Hand Tools Archive

Re: Older steel and species match

david weaver
I'd say that the parers that I had (which were quite good), were a step below cast steel. Both in hardness and in gumminess, but the ones I had were nicely proportioned and not fat (I wouldn't have gotten them if they weren't).

There's an alternate discussion going on over there that I saw about japanese chisels. I'd agree with pete, if you're just looking for something that holds an edge well, japanese chisels do it better when set up properly than anything else I've found.

But I also found when mortising a couple of cocobolo plane bodies that I could take a typical older stanley chisel and add less angle than I thought and get them to hold up very well.

I didn't pay that much for the marples chisels that I bought ($160 or something for a set of 10 unused), and they'll be worth that when I've rehardened all of them, but I paid about the same amount for a set of shipped ashley iles bench chisels (which are much less heavy - especially in the larger sizes), and none of the marples chisels of that era would be the equal.

In all of the things that I've bought - I thought about showing my chisel racks in case someone would accuse me of not having the things that I say I have, but the volume of crap that I have might draw some heat....anyway, in all of the things that I've bought, this is probably the worst set of chisels and I'd imagine it was just a short term quality problem, but they're there.

Few of the sets of chisels I had wouldn't be good for everything set up properly. Even stuff like cocobolo.

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