Arts & Mysteries: Advanced Chisel Techniques

When you know what you’re doing, chisels can be wonderfully helpful tools.
By Adam Cherubini
Pages: 82-86

From the June 2005 issue #148
Buy this issue now

If all you want to do with your chisels is adjust machine-cut joints or slice glue drips, any technique or tool will work. This sort of work is occasional in nature, and not particularly strenuous. But chisels offer woodworkers the opportunity to do much more.

For machine-using woodworkers, chisels provide the opportunity to explore new possibilities. You can cut shapes with a chisel that are not achievable by other means. For the beginner lacking specialty machinery, chisels can be used to cut all manner of joints quickly and efficiently. But this work requires more effort than the occasional paring of a joint.

For this sort of work to be practical, we need much more thoughtful tools and techniques. The trouble is, neither the tools nor the traditional techniques are well-understood. What we need is a professional to show us his tricks and the tools we’ll need to perform them. That’s where I come in. Oh, no, I don’t mean me. See, the guy we need died more than 300 years ago.

In this, my second article on working wood quickly and efficiently with hand tools, we’ll look back in time in hopes of discovering the effective and efficient use of chisels.

From the June 2005 issue #148
Buy this issue now