosperms (naked seeds), which within woodworking largely confines to trees with cones and pines. Hardwoods are angiosperms (covered seeds) with leaves that are dropped in the autumn (deciduous) [tropical species excluded]. Southern Live Oak appears to sort of semi-deciduous in the sense that it grows new leaves as old ones are lost.
“Softwoods” become dense from a small amount of earlywood and prominent amount of latewood (Southern Yellow Pine), or as consequence of a short growth period overall (circumpolar Scots Pine). Only birch will grow closer to the poles than Fenno-Scandinavian Scots Pine, and going by distribution maps Finland is blessed with the densest Scots Pine there is – possibly the best “softwood”.
Scots Pine is not very common in North America. In fact, it is in some parts viewed as an invasive species; something that potentially brings Mr. Cosman’s experience of this particular wood into some question.
Cosman is talking about using a 17° and CHOPPING with a mallet for cleaner cuts in pines. One of the issues is that these woods often have a marked difference in hardness between early and late wood. The issue isn’t just a Janka number. The lower angle doesn’t push the harder wood into the softer.
I have a couple chisels I grind to 17° and hone a couple degrees higher, so maybe 19°-20° overall. They do fine chopping any of the conifers including the Western yellow pines ( loblolly, lodgepole, Ponderosa) . I also pare domestic hardwoods with the same chisels. , but use a normal bevel to chop those woods because the Grain difference isn’t very obvious. Nothing special about the chisels. They are just Stanley 720’s.
To be clear, I’m talking about refining dovetails and such, not doing heavy chopping or prying mortises.
I don’t think A2 chisel respond well to the low grind though. Lie Nielsen says their chisels should be honed at 33-35°, probably because A2 has larger carbides.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.