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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My Chisel Handles are Older Than Yours

Exotic woods don’t blow my skirt/kilt/skort up much. In small doses they can look beautiful, but for the most part I find them oily, difficult to work and far too wild looking for full-size furniture. I’ve always preferred hardwoods and softwoods from the Northern hemisphere. Quartersawn beech is exotic to me. Quartersawn sycamore is...

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A Look at H.O. Studley’s Blades

When I inspect an antique tool – especially one that hasn’t been messed with much – I always take a look at the cutting edge. How was it sharpened? What is the shape of the edge? Did they do any work on the unbeveled face of the blade. Usually, the edges of most vintage...

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Make Your Own Edge Guards

When sharpened steel knocks into anything else, the result is usually dull steel. That’s why woodworkers protect sharp edges by wrapping our tools in canvas or leather tool rolls. Or we stuff them in smelly socks. Or we wrap them in special rags and refuse to even look at them for fear of them...

Don’t Forget About Sindelar’s Event This Weekend

Quick reminder: I’ll be in southwest Michigan this Saturday (June 4) giving demonstrations and generally mopping up the drool in my vicinity at the open house of tool collector John Sindelar. Sindelar is going to open crates of tools that haven’t seen the light of day in decades. And his tool museum is outrageous....

A Dance to Keep Your Stones Flat

Carpenter and woodworker Carl Bilderback never flattens his oilstones. And they are both dead flat – I couldn’t get a .00125” feeler gauge under a straightedge that I laid on the stones. His stones aren’t magic. He simply knows how to dance. The trick to keeping your stones flat is in how you hold...

Coming Soon: Grind, Hone & Get Back to Work

The best sharpening advice I ever heard was from Tony Konovalov: Grind, hone and get back to work. Or, to put it another way: Which is more fun? Making your tools sharp or making your tools dull? When it comes to sharpening tools, I am not meditative. I am not slow. I am not...

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New Stanley Chisels: A Fix for Loose Sockets

I finished setting up the eight new Stanley chisels this morning and will put them to work on some dovetails on Thursday morning. After re-grinding the three chisels that had their backs rolled over at the edge, the tools polished up quickly and nicely. They should – they are old school high-carbon steel. The...

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Setting up the New Stanley Chisels

I finally found the time (it was between the couch cushions) to set up the new Stanley socket chisels. I’m working on the backs today, and here’s the news so far. Of the eight chisels, I’d rate two of them as “very good” – almost dead flat. Three are “good,” meaning they need another...

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Using a Hand-cranked Grinder

Many woodworkers fear the act of grinding. And “fear” might be too kind a word. I’ve had several woodworkers send me tools to grind for them (please don’t do this). Other woodworkers spend hundreds of dollars on fancy tool rests or other grinding jigs to ensure that the tool will not catch fire, steal...