Sparky1951

Good starter set of chisels.

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I have an old set of Sheffield Marples and they have served me well. They were also inexpensive.

I have two 22" toolboxes full of chisels. I have Ulmias and others that never get used to amount to anything. I have a few of the Marples boxwood handled chisels that I use for paring, and an oddball collection of the Blue plastic handled Marples that get called on first usually.  I just bought a set of 7 on ebay for $60.  I bought a 3/4" Irwin for a beater, and even though I thought maybe the whole production got moved to China, it holds an edge as good as the old ones with the Marples name on the handle. I carved mortises in Maple beams all day with the Irwin , and whetted it once during the day.  I don't think anyone "needs" a better chisel than these.

 

My recommendation, as a starter set, is to buy some of the old blue handled Marples off ebay, and put some of your money in Wood is Good mallets. Even the Irwins if you don't mind the Chinese part.  My favorite chisels used to be Stanley no. 40s, but over the years all the handles got trashed by using a hammer.  The Wood is Good mallets are really easy on the chisels, and your arm.

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Personally, I'm all for old chisels...

They're generally inexpensive, they're generally made better, often the steel is a higher quality.

The problem with new chisels is that they are not left to settle. Steel that is forged or cast gains stresses, which like wood, warp out over time. The old way to get around this was to leave the chisel, before grinding, for a year so that everything came out. The new way is to make the chisel thicker and heavier, so that it will move less.

Personally, the weight balance of old chisels (I'm talking 1900-1920s here, bevel edged), and that the sides are often taken down to the thinnest edge, I don't believe they can really be beaten...

 

Just my tuppence

 

Fraser

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Personally, I'm all for old chisels...

They're generally inexpensive, they're generally made better, often the steel is a higher quality.

The problem with new chisels is that they are not left to settle. Steel that is forged or cast gains stresses, which like wood, warp out over time. The old way to get around this was to leave the chisel, before grinding, for a year so that everything came out. The new way is to make the chisel thicker and heavier, so that it will move less.

Personally, the weight balance of old chisels (I'm talking 1900-1920s here, bevel edged), and that the sides are often taken down to the thinnest edge, I don't believe they can really be beaten...

 

Just my tuppence

 

Fraser

Did not know this, you taught me something new today.

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I was hoping someone would want them.  I don't think there are many readers on here anyway, so it shouldn't get too competitive.  I'm always on ebay.  I've been looking for a steep angle snipe plane for a good while.  I've seen them go for a couple of hundred dollars.  Here's one of my purchases yesterday.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Good-side-snipe-moulding-plane-/350829263797?_trksid=p2047675.l2557&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEWNX%3AIT&nma=true&si=GUuFltvwz7UAtaNiaFWOthHV9IQ%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc

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I was hoping someone would want them.  I don't think there are many readers on here anyway, so it shouldn't get too competitive.  I'm always on ebay.  I've been looking for a steep angle snipe plane for a good while.  I've seen them go for a couple of hundred dollars.  Here's one of my purchases yesterday.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Good-side-snipe-moulding-plane-/350829263797?_trksid=p2047675.l2557&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEWNX%3AIT&nma=true&si=GUuFltvwz7UAtaNiaFWOthHV9IQ%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc

interesting. I'll have to google what that thing actually does! I'm just getting into hand tools, and there's so much out there I have no idea what actual use is. I'm eyeing these marples. hopefully no body else here is too.. almost closing time..

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A snipe billed planes cuts the quirk in a piece of molding.  If I have just one short piece of molding to reproduce, I'll do it by hand.  The picture below shows one piece I had to make for one room, that didn't exactly match anything else in that house, which was only about 6 feet long.  It took about a half hour by the time I got out the right tools, and took the piece to where I had the tablesaw nearby to rabbet off most of the waste.

 

http://www.historic-house-restoration.com/images/novdec2012_018.JPG

 

That piece didn't have much of a quirk-the little groove that starts the big part of the ogee next to the thickest part of the molding.  I think the Joiner who made the molding in that room had worn down the quirk cutter part of the plane that made the original molding.

 

By the way, the bench is the portable Lervad that Chris Shawrtz says nobody has a use for.  It's only about 5' long, but easily portable.  I bought it new in the '70s, and have used it a lot.  I put the corner up against a wall near a window, and it holds its place just fine.

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Tom, thanks for sharing! Learn something new everyday. btw-didn't win the chisels, but I appreciate the tip. 

 

I found a (new to me) semi-local hardware store that has some Freud chisels - made in Italy if i recall correctly. Anyone have any takes on those?

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I agree with a lot of the members on here regarding the Narex chisels being a great starter set. I got a set of the classic narex chisels including 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 3/4", and 1" for a really reasonable price from lee valley. The nice thing is that from using them over the course of a couple years I learned which chisel I tend to go to the most. I just recently upgraded to a PM-V11 chisel for a hefty price of $78 but I only got one which is the 3/8" cause I found that over the course of a couple years, that was my personal go to chisel for everything. Now everyone has their thoughts and opinions on which size chisel is the "go to" size but only you can answer that question for yourself. So in conclusion I would start with the narex classic chisels and later down the road IF and ONLY IF you want to upgrade you can choose which chisels in your collection you want to upgrade so you don't break the bank getting premium chisels of every size. 

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Personally, I'm all for old chisels...

They're generally inexpensive, they're generally made better, often the steel is a higher quality.

The problem with new chisels is that they are not left to settle. Steel that is forged or cast gains stresses, which like wood, warp out over time. The old way to get around this was to leave the chisel, before grinding, for a year so that everything came out. The new way is to make the chisel thicker and heavier, so that it will move less.

Personally, the weight balance of old chisels (I'm talking 1900-1920s here, bevel edged), and that the sides are often taken down to the thinnest edge, I don't believe they can really be beaten...

 

Just my tuppence

 

Fraser

I have never heard of this, steel warping over time.  Steel of course warps constantly and residual stresses in the metal can mess you up, but I have never heard of it happening in metal over time.  I work with a lot of machinists and designers in a metal stamping company so while thicker chisels will warp less in heat treat, it will be right away.  I have also not seen any claims about that happening over time instead of instantly in knife making forums.

 

I would be interested in seeing information on steel warping due to internal stresses over time.

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I have never heard of this, steel warping over time.  Steel of course warps constantly and residual stresses in the metal can mess you up, but I have never heard of it happening in metal over time.  I work with a lot of machinists and designers in a metal stamping company so while thicker chisels will warp less in heat treat, it will be right away.  I have also not seen any claims about that happening over time instead of instantly in knife making forums.

 

I would be interested in seeing information on steel warping due to internal stresses over time.

I'm not sure it warps, literally by itself, my guess would be grinding/honing it over time cause internal stresses to be released unevenly. I've seen this when machining certain grades of steel.

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I'm not sure it warps, literally by itself, my guess would be grinding/honing it over time cause internal stresses to be released unevenly. I've seen this when machining certain grades of steel.

Yea. But that isn't going to be effected by letting it sit for a year. You can normalize the steel to remove such stresses but then you just lost your heat treat.

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Yea. But that isn't going to be effected by letting it sit for a year. You can normalize the steel to remove such stresses but then you just lost your heat treat.

 

I don't know about steel, but high end machine tool manufactures used to let the rough cast iron castings sit for years before machining them. I'm talking like 75 plus years ago, They would let them set fully exposed out in the elements for a few years. I remember my father said the hot and cold cycling of the sun & weather released all the internal stresses.

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For cast iron I don't know if it is even flexible enough to warp.  I can think of reasons to do that for other things, cracks for example might propagate over the heating and cooling cycles, but not warping is one of the reasons they use cast iron for those things in the first place.  It could also simply be it is easier to store them instead of setting up the molds each time you need more.  I will ask my coworkers about this.

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For cast iron I don't know if it is even flexible enough to warp.  I can think of reasons to do that for other things, cracks for example might propagate over the heating and cooling cycles, but not warping is one of the reasons they use cast iron for those things in the first place.  It could also simply be it is easier to store them instead of setting up the molds each time you need more.  I will ask my coworkers about this.

 

 

It will for sure warp. Anything that is cast will warp, what maters is the scale of the warping. For a high end machine tool, warp of even a thousandth of an inch over a foot is unacceptable.  

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But they don't care about casting warping, as the important surfaces are always machined.  It is that it won't warp in the machining process from residual stress being relieved by being cut off.

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 It is that it won't warp in the machining process from residual stress being relieved by being cut off.

 

yea, that's what i meant.

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Seems that is what they used to do, though if it worked or was just something they did with cast iron at the time.  Now with metalurgy being a more exact science and heat treating being more precise it has fallen out of favor.

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I have a full set of the Narex bevel edge chisels as my primary chisels, plus one of their mortising chisels. I am a fan. They sharpen up well, they are decently made, and they hold an edge reasonably well. They all came nice and slat and took maybe 10-15 minutes each to get into a nice usable shape.

Other than the Narex, I have a set of vintage Stanley 720 paring chisels and some beaters. I use the Narex stuff 80% of the time and have seen no reason to upgrade.

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As someone who's been through the whole "gear up" phase for the last four years, I'd recommend against a set. I do have a set of new Stanley sockets, but I use common sizes the most. Look at H.O. Studley.... even his 1/2" chisel was worn down the most out of all his chisels.

 

My favorite chisels are the ones I picked up at M-WTCA meets. Old Buck Bros and Stanleys. I have a 2 1/2" Weatherby firmer chisel that is awesome. I think I paid 20 bucks for it.

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