Though it might seem counterintuitive, sometimes bigger is better when you are doing fine work with veneer and inlays.
A wide chisel provides plenty of reference surface to keep delicate cuts straight and square and plenty of heft to slice effortlessly.
If you excavate for banding using a router, you will wind up with rounded outside corners. Once again, a wide chisel is better to square off those corners because you have plenty of reference area. I place most of the chisel against the straight cut left by the router and use just the last bit of the chisel’s edge to cut the corner square.
Another job for a wide chisel is to trim off overhanging veneer. While this can often be accomplished with a sharp veneer saw or a knife, when the overhang is cross banding with the grain oriented perpendicular to the edge, it’s very easy to break a piece off or get a ragged cut with a saw or knife.
— Frank Vucolo
p.s. Frank’s article, “Bookend Inlay” is in the November 2014 issue (on newsstands now); his “Federal Bow-front Table” graces the cover of the forthcoming December 2014 issue (at the printer now). — Megan Fitzpatrick