Hand Tools Archive

Re: Paring
Response To:
Re: Paring ()

Wiley Horne
Agree! If we’re talking about paring end grain, as in paring to the scribe line, I am finding that it is at least as hard on the tip as mortising. Which is completely non-intuitive.

A possible explanation is that tip damage (chipping) comes from shear, when the chisel is forced laterally in the cut, either by inadvertent hand-steering or wedging action of the bevel. Plus breaking through the paring cut into a shock when it hits the backing. Whereas mortising, if you avoid heavy levering, which I do, involves driving the chisel into support on both sides, so that shear is avoided because the lateral force generated by the bevel when the mallet hits the chisel with a shock, is avoided by the chisel tip burying into support on both sides. Just my theory.

I tested an extreme paring situation with a light 3/8” Imai White steel chisel—got chipping with flat bevel in the low 30s, and zero chipping repeating the same test after buffing, with attack angle 2 or 3 degrees higher. The test was paring off 3 lineal inches of red oak, taking approx. 1/32” per slice in 80 cuts, each slice 5/16 wide and 13/16 deep (to the backing).


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