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Mortise Chisel Bevel

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Forum topic by ahriman posted 06-11-2020 01:06 AM 425 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ahriman

19 posts in 76 days


06-11-2020 01:06 AM

Topic tags/keywords: mortise chisel mortising chisel sharpening

I just picked up a 1/2” Isaac Greaves cast steel Pigsticker mortising chisel/home defense tool and am aching to whack it. However, I want the first whack to be a pleasurable experience so I am being patient and am wanting to sharpen it up first. That is where my confusion began. I did a bit of reading, which we all know is dangerous and that led to more reading … more danger because more opinions followed, and … well, you know where this goes.

The question is, what bevel do you suggest I put on this big honker? I have heard everything from 25 degree primary with a 35 degree secondary, to straight 20 degree no micro bevel, to plain 35 degree flat bevel.

I have heard the 20/25 degree primary/35 degree secondary perspective from a few different sources, including:
https://www.lumberjocks.com/Brit/blog/37823 (depressing how expensive pig stickers are getting).

I found this oft-posted article, https://toolsforworkingwood.com/store/dept/TBMC/item/MS-MORT.XX, and the logic behind the secondary and micro bevels seems solid, but it seems like a lot of work for not much gain. Perfectly willing to be wrong, especially given that Ray Isles wrote the article.

I am leaning toward a plain ol’ 35 degree flat bevel, what say you all? Am I setting myself up for a less-than-pleasant experience with that blunter bevel?

By the way, I am not a fan of hollow grinding, for no good reason other than it just does not feel right (yet?).

-- "Flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss"


14 replies so far

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theoldfart

11804 posts in 3257 days


#1 posted 06-11-2020 01:25 AM

I can’t tell you that the optimum bevel would be, I just hone my pig stickers at whatever bevel they come with. I can tell you that a hollow grind will weaken the front edge. Keep in mind stickers not only chop the mortise they also lever out the waste, something bench chisels and paring chisels are not designed to do. If you hollow grind then you have less material behind the front edge than you would with a flat grind. Just my two cents worth.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

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SMP

2251 posts in 711 days


#2 posted 06-11-2020 01:30 AM


I can t tell you that the optimum bevel would be, I just hone my pig stickers at whatever bevel they come with. I can tell you that a hollow grind will weaken the front edge. Keep in mind stickers not only chop the mortise they also lever out the waste, something bench chisels and paring chisels are not designed to do. If you hollow grind then you have less material behind the front edge thnt you would with a flat grind. Just my two cents worth.

- theoldfart

Good advice here. I can’t link the video because i purchased The English Woodworker’s sharpening series. But he talk about exactly that. You want to grind the bevel, then kind of just “roll” the secondary bevel over by hand. Kind of like what Paul Sellers does(he does that to all his chisels). Let me see if I can find a Paul Sellers video where he does that.(BTW the new Ray Isles mortise chisels are 20 primary and recommend a small 35 secondary)

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SMP

2251 posts in 711 days


#3 posted 06-11-2020 01:46 AM

Ok found Paul Sellers say what The English Woodworker also says. Paul calls it camber. But both explain its created by the natural movement of your arms and wrists. In the video right around minutes 4 to 5:
https://paulsellers.com/2012/01/sharpening-chisels-forget-weaker-micro-bevels/

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ahriman

19 posts in 76 days


#4 posted 06-11-2020 02:09 AM

Heresy, heresy I say; convex bevel (mumble, grumble … Paul Sellers doing it all backwards all the time … grumble).

-- "Flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss"

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Andre

3626 posts in 2612 days


#5 posted 06-11-2020 02:13 AM

I start with 25 degrees, which I find works for softer woods, when working with some harder stuff or knots will head for the 30 ish area. Sellers usually likes his bench chisels for mortises I thought? Which by the way actually works quite well, especially when doing larger mortises like over a inch wide.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

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theoldfart

11804 posts in 3257 days


#6 posted 06-11-2020 02:14 AM

Let’s be civil here, concave bevel!

Better?

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

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Andre

3626 posts in 2612 days


#7 posted 06-11-2020 02:17 AM

Think this was an 1” chisel in Oak, just picked up the 1 1/2” brother and a couple of Pig stickers! The stickers are more fun to beat on:)

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

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ahriman

19 posts in 76 days


#8 posted 06-11-2020 02:28 AM



Sellers usually likes his bench chisels for mortises I thought? Which by the way actually works quite well, especially when doing larger mortises like over a inch wide.

Here is the vid I remember to support your thought about Paul Sellers’ preference.
https://youtu.be/q_NXq7_TILA

-- "Flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss"

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SMP

2251 posts in 711 days


#9 posted 06-11-2020 02:32 AM



I start with 25 degrees, which I find works for softer woods, when working with some harder stuff or knots will head for the 30 ish area. Sellers usually likes his bench chisels for mortises I thought? Which by the way actually works quite well, especially when doing larger mortises like over a inch wide.

- Andre

He kind of goes back and forth. He also said the Ray Isles is the best mortise chisel he has used. Read the quotes at the bottom(also good info on this page)
https://toolsforworkingwood.com/store/item/MS-MORT.XX

View Racheed's profile

Racheed

5 posts in 191 days


#10 posted 06-11-2020 05:37 AM

All of my mortising chisels have a primary grind of 40 degrees and secondary of 45

View AESamuel's profile

AESamuel

105 posts in 2028 days


#11 posted 06-11-2020 08:57 AM

20 degree with no micro sounds incredibly weak for mortising, you’re not only driving the chisel tip deep but levering it as well.

Just hone it like you would any other general purpose chisel, then if you find micro chipping at the edge increase the angle and if you don’t and find it isn’t driving deep as you want decrease the angle.

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

3184 posts in 2604 days


#12 posted 06-11-2020 03:21 PM

I would consider what wood your planning on working with. It’s not a bad thing to have the bevel too shallow because it’s very easy to steepen it . Or just work the edge.
My mortise chisels are Japanese it think they are around 30 or 32. I know that I’ll be working with Alder this year and they cut very nicely and hold the edge.
Forget want the experts say and look to the wood for guidance.

Good Luck

-- Aj

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bandit571

26159 posts in 3489 days


#13 posted 06-11-2020 03:38 PM

Set of Narex Mortise chisels I have are at 25 degrees, single bevel. Have a 12mm Japanese Mortises chisel, it came with a 25 degree single bevel. Lately, have done most of the mortises I make in Ash.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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ahriman

19 posts in 76 days


#14 posted 06-11-2020 04:46 PM



Forget want the experts say and look to the wood for guidance.

This is simply good advice

-- "Flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss"

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