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.

Making Your Own Chisel Handles

You don’t have to own a lathe to make replacement handles that will feel like an extension of your hand. by Roger Holmes pgs. 84-88 From the February 2002 issue #126 Buy the issue now A few months ago I had to face the unpleasant truth about my chisels. Given to me years ago...

Veritas Mortise Chisels from Lee Valley Tools

by James McConnell pg.14 The Veritas (Lee Valley) mortise chisels are awesome in every sense of the word. They’re big, heavy and can plow through a mortise in just a few good passes. The size, shape and substantial thickness of the blades bring English “dagger”-style mortise chisels to mind, while the overall shape and...

About My Love of 35°

I sharpen all of my plane irons and chisels at 35°. Here’s why: I do this to keep my sharpening regimen as simple as possible. I don’t want to pick up a tool and wonder: What angle is this sharpened to? I also don’t want to sharpen a tool, discover that I used the...

A New Trick With Alcohol (Without Jail Time)

One of the Tricks of the Trade in the June 2015 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine discusses how you can use denatured alcohol to stop crumbling end grain while chopping out dovetails. The trick states it’s best for softwoods, which is where you see the most crumbling. As my students are always worried about...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...