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 box says they have some chromium in them (to help prevent rust I presume), but they don’t have the gummy feeling on the sharpening stones that some tools get when they have lots of chromium.
If I put aside the three chisels that needed re-grinding, I’d say that these chisels were easy to set up. Not nearly as easy as Lie-Nielsen chisels. But definitely as easy as an Ashley Iles chisel or some other quality brands I’ve worked with.
It’s not that the backs were dead flat. They weren’t, and they don’t have to be. The backs need to be flat enough to polish the steel up by the edge, and really no more than that.