Wednesday, March 7, 2018

My favorite chisels

Planes seem to get all the love from hand tool woodworkers but it is with chisels that my work really gets done. Without my beloved bits of razor sharp steel on wood handles, I would be lost and totally useless in a woodshop. Aside from my full set of Gabriel hollows and rounds, they are most prized tools and the things I would run into a burning shop to save.

I have many wonderful chisels but I thought that a closer look at a few of my favorites might be appreciated.

My Blue Spruce paring chisel which I purchased at Woodworking in America a couple of years ago is pretty high on the list. It is beautifully made tool that, more importantly, works beautifully too.
All the best,

My workaday bench chisels. A mostly full set of William Butchers with one no-name, a Lakeside, thrown in. The Lakeside is my favorite overall chisel and the one I grab for first for most shop tasks. It is also the only tool with which I have ever seriously hurt myself, having nearly lost the tip of my right pinky finger in a moment of sheer stupidity involving poor work holding choices. The handles, except for the vintage one in the middle, are shop made in a process I documented here on the blog.

I also enjoy my Lie-Nielsen bench chisels. They are truly beautiful tools that I use less than I should.

My Iles mortising chisel. I have some vintage ones too but the Iles usually gets the nod for any task which can accommodate the 3/8" width. I should just bite the bullet and get one in 1/4" and maybe 1/2" too.

I'm always on the lookout for new chisels as well. Do you have any particular favorites of which I should be made aware? Let me know in the comments section.


Sunday, March 4, 2018

Shop improvements project part 2

I'm closing in on finally being comfortable enough with the condition of the shop to start working again. While cleaning I found some tongue and groove siding boards that I had left over from another project, so I decided to put them to use in the shop.

Getting good lighting conditions for taking print worth pictures has always been a problem for me. Hopefully these bright, clean walls will help. Once I finish putting up boards on the first floor walls I'll paint all the pine white, I will leave the exposed timbers in weathered condition for appearances sake. 

I also took some time to put an extra upper kitchen cabinet into position at the end of the bench. Previously this had been a catch-all at the other end of the shop. I will store my molding planes in this cabinet once I add a few shelves and put doors on it. I'm trying to decide if I want glass doors or doors with a whiteboard panel in the center for making shop notes. I currently write quick notes, measurements, etc. directly onto my bench top so a whiteboard would be useful.

I also found time to replace my 15 year old and totally worn out bench hook. More on this to come.

All the best.