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bringing back some old chisels

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Forum topic by BlasterStumps posted 10-26-2018 03:32 PM 511 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BlasterStumps

1308 posts in 833 days


10-26-2018 03:32 PM

I picked up a box of old tools the other day and in it was some Hart, Witherby, and at least one OVB chisels. Pretty rough shape, all of them. I started cleaning them up and have managed to put four of the smaller ones in fair condition. I would say that the ones that I have worked on have really good steel. Hard to sharpen for sure. I’m probably wasting my time on the larger ones but I will continue to work on them too. The 2” beveled edge is the OVB. I haven’t tested the steel of it yet. It may be worth the time and effort. My shopsmith lathe and me will have to get along for a while so I can turn a few handles. All I have is some big diameter beech dowel to use. Some of these chisels look like morticing chisels so I think handles like the one in the picture might be good. Wish me luck with the lathe.

-- "I build for function first, looks second. Most times I never get around to looks." - Mike, western Colorado


6 replies so far

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KYtoolsmith

78 posts in 254 days


#1 posted 10-26-2018 11:03 PM

Hello BlasterStumps, your project is a lot like what I did a few months ago. Still making handles now. I love the old square edge Firmer chisels. I made handles from Elm and hickory off my property. Used plumbing caps for strikers.

Regards, Kentucky Toolsmith

-- "Good enough" is just another way of saying "it could be better"...

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BlasterStumps

1308 posts in 833 days


#2 posted 10-27-2018 03:21 AM

Those chisels look quite nice Kentucky Toolsmith. Nice job.

-- "I build for function first, looks second. Most times I never get around to looks." - Mike, western Colorado

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Planeman40

1413 posts in 3154 days


#3 posted 10-27-2018 04:20 PM

Great find BlasterStumps!

I have a set that look just like that that I found in a junky surplus tool place here in Atlanta back in the late 1960s.. It was owned by a Delta Air Lines pilot who went to tool auctions at airplane factories and airlines around the country. The airplane factories that worked on government contracts were required to auction off all tooling bought for the project at the end of the contract to get some money back. Some very nice top end Starrett and Brown and Sharpe stuff in excellent condition were sold like this in bulk at these auction at pennies on the dollar. I bought a lot of it. Anyway, I ran across these chisels without the handles on a shelf and bought them for $2 each. The handles were in another box. The chisels had never been used and were like new!!! That place is gone now. I sure do miss it!

If you make the handles, here is a trick I used to precisely match the taper of the wood handles to the taper of the socket chisels. Turn the taper as best you can on the lathe, then insert the handles in the chisel socket and twist it around. This will make smooth marks on the high spots. Remove the handle and use a fine rasp to work down the high spots. Keep doing this until the handle fits the chisel socket perfectly. Yes, it is a slow process but it works. Also, I used this method on some carving tools I made. You can read how I did it here. http://lumberjocks.com/Planeman40/projects

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

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BlasterStumps

1308 posts in 833 days


#4 posted 10-27-2018 05:48 PM

Thanks for the tip on the tapers Planeman40. I need all the advice I can get when it comes to making chisel handles : )

-- "I build for function first, looks second. Most times I never get around to looks." - Mike, western Colorado

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Planeman40

1413 posts in 3154 days


#5 posted 10-27-2018 06:16 PM

One thing I forgot to say is I used some “Liquid Nails” as a glue to make sure the handles didn’t come loose in the socket. This is something carpenters use for glue that comes in a tube like caulking. I wanted something with gap filling ability that was strong. You can get it a Lowe’s and Home Depot. Works great so far.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

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KYtoolsmith

78 posts in 254 days


#6 posted 10-28-2018 02:41 AM

Another way to skin the cat… To make the handle taper fit a particular chisel I use hobby modeling clay (the non-drying grade school clay) pressed into the socket. When you carefully withdraw the clay, you have the depth and taper. Just measure and turn slightly long to allow for wood compression.
Regards, the Kentucky Toolsmith!

-- "Good enough" is just another way of saying "it could be better"...

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