Hand Tools Archive

Subject:
Re: My most unusual chisel, steel related

david weaver
Agreed - the HSS that's laminated is glued rather than forge welded. Forge welding requires very plain steel, and power to do it practically (without voids and to get a good forge weld).

From a practical standpoint, I don't know how one would heat treat 52100 or 1095 in a fast quench without a backer. I bought 1095 drill rod when I was thinking about trying to make my own chisels (which is a serious time waster and a danger of spending a lot of time to make a subpar tool if you're doing it with plain carbon steel and filing in bolsters, etc) and then read about heat treating after that.

The only good answer I saw was to quench it in oil as it would warp or crack in water or brine if not laminated or very thick in cross section. So as far as I can tell, I've stuck myself into either making it very thin or just having something not as good as O1.

I'm not aware of any laminated HSS that isn't glued prelaminated material. Woodwell's HSS is either a solid chunk brazed to something (to make an entire iron), or like these chisels, just a solid slab. A shame in the case of this chisel as it has potential to be as good as anything at any price if it could be made in proportion to older chisels. It's a novelty as it is, but they are useful to grind into things if you have a use (engraving tools, etc). the wings could be ground off of this one and a purpose made bolster installed further down, but I'm not lacking chisels, either.

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