All About Chisels
Mortise? Bench? Butt? What do you need? We tell you what the catalogs don't
Synopsis: On the surface, a chisel is a simple tool — just a cutting edge attached to a handle. But once a woodworker starts to buy and use chisels it is easy to be overwhelmed by the array of tools available. Pick up any two woodworking books, and you’ll quickly find inconsistencies in chisel nomenclature — mortise, bench, butt, bevel-edge, paring, firmer, even pigsticker and gooseneck chisels. What’s the difference? What kind to buy first? And what kind of steel is best? Woodworker and boatbuilder Bob Smalser tells readers what the tool catalogs don’t.
Are you a bit overwhelmed by the array of chisels available today? I’ve been at this craft since the late 1950s and I still get confused. Back then, I worked part time in my uncle’s boat shop, sharpening edge tools and handsaws for two lifelong wooden-boat builders. With generations of family tradecraft behind them, these…