Woodworking Chisels

Selecting tool is the crucial part in wood working, where lots of tools are in use. To pick the perfect woodworking tool, the one should be aware of that tool. Tools which are in common use are axes, chisels, saw blades and many more. Every tool will be in many shapes and sizes. Chisels are can be used for various purposes – rounding the corners, suare up boards, as a scraper glue can be removed in closed places and other things. Woodworkers with lot of imagination and creativity use woodworking chisels for ingenious use too. Let us dwell deeper in to this.

The root word ‘Caedere’ (“to cut”) leads to Caesellum and that leads to a French word ‘cisel’ (ciseau) from where the word CHISEL is derived. Chisel comes with a handle made of metal or wood and a cutting edge blade in another end for cutting a hard material, which may be wood, stone and a metal. The other end is a handle made of metal or wood. This handle can be either parallel or perpendicular to the cutting edge. This sharp edge is placed against the wood. The other end is pounded or pushed with a millet or a hammer. This in turn creates a cut. The cutting edge of a chisel can be straight, curved or V-shaped to suit the shape to be achieved.
Chisels with different shapes are called in different names which used for various different purposes. Some of them are below.

Butt Chisel

Woodworking butt chisel name is derived from one of its primary use in cutting pockets for butt hinges, which is frequently used by carpenters in the fitting of butt hinges. If your woodworking and cabinetry includes cutting the woodworking joints, creating hinge pockets and installing door handles and latches, then it is must to have a general purpose set of bevel-edge chisels in quarter-, half-, three-quarter- and one-inch width. This chisels are designed with relatively long blade with a flat bottom surface and angled corners with the top edges which makes a perfect tool to handle woodworking and cabinetry.

Paring Chisels

Woodworking paring chisels are flexible, long chisels which are not malleted.  They are used for removing a thin layer of wood when fitting joints.  Paring chisels are also used to clean female sliding dovetail sockets. They are long in length and provide  maximum control. A Handle pushes  the chisel forward and the other does the cutting action. These are ideal for cleaning grooves and can be used to access tight and closed spaces.  A Japanese paring chisel is heavier and has a thin triangular section. The heavier chisel ensures that this has maximum strength but there is lesser flexibility.

Mortise Chisels

Woodworking mortise chisels are malleted into the wood and waste is removed after levering it. Mortise chisels have thick and rigid blades. They have straight cutting edge. The sides are slightly tapered to make mortises and joints easily. Long length Mortise chisels are used by factories generally and small length ‘ sash’ mortise chisels are for bench use.

Carving Chisels

These are used for sculpting and for intricate designs. Carving chisels have many edges. Different types of carving chisels are -V groove, Parting, Paring,Gouge and Skew types.

Corner Chisels
Corner chisels have L shaped cutting edge.  Corner chisels resembles a punch. These can be used to clean grooves, square holes and right angle corners.

Framing Chisels

Framing chisels are long  with slightly flexible blade and similar to  butt chisels. These are typically used with mallet. Sometimes can be used with paring chisels with beveled edges. They have socket handles. Some of these may be used with square edges  and 20-30 degree bevels.
Slick Chisel
Slick chisels
are large with a heavy 2-4 inch frames with long handles  upto 2 feet.  These are designed for paring large timbers.  Slick chisels are never struck with a hammer or a mallet. They are driven by manual pressure.  These are dangerous and one must be careful while handling slick chisels.

Bevel Edge Chisel
Bevel edge chisel have long blade and  are typically used for creating cutting joints, hinge pockets. Bevel edge chisels are also used for installing door handles and latches. These are short and can give maximum control to the user. One of the most popular  and the first tool to be bought for a woodworking tool shop. Bevel edge chisel have the widest possible combination available in the market. These bench chisels are the foundation tools for the woodworker.

Quality of Chisels for Woodworking

The key to quality in a woodworking chisel is the steel. It should be hard enough to hold an edge, but not so hard that it becomes brittle. And sadly, one can’t buy good quality wood chisels just anywhere. Specialty woodworking supply outlets   such as GarrettWade or Lee Valley are couple of best places to find good quality woodworking chisels.

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