Hand Tools

Subject:
Re: marples and more
Response To:
marples chisels... ()

Steve Voigt
The biggest gains with this method are made with marginal chisels.

This is an interesting question to me, as much for historical reasons as practical ones. I've got no interest in big box store chisels, but I've got a number of old chisels with lovely ergonomics (and aesthetics) but middling steel.
An enduring mystery (to me) is why so many vintage chisels are just not that hard. It's true of the round shank Marples, the early 20th C Buck Bros, and many others. A really hard (60+RC) chisel from before WWII is the exception, not the norm. I've spent years seeking out and hording the good ones.
Maybe with this method, you've figured out why makers just weren't that concerned with super hardness. But that in turn suggests that something like this unicorn thing was widely practiced--not with a buffing wheel, but in some other form.
No proof of that, of course. I haven't seen any historical sources that support it. But I seriously doubt that it wasn't discovered before 2020, and I have long thought that many hand tool techniques that were standard in the past have been lost. Maybe this is one of them. Pure speculation at this point, but worth looking into.

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