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Thread: Shop modified registered chisel

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Whittier, CA, USA
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    Shop modified registered chisel

    I am working on some high beds for my daughters (post when completed) that required some 3/8" mortise work. I thought I had a 3/8" chisel, turns out I don't. I tried to find an older bench chisel to match my "vintage" Stanleys, but none readily available on the web at this time. So I went to Lowe's to get a Stanley FatMax since they're cheap, forged and Sheffield steel. As I had the 3/8" one in my hand inspiration struck. I bought the 5/8" one instead for $10.

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    I took it home and blocked it in my drill press vise with shims below and on one side. I chucked up a mounted point on the drill press that I normally use on a die grinder.

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    After putting on my safety shield, dust mask and close fitting work gloves I spent the next hour taking tiny grinds off the edges of the chisel. The temperature never got high enough to worry about losing the temper.

    I kept grinding keeping parallel to the factory edge of the bevel. When I got to .410" I took some measurements with a trusty micrometer and adjusted for .010" out of parallel. I worked both sides down to .374" and ended up only .002" off. I worked the rest off on a granite block with sharpening paper.

    Here's the end product.

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    I have always balked at buying mortise chisels or registered chisels because I don't often need them. But now I might grind some more in 1/4", 5/16" and 9/16 as these are the mortises I tend to use with my mortising machine.

    An inexpensive solution to a small problem I had.

    Cheers.
    Last edited by Dan Gonzales; 02-24-2010 at 09:57 AM.
    Dan Gonzales
    Whittier, CA, USA
    Dona nobis pacem

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Amherst, New Hampshire
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    Great idea and fix Dan
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  3. #3
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    Very slick, Dan. Great idea.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Delton, Michigan
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    quess i missed it dan,, why grind of a 5/8 chisel to 3/8" rather then gettin the 3/8" to start with?
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by larry merlau View Post
    quess i missed it dan,, why grind of a 5/8 chisel to 3/8" rather then gettin the 3/8" to start with?
    I wondered 'bout that also.
    BTW, wats a 'registered' chisle?
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  6. #6
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    Oct 2006
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    The registered chisel has straight sides (like a mortise chisel) instead of beveled/chamfered sides (like a bench chisel). Compare the sides of the chisel in the first pic with the one in the fourth pic.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Whittier, CA, USA
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    As Vaughn said a registered chisel has flat sides instead of a bevel edge. As you chop out a mortise the sides of the chisel register against the side of the mortise to keep it square.

    Here is the $40 version from Sorby.

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    The more robust sash chisel helps you chop out deeper mortises again taking advantage of the flat sides, in this case very large in comparison to the blade width. Sometimes referred to as pig stickers.

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    Holding the Stanley FatMax I noticed two things that made me consider working it down into my home ground registered chisel. How thick it was compared to a typical "quality" bench chisel and the steel tang running all the way thought the handle. Also for $50 I could have a set of chisels for mortising. I know it isn't the same quality steel as the $40 versions, but they will work just fine for my needs.

    Hope this makes sense.
    Last edited by Dan Gonzales; 02-24-2010 at 04:32 PM.
    Dan Gonzales
    Whittier, CA, USA
    Dona nobis pacem

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Dan, makes sense. Thanks, always learning here.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  9. #9
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    Nov 2006
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    Delton, Michigan
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    i knew the difference between a mortise chisel and the bench just didnt see that happening in your method but now i can after i look at it in a different light. thanks dan
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Bellingham
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    2,450
    Tools for Working Wood has a good short guide to chisels (with pictures!). Here is the link << here >>

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