Hand Tools Archive

Re: same geometry, different approach

John Aniano in central NJ

I looked at both of Peter Follansbee's two books (the joint stool book and his newest Joiners Work) and he describes his mortising method pretty much as it was described above. And the method obviously works. However...

If one is riding the chisel's flat face down on the ~60 degree slope, the diagonal side shearing/paring won't occur as well as if riding the bevel down, as I described further down in this thread. Especially if the chisel cross section is tapered. If the cross section is parallel, the shearing could occur, if the construction of the tool is not laminated. Most of my mortise chisels are laminated, so the high quality steel is along the flat face.

Does it matter? That remains to be seen. I think that the bevel riding method might produce a cleaner side to the resulting mortise. In my opinion (and experience) when working with a tool, any tool, on a skewed diagonal, there are benefits in terms of producing a more flat surface. Not always, but often.


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