Tool Test: Ashley Iles Chisels Just for Dovetailing

By Christopher Schwarz
Page: 32

From the October 2008 issue #171
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You don’t have to have a specialty set of chisels to make hand-cut dovetails, but it sure does make parts of the process easier.

When dovetailing, chisels are used for three jobs: Chopping out the bulk of the waste, paring the remaining waste back to your baselines and cleaning up the acute corners of the dovetail sockets when cutting half-blind dovetails.

English toolmaker Ashley Iles has created a set of six chisels that handle two of these jobs with great aplomb. Four of the chisels are specially designed for paring out the waste between the tails or pins. The tops of the chisels have an oval profile that terminates in a knife-like edge along the length of the blade. This special shape allows you to sneak between the tail section of the joint to pare out the waste. Many modern chisels have chunky long edges that will bruise the joint.


From the October 2008 issue #171
Buy this issue now