Chisels

Chisels are one of the most fundamental and least understood woodworking hand tools – and there are literally hundreds of chisels and chisel sets available on both the new and used market, so how do you decide what to buy and how do you learn how to use a chisel? Look no further – the editors of Popular Woodworking Magazine show you how to choose the best chisels for the kind of work you want to do, and show you how to set up, sharpen and use this important woodworking tool.

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The 2014 Anarchist’s Gift Guide: Day 7

You do not need a complete set of 11 chisels from the 1/8” up to the monster 2”-wide chisel. Sure, the part of you that also collects Hummel figurines really wants a complete set, but most of the chisel sizes will go unused – even if you are an active woodworker. Your work and...

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Q & A: Why are new chisels so dull?

Q: Whenever I buy a blade, like a tablesaw blade or a router bit, it’s always sharp. How come when I buy chisels they’re duller than a math lecture on the last day of school?   A: Although it seems reasonable to expect new chisels to come sharp, there are three good reasons why...

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The Theory of Chisel Monogamy

When I teach woodworking, I talk a lot about monogamy. Not to your spouse (that’s your problem) but to your tools. I think it’s easier to learn to saw, sharpen and plane boards if you don’t jump around and use different handsaws, sharpening systems and bench planes. And when it comes to chisels, I’m...

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On the Precision of Chisels

When it comes to doing precision work that has to be performed over and over again, it’s easy to fall into the siren whine of the router. The router is probably my least-favorite woodworking tool. I don’t like how it is noisy. It never produces a ready-to-finish surface for mouldings. And it can destroy...

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Hand Tool Maintenance-Don’t Ruin Your Tools!

Woodworking, like fishing, covers a lot of territory, so the audience for our magazine and web site is a diverse lot. When I learned how to make stuff out of wood, the Internet didn’t exist and there was only one magazine and few books available on the subject. Lacking these modern resources, I was...

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Sharpening Angles for Dullards

The most embarrassing jig I’ve ever owned has been photographed, measured and pondered more than any single piece of fine furniture I’ve built. It’s a stupid little block of wood with stops on it for many common sharpening angles I use with my side-clamp honing guide – sometimes called the “Eclipse” guide because that...

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Tool Test: Blue Spruce Firmer Chisels

These traditional tools are a throwback for a thoroughly modern maker. By Christopher Schwarz Page 14 Perhaps the last tools I ever expected to come out of the Blue Spruce Toolworks are the most traditional set of modern bench chisels I have ever used. After all, Dave Jeske of Blue Spruce has spent all of his toolmaking career...

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The Joy of Chests

I can build a six-board chest entirely by hand in about 10 hours of shop time. That time starts with one 8’-long and one 12’-long board and ends with a paint job. In fact, I just did. The above statement is not a boast. Instead, it is a way to encourage you to build...

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Veritas’s New PM-V11 Steel Coming Soon

Unlike many hand-tool woodworkers (and turners), I’m not much of a steel nerd. I’m not on a quest for the steel that promises the ultimate in edge life. The reason I’ve not experimented with lots of exotic steels is that every time I used CMP-10V, CMP-3V, D2 or whatever I found that these steels...