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Old 01-20-2010, 01:03 PM
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Default Selecting a new Bench Chisel Set

Within the next couple days I am going to be purchasing a set of Bench Chisels. I've had my eyes on the Blue Spruce bench chisels for a long time now but as I do with any of my tool purchases I do the research so I make sure I get the best possible tool that fits my needs. So, I have been trying to look online at other chisels companies and I have not had good luck finding any other companies that make great chisels like Blue Spruce does. Can you guys recommend some companies that produce outstanding chisels? I am not interested in Japanese Chisels.
-Dave
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:01 PM
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Default Re: Selecting a new Bench Chisel Set

You'd be hard pressed to find anything nicer (or even as nice) as the Blue Spruce chisels. They feel amazing in the hand, and they're very thoughtfully designed and made. Dave Jeske is a one-man show, and I'd go out of my way to support him. He does really nice stuff.
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Old 01-21-2010, 04:06 AM
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Default Re: Selecting a new Bench Chisel Set

wow! those are probably the nicest looking chisels I have ever seen.

I just completed a set of five LN chisels but they do not compare to the beauty of the blue spruces. when I learn to turn I will make some curly maple handles for my LN chisels. I think then it would be a toss up.
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Old 01-21-2010, 12:20 PM
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Default Re: Selecting a new Bench Chisel Set

Thanks for the info Poto!
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Old 01-21-2010, 12:50 PM
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Default Re: Selecting a new Bench Chisel Set

The only disadvantage of the A2 steel blade chisels (LN & Blue Spruce) is that they need to be ground at 30 included angles as opposed to more typical <25 angle fine PARING chisels.

Last edited by RONWEN; 01-31-2010 at 04:04 AM.
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Old 01-21-2010, 01:10 PM
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Default Re: Selecting a new Bench Chisel Set

Quote:
Originally Posted by RONWEN View Post
The only disadvantage of the A2 steel blade chisels (LN & Blue Spruce) is that they need to be ground at 30 included angles as opposed to more typical 25 angle fine chisels.
If that's a concern, then check out these Lie-Nielsen Toolworks USA | O-1 Tool Steel Chisels

Mike
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Old 01-21-2010, 01:37 PM
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Default Re: Selecting a new Bench Chisel Set

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Originally Posted by TahoeTwoBears View Post
If that's a concern, then check out these Lie-Nielsen Toolworks USA | O-1 Tool Steel Chisels

Mike
Those LN"s sound pretty good although I really like the Blue Spruce chisels for their design & beauty.
I'm still learning about all of this woodworking "stuff" but I would think that 25 chisels would perform better than at 30 all other things being equal???
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Old 01-21-2010, 02:19 PM
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Default Re: Selecting a new Bench Chisel Set

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Originally Posted by RONWEN View Post
Those LN"s sound pretty good although I really like the Blue Spruce chisels for their design & beauty.
I'm still learning about all of this woodworking "stuff" but I would think that 25 chisels would perform better than at 30 all other things being equal???
Hey, a question I can actually answer intelligently!

The thinner the angle, the easier the tool will cut. But, as the angle gets thinner the edge gets weaker. At some point (down around 12 degrees in some steels) the edge will begin to fold rather than cut. Particularly hard steels will become brittle as the angle decreases. That is why you've never seen a "carbide chisel". Carbide is so hard that it is brittle at around 30 to 35 degrees.

Given equal steel properties, 20 degrees is just about ideal for a paring chisel and 30 degrees is just about ideal for something you're going to use with a mallet. The magical 25 is and always has been a compromise between the two for all around performance.

Ideally one would have a set of paring chisels with long blades and tough but not brittle steel ground to 20 degrees and a set of more ruggedly built chisels with harder steel ground at 30 degrees. If I were going to buy museum piece chisels like Blue Spruces, I personally would want them designed as paring chisels rather than choppers.
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:08 PM
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Default Re: Selecting a new Bench Chisel Set

good info Jeff!
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:27 PM
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Default Re: Selecting a new Bench Chisel Set

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Originally Posted by jeffinsgf View Post
Hey, a question I can actually answer intelligently!

The thinner the angle, the easier the tool will cut. But, as the angle gets thinner the edge gets weaker. At some point (down around 12 degrees in some steels) the edge will begin to fold rather than cut. Particularly hard steels will become brittle as the angle decreases. That is why you've never seen a "carbide chisel". Carbide is so hard that it is brittle at around 30 to 35 degrees.

Given equal steel properties, 20 degrees is just about ideal for a paring chisel and 30 degrees is just about ideal for something you're going to use with a mallet. The magical 25 is and always has been a compromise between the two for all around performance.

Ideally one would have a set of paring chisels with long blades and tough but not brittle steel ground to 20 degrees and a set of more ruggedly built chisels with harder steel ground at 30 degrees. If I were going to buy museum piece chisels like Blue Spruces, I personally would want them designed as paring chisels rather than choppers.

That would be my point. Because of the molecular structure of A2 most manufacturers don't recommend taking it to less than a 30 edge. Even the fine Blue Spruce dovetail paring chisels are made of A2 and ground to 30.
The more reasonably priced LN's that Tahoe pointed out are available in O-1 and ground to 25 which you could also decrease if you wanted to for paring.

Last edited by RONWEN; 02-02-2010 at 04:40 PM.
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