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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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...

Stanley's New 750 Chisels Have Landed

After a number of delays and revisions, Stanley has released its long-awaited line of 750 series of chisels for woodworking. One of the first sets arrived on my desk on Monday, and I’ve been examining them during endless conference calls. I’ll be setting up the chisels during the coming week, in between filling in...

Buy it Now: Blue Spruce Tool Roll

I dislike using other people’s tools when I travel. And I dislike it when all my tools fall tips-first into the concrete. Oh, and I also dislike all of the tool rolls I’ve encountered. I’ve bought flimsy, poorly designed, ill-stitched tool rolls all my life. None really worked and so I have just taken...

Help the Jeske Family (and Yourself)

If you’ve ever met Dave Jeske at Blue Spruce Toolworks, then you don’t have to read the next sentence. You already know he is one of the nicest, most honest and talented toolmakers working today. Jeske sent out his tool newsletter this week and there was a new item offered: tool rolls. I saw...

Do You Sharpen Too Much?

When I teach people to sharpen I notice a bad habit that many of them have: They think that rubbing the tool against a stone is sharpening. The more they rub, the sharper it gets, no? Well, no. I think that sharpening is more about seeing and feeling than it is about rubbing. (Snakes...

Quick Update on the Stanley Chisels

Stanley’s Sweetheart socket chisels should be for sale in the United States in about six to eight weeks, according to a company product manager. The chisels are in the final testing stages in the United Kingdom right now. The chisels were unveiled at a press conference in June. Since then, I have been hammered...

Rehandling a Chisel

For the last week or so I’ve been researching the science of smacking the snot out of things. I’ve been reading lecture notes from a Harvard course on “fracture mechanics,” learning what the Timber Construction Manual has to say about “design values for bearing on end grain” and hearing about the construction of escrima...

Video: Stupid Shim Tricks

Some wide chisels and narrow plane irons don’t work well with the cheap-o side-clamp honing guide. They are too narrow to fit between the walls on the top of the guide. And they are too wide or thick to fit between the dovetailed ways in the guide. And setting the tool on the guide...