In Chisels, Chris Schwarz Blog

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Reaching underneath my tool rack can be like sticking my hand in a lion’s mouth.

All of the dangling edge tools have alternately shaved, nicked and scared the bejeezus out of me over the years. So I try to protect the tips of my sharp tools whenever I can. And when a tool doesn’t come with a tip protector, I make one from a business card.

Fold the business card in half and lay the tip of the tool into the crease. Fold the card shut on the tool.

Wrap the sides of the business card around the edges of the tool. For narrow tools you might have to snip some of the business card away.

Then wrap the card tightly with tape and cover the whole thing with gold leaf (just kidding). I use painter’s tape, which we have in abundance here.

These home-brew protectors stay on fairly well and last a long time.

– Christopher Schwarz


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Showing 9 comments
  • Hank Knight

    I did exactly this for years using blue tape and various kinds of paper and lightweight cardboard. I removed all the protectors when I noticed that the chisels I didn’t use often were rusting along the edge. I think some kinds of paper are a little hygroscopic and cause rust. I’ve recently made some edge protectors for my mortise chisels using a layer of rust inhibiting paper between the steel and the cardboard. So far I’ve not seen any rust on my pigstickers.

  • Gordon

    Chris,
    Why not bite the bullet and purchase chisel protectors from Lee Valley. I did this after messing aroung with business cards, wax and some plastic coating products which either fell off or got knocked off causing me to chase them from under and in back of my bench. The LV protectors fit tightly enough that you can hang the tool from the loop on the protector. They won’t fall off and you can hang them on a nail while you are using the chisel(s).

    R/ Gordon

  • Joel Jacobson

    > … Leather chisel booties might look nice alongside your plane cozies.

    Careful- Some types of leather can cause corrosion.

  • Marcus

    I think that is a stealth gloat over that nice old buck bros chisel. Thanks for the tip! (pun intended)

  • The Village Carpenter

    I don’t know, Chris. Leather chisel booties might look nice alongside your plane cozies.

  • dave brown

    I was gonna submit that for tips & tricks this month!

  • James Watriss

    I do something similar with manila folders to protect my Auriou rasps before I chuck em in a drawer full of hammers and wrenches…

    Just kidding.

    I do it for my nicholson rasp and body file before throwing it in my tool chest. The Aurious all still have their original sleeves, until I get a tool roll for them.

  • Keith Mealy

    Two other options (courtesy of Cinci Woodworking Club):
    Take an old milk or orange juice plastic bottle. Heat it gently with a heat gun until the plastic becomes more or less clear. Plunge in the chisel and twist it. With a gloved hand, smooth out the surface and let cool.

    Buy some heavy duty electrical shrink tubing. Harbor Freight is a good, inexpensive place. Slip it over the tip, fold it back and heat. Likewise finish forming with a gloved hand.

  • CatX

    Ooooh! Perfect! I’ve got a stash of old business cards that are just a bit too useful to get rid of, and a bunch of dangerous edges that could use a bit more protection.

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