STL 172: You're using your chisels wrong

STL 172: You’re using your chisels wrong

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Question 1:

From Larry:
After treating myself to a new set of bench chisels, I flattened and polished the backs and honed them to a sharp edge. Now I have a nice set of chisels, that hold an edge better than the ones I’ve used for the last 20 years, and I have doubled my upper body strength from the effort. Do you do anything to the bottom edges of the chisel to soften them as you may after flattening a hand plane? I know I want a sharp side edge at the tip, but I’m thinking about using a stone to soften the bottom edge, starting an inch or more back from the tip just to make them more comfortable in the hand. Is this a bad idea? I should be so lucky as to live long enough to hone the tip back an inch where this would be a problem.

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STL 172: You're using your chisels wrong

Question 2:

From Cameron:
I live in the northeastern US with hot humid summers and sub-freezing winters. My shop is setup in an uninsulated garage. I’m thinking of setting up a secondary workbench in my basement for hand tool work when the temperatures are on the extreme ends of the scale.  What risks are there with sudden temperature and humidity changes? For example, if I where to bring parts inside to cut dovetails, should I store them back in the garage when I’m done?

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Question 3:

From Matt:
I would like to get into spoon carving. Do you have any recommendations on where to source wood?

Question 4:

From Ron:
I have heard talk about the problem of tablesaw blade deflection when trimming a little off the side of a workpiece. I have also been counseled to “sneak up” on a fit. In my mind these two considerations are diametrically opposed. Is deflection a problem encountered when “sneaking up” on a fit? If not when is deflection a problem?

Every two weeks, a team of Fine Woodworking staffers answers questions from readers on Shop Talk Live, Fine Woodworking‘s biweekly podcast. Send your woodworking questions to for consideration in the regular broadcast! Our continued existence relies upon listener support. So if you enjoy the show, be sure to leave us a five-star rating and maybe even a nice comment on our iTunes page.


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STL 172: You're using your chisels wrong

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