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Understanding The Different Types Of Wood Chisels

– In today's video, you'll learn about four different types of wood chisels so that you'll be clear on what each one does and why it does it so well. First up is the most common and most widely used chisel and that's the bench chisel. It gets its name because it's often found sitting on the work bench because it gets used so much. Bench chisels have a 25 degree, primary angle on the blade, and they do come in a few different options. The first option, and maybe the most common is the beveled edge chisel, like this one here. If you look close at the edge of this chisel, you can see that the edge is beveled and not 90 degrees to the top. This particular bench chisel has a fine edge bevel, meaning that the bevel goes almost all the way down, creating a very small 90 degree edge. However, if we look at this other beveled edge chisel, you can see that the bevel or relief angle doesn't go as far and it leaves a wider 90 degree edge. One of the reasons why people generally prefer a bevel edge is because it makes it possible to fit into tight corners like that produced when cutting a dovetail. The second option is what's called a firmer chisel. I don't have a firmer bench chisel in the shop, but the edge would be square or 90 degrees similar to this one here. Bench chisels can do almost any task and they're great for both chopping and pairing. And if you're not familiar with those terms, chopping is when you remove large amounts of material at a time and you would generally be using a mallet for this task. Pairing is when you remove thin layers of material while using just the strength of your hand. There's no need for a mallet here. Pairing is used often when you are at your final stages of fitting a joint and you just need to remove a little bit of material to get the joint to fit perfectly. Again, bench chisels are great for both chopping and pairing. That's why some people think that there's no need for any other type of chisel. Next is the mortise chisel. At first glance, you can see that it has a 90 degree edge and the steel is much thicker and more robust. On closer inspection, this mortise chisel has a 30 degree primary bevel. What this does is gives the leading edge of the chisel, a little more strength. Look at it this way, the steeper the angle, the stronger the edge, the shallower the angle, the weaker the edge. And you'll see an example of this when we get to the pairing chisel, The mortise chisel is designed to chop mortises, which require a lot of force so that edge needs to be strong. The combination of a thicker more robust steel, a steeper bevel, and a slightly longer overall length makes the mortise chiseled the perfect design for handling this work. The next chisel is a pairing chisel. And the one I have here is a custom chisel that has a primary bevel of 17 degrees, which means that the edge is very fragile, but it does a fantastic job at pairing and grain and softwoods. Again, pairing chisels are designed to be used mostly by hand to push them through the work. Unlike using a mallet for the other chisels. Pairing chisels generally come longer and they have longer handles. So as you can have more control when you're using the tool by hand. Now, the one I have here is not the classic looking pairing chisel, but they do come in many different shapes. Because of the very long bevel angle, these chisels are best for removing really precise amounts of wood. It's important to know that these types of chisels do require a better higher end steel to keep the edge sharp, again, because of the very low bevel angle. And if I put the three chisel side-by-side, you can see how much difference there is between the bevel of a mortise, bevel edge, and pairing chisel. The last chisel to look at is a construction chisel. Now not everyone separates this type of chisel out from the rest, but because I spent so many years in construction, I feel the need to talk about them separately. Construction chisels generally look a lot different than a good woodworking chisel and you can see that here with this DEWALT. They do, however, share the same bevel angle as the bevel edge bench chisel, which is 25 degrees. As you can see, this chisel is shorter than the others. It has a biomaterial handle not made from woods. It has a big striking cap for the use with a hammer. And the steel is generally a lower grade. Oftentimes these chisels are used for rough construction, demolition, and many other things that they were never designed to do, but that's what makes them so great. They can be used for fine woodworking however, I don't think they're going to produce a good enough results. Again, they have their place and that's what makes them so perfect for what they do. Now that we cover the four different types of wood chisels, let's look at three different ways that the handles can actually be attached to the blade. There are at least three ways that the handle gets attached to the blade of the chisel. And the first way is to use a tang. A tang is an extension of the blade if you will, that extends into the handle that helps bond the blade with the handle material making for a very secure connection. The connection is so secure that the handle cannot be removed, especially on a chisel like this. Now this chisel may not be the best example of a tang chisel, but it represents it pretty good. The next connection type utilizes a socket, both the mortise chisel and the bevel chisel here have a socket connection. And you can see that here more when I remove the handle. The handle gets installed into the socket and because of the nature of the joint, it gets tighter the harder you push or they're harder you tap on the handle. To firmly secure the blade, all you have to do is simply tap the handle like this on a bench. To remove it, flip the chisel around and hold the blade safely, of course, away from the sharp edge and tap the handle to break it free. Now, the only downside to a handle like this is that sometimes it can come loose without you knowing it. So you can pick it up off the bench and you can be carrying it along like this. And all of a sudden the handle comes loose and nine times out of 10, it falls on the concrete and destroys your fine sharp edge. The third and best type of connection in my opinion is to use a feral. This type of connection allows for the handle to be removed just like a socket chisel, but this one, the handle actually gets unscrewed. Once you remove the handle that you can see the extension with the aluminum cap on the end, then we can remove the feral, which completely breaks down the chisel. So why would you wanna remove the handle? Well, there's two main reasons. The first one being that it makes it easier to sharpen the chisel. The first step to sharpening any chisel is to make sure that the back is perfectly flat. And to do that, you need to be able to easily position a blade flat to your stone and a big handle could make that more difficult. On the socket chis

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