home made mortise chisel

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Project by WAPY posted 07-20-2017 12:39 PM 1809 views 3 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

another small project done.
this is a mortise chisel made with HSS-Cobalt steel, decidedly hard ( hrc is 70) and very difficult to shape.
I’ve grinded a standard HSS-cobalt bar, one of those aimed to serve as lathe tool (parting or anything else), for about 2 1/2” to make the tang. The bar is 8” lenght with square section of 0,55” (14mm).
The bevel is 35°, cutted under water to prevent heating the steel and thus keeping hardness.

The handle, admittedly not the best but working, is made of hard maple with hammer ferrule made out of iron (a ring cut out from a section of plumbing!). Again saving some money !

Any comment will be mostly helpful.

-- the good woodworker feels what the tree wanted to become

7 comments so far

View Charlie's profile


22 posts in 1294 days

#1 posted 07-20-2017 02:35 PM

Impressed. You’ll have more love for that chisel than any other!

-- Charlie

View Tony Ennis's profile

Tony Ennis

139 posts in 4110 days

#2 posted 07-20-2017 04:45 PM

It doesn’t count until we see you chopping a mortise.

We’re waiting.

Well? About done??

Haven’t got all day. Hurry up.


-- Tony

View Hazem's profile


261 posts in 2222 days

#3 posted 07-20-2017 07:30 PM

Can you make a video on how you made it?

Great project. God bless.

View NotaJock's profile


182 posts in 2073 days

#4 posted 07-20-2017 10:25 PM

Yes, cobalt is much harder than hi-speed.
I admire your patience for grinding that down.
Steels that hard tend to be brittle so use caution.
I put a piece of pipe on my chisel handles too, keeps them from splitting.
There will likely be times you’ll want to use that chisel sans mallet, a ridge or ramp
by the junction of the handle and the blade helps the thumb push there.
Well done.

-- Mike in SoCal, now East Texas

View Grumpy's profile


26793 posts in 4825 days

#5 posted 07-21-2017 12:21 AM

Fine job Wapy

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View WAPY's profile


56 posts in 1300 days

#6 posted 07-21-2017 08:09 AM

thanks guys.
for the video request, I could make one for the next chisel I’m going to make, smaller section but same method.
It will be a 3/8” (10mm). In the mean time may be some more picture of this one will be useful, I can disassemble it with easy.
I agree with you NotaJock, the handle flush with the body helps in delicate operations; that’s what I had in mind when shaped the handle; as I said, it could be less “aesthetic” but more suitable to me.

-- the good woodworker feels what the tree wanted to become

View dzan's profile


5 posts in 1547 days

#7 posted 07-22-2017 12:04 PM

Looks good Wapy,
As allready said by others, cobalt is hard indeed! That alls results in the shocks from impact with a mallet and the rebound travelling along the blade to be absorbed by the handle. that results in a higher risk of splitting the handle. You might consider adding a ferrule at the tang with a leather ring between ferrule and the root of the blade for extra shockabsorption.

-- D.

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