Hand Tools Archive

Pictures from Testing for Article

David Weaver
I did a more controlled test (not a scientific statistical test, but reliable enough to test a theory).

I thought at the outset that the unicorn would make the cheap chisels better really good chisels with a flat bevel. Well, not quite. But close chopping maple.

All chisels were flattened on a washita that has 1 micron diamonds on the surface. The washita cuts fast enough that I think the diamonds are meaningless, but the finish on the back of the chisel from the washita could be the difference in effort needed.

13/16ths of maple, 1 3/8" tall and one inch of cut length chopping. Using a verawood mallet and only rotating my wrist so as to have a similar strike each time. The two V11 unicorn tests were first and last. I was pleased to see them so close together in effort, but I didn't run them to prove that. I ran them because my first go at unicorn on V11 didn't yield no edge damage and in my test with the verawood mallet, I'd need to experiment with it a little bit more to accommodate it. That aside, I ran a single test with a 25 degree edge and aside from some large areas of failure, some parts of the v11 edge were clear for the width of the microscope view (2 hundredths). You could chop for a while at 25 degrees if finish isn't important and you were will to do a very hefty job on the next sharpening. It's different than the others.

Here is a table of the results (note that I managed to do some very minor rounding of the back edge of the Mk2 chisel and have to admit it was beneficial for one reason - that chisel went straight into the cut without any diving, even with a heavy cut. I intended to just apply the method and record data, not do it over and over and over until I couldn't see any faults. Because nobody here will do that, either.

I'm going to post this as a gallery to imgur without any explanation and see what kind of goofy comments come from it :)

(first pane in the picture is just after honing, and the rest are after chopping maple)

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