Date Friday, 10 June 2022, at 2:12 p.m.
Hi Derek and all,
You’re so right on David’s skilled work, and I’d like to say a few words to reinforce your point. � I was looking back at Smith’s Key (c. 1816) and Edward Preston’s 1909 catalog, to find the DNA of these chisels. � David’s bolsters are the older version as shown in Smith, while his blade length—9” to the bolster—is exactly as advertised in Preston. � What jumped out though, is that in both Smith and Preston, the bevel-edged chisels were approx. 60% more expensive, for both firmer and paring chisels. This speaks both to the work of grinding the bevels, as well as to the notorious difficulty of managing warp as the thin, high-carbon (unalloyed) chisel is plunged into and out of the quench.�
David has worked out a multi-step quench process—plus pressing between aluminum plates in between coolants— to control warp. �
You asked about the feel of the tool in use. � To date, I have only done some light paring with the 3/4 and 1/4 when replacing my ca. 1900 Sargent front door mortise lock. � In that case, and I’ll compare with Japanese chisels, the long straight reach of the English chisel easily allowed accurate paring 6” into the door. � For me, it is the long straight length that distinguishes these paring chisels. �
Visually compare David’s chisel with another real favorite, a 1/2” Funatsu (Funahiro brand) 14” long paring chisel. � One sees the longer registration and sight-line of the English chisel:
In side view, the differences in sight-line jump out. � The Funahiro is cranked a bit to provide hand relief—this also aids the sight-line. � But David’s chisel gives such a sense of plumb when paring dovetail sockets or a deep mortise:
This sense of plumb given by the English type really distinguishes it, in my opinion.
David will certainly appreciate your kind words, as do I and my iPhone camera😀.