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Author Topic: Suggestions for Timber Slick and Framing Chisel  (Read 2088 times)

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Offline bbaley

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Suggestions for Timber Slick and Framing Chisel
« on: December 15, 2017, 09:12:53 PM »
Hi all,
While I have many bench and woodworking chisels,
I am in the market for my first large framing chisel and slick.

I have completed a number of smaller timber framed projects (pavillion, sheds, etc) - but am looking to move up to some larger projects (a large carport and a small cabin)

So I am hoping to get some insight and ideas on what options I might consider for "decent" to "pretty darn nice" slick and framing chisel.
For reference, my "nice" sets of woodworking chisels are things like Ashley Iles Mk2 - not super expensive but really nice, well made English tools - that while not cheap won't break the bank, but I would consider an investment in a tool that will last forever if I take care of it.

I was thinking so far that I would want a 1 1/2" framing chisel
and a 2 1/2" slick
do those sizes make sense for general timber framing/post/beam projects of this scale (carports, sheds not log cabins, etc) ? 

I was hoping to get away with < $200 for slick and <= $100 for framing chisel.
Is that feasible ?

Your thoughts greatly appreciated !








Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Suggestions for Timber Slick and Framing Chisel
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2017, 09:29:56 PM »
I'm not aware of any new tools that compare with the old ones. The size chisel you need will depend on the joinery you need to cut. A 1.5 and a 2 inch is almost a must. I'd put that as a priority over a single width chisel and a slick. A slick isn't really necessary until you start doing a lot of scarf joints or really big tenons. Barr chisels are high quality in construction, but not properly shaped,  in my opinion. And why anyone would think those little toothpick handles are suitable for use by humans is beyond my understanding.
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Offline scsmith42

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Re: Suggestions for Timber Slick and Framing Chisel
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2017, 09:36:20 PM »
Talk to Jim Rogers on this forum.  He is a wealth of knowledge about the tools and sells high quality, used timber frame tools.
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Offline Roger Nair

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Re: Suggestions for Timber Slick and Framing Chisel
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2017, 10:31:15 PM »
I agree with Dave, good old laminated chisel offer great value.  Look for chisels with enough belly in the bottom of the blade to provide offset so the socket and handle can be clear of the workpiece surface, so chisels become more versatile at planing.  Such a chisel outfitted with a long handle works very well at paring inside deep mortises with extremely good control.  a socket chisel  with a well fitted handle will hold fast but is easy to remove with a sharp rap on the socket with a mallet, so with a handle exchange you can get optimized function with driving and paring.  I have worked up framing chisels into paring chisel using old sledge handles that were broken off at the head.  My preferred length is from arm pit to finger tips in total length.  So with a limited budget, I'd get 1.5 and 2 inch chisels and work up some long handles.  Save up for a 3 inch slick if the work justifies, they are worth it.  Barr chisels are very good but the straight blade is centered on the socket, so they are limited at paring function and the straight blade has a tendency to dig in on deep work.  Vintage blades with belly are more easily controlled on deep work due to a counterforce generated from the belly.  Also vintage chisels have a slight taper in width from edge to heel which aids in withdrawal from deep mortises whereas a straight sided chisel will often jam in the mortise.   Some may doubt or object to my views but I stated with modern chisels but have been won over by vintage.
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Online DPatton

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Re: Suggestions for Timber Slick and Framing Chisel
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2017, 10:50:23 PM »
If you have the time and patiences to recondition an older somewhat abused chisel or slick you can find some older relatively inexpensive framing chisels on EBay. I have acquired a couple 1 1/2" chisels, a 2" chisel, and a corner chisel this way. You can also find old used chisels and slicks that are in good to excellent condition but you will pay full price for them. Personally I enjoy the challenge and work involved in giving these older, sometimes abused tools a new life.
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Offline bbaley

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Re: Suggestions for Timber Slick and Framing Chisel
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2017, 08:20:53 AM »
If you have the time and patiences to recondition an older somewhat abused chisel or slick you can find some older relatively inexpensive framing chisels on EBay. I have acquired a couple 1 1/2" chisels, a 2" chisel, and a corner chisel this way. You can also find old used chisels and slicks that are in good to excellent condition but you will pay full price for them. Personally I enjoy the challenge and work involved in giving these older, sometimes abused tools a new life.

I do - and I have done this a few times with bench chisels and old planes and irons.
I have looked off and on at them - I am just not familiar with the brands/mfg's to feel like I know I am not wasting my money...
so I will do more research and see if Mr. Jim Rogers as suggested has some ideas or possibly even the tools to sell.

thanks !

Offline carhartted

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Re: Suggestions for Timber Slick and Framing Chisel
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2017, 04:47:51 PM »
I started off buying used chisels on eBay. I got very fed up with not getting decent stuff and spending way too much time trying to redeem them. Ended up buying a set of Barrs and have been extremely happy with them. My brother got a set of Henry Taylor chisels and liked them as well.
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Offline flyingparks

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Re: Suggestions for Timber Slick and Framing Chisel
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2017, 10:34:56 PM »
I use Barr. He's located in Idaho. His tools are handmade and very, very solid. No complaints at all regarding quality of steel and handles.

Offline rcarlo233

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Re: Suggestions for Timber Slick and Framing Chisel
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2017, 10:38:39 AM »
I know this probably isn't much help for you, but I thought I would share these couple of photos to you. 
I ended up making my own chisel, as I couldn't find one that fit my application.  Timber Framing is special, and requires special tools, so I thought Id make up a custom chisel to suit my needs.
This one is about 1 3/4" wide, and 12" long plus the handle. The beam in the picture is 8" x 10".
I made a custom Black Walnut Handle, two piece, with a taper fit to the Chisel. It's a two-piece construction glued together.
The brass end cap was meant to hold the two halves together a little more.
After talking to a young leather maker, I decided to make my own sheath as well.  Copper rivets were used to hold everything together.
I believe we can made whatever we set out too...............so hence i made my own, hope you can too.  or make a combination of something new and old. Find a nice old Chisel, and put a new handle on it, you never know.
Hope you enjoy,









Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Suggestions for Timber Slick and Framing Chisel
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2017, 11:05:58 AM »
Why 1 3/4"? Is that how wide your mortises are? If the chisel isn't exactly the same width as the mortise it creates a lot of hassles.
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Offline rcarlo233

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Re: Suggestions for Timber Slick and Framing Chisel
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2017, 01:40:19 PM »
Why 1 3/4"? Is that how wide your mortises are? If the chisel isn't exactly the same width as the mortise it creates a lot of hassles.

I was using a Chain Mortiser and working to a nominal 2", but some were just under, so i thought i should have some room to spare.
the chisel worked really well, and was mostly used to clean up the sides of the mortise, the ends were left from the chain mortiser
i was looking for a chisel that was long, and flat, to clean up the tenons after cutting, and be able to reach deep into the 6" deep pockets i was making


Online DPatton

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Re: Suggestions for Timber Slick and Framing Chisel
« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2017, 10:18:46 PM »
Rcarlo,
looks like youre getting busy fitting up a mess of braces. What is your frame going to be? I see you chisel is a tang style chisel. It looks great and what an attractive sheath as well. Love the RC insignia you have stamped on it too. What kind of metal did you make the business end of that thing out of?
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Offline rcarlo233

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Re: Suggestions for Timber Slick and Framing Chisel
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2017, 04:23:05 PM »
Rcarlo,
looks like youre getting busy fitting up a mess of braces. What is your frame going to be? I see you chisel is a tang style chisel. It looks great and what an attractive sheath as well. Love the RC insignia you have stamped on it too. What kind of metal did you make the business end of that thing out of?

thanks for the complements,
first, you can see some of my work on another post  "Timber Frame Patio - self taught"    http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php/topic,99128.0.html
hope you enjoy them

second, the chisel was made from "A2" Tool Steel, an Air-hardening tool steel that is pretty easy to work with.
we have our own heat treating at work and i machined it up there.  pretty straight forward, did it over two nights at work.

the logo was made on a Wire EDM Machine, it designed it up in SolidWorks and had it cut at work
it worked well for the sheath and then i ended up making a key chain out of it.
i also used it on my Post Mounts, i made them from Stainless Steel, i'll post a picture or two on my post above so you can have a look

bob

Offline Brad_bb

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Re: Suggestions for Timber Slick and Framing Chisel
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2017, 11:50:25 PM »
Go to the for sale section and find "Timberframing tools for sale"  by Jim Rogers.  He can help get you set up with what you need - and vintage too, which i prefer.
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Offline woodworker9

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Re: Suggestions for Timber Slick and Framing Chisel
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2018, 07:57:45 AM »
I come from a woodworking background as a cabinet and furniture maker by trade.  I may have an overly anal approach to chisel and hand plane sharpening, but I prefer buying used over new simply because of cost and quality.

It is pretty easy to get very high quality steel in a vintage chisel.  Finding them is a direct relation to the time you spend looking for them.  Ebay is always an option, but often enough, you're paying higher prices, and not really sure what you're getting until it arrives.  My experience with ebay, although limited, is that most of the stuff is over sold, in terms in description, and you will still need to do a lot of work once you get them anyway.

Over 30 years now, I have amassed almost my entire collection of chisels via tool swap meets, garage sales, and flea markets.  Just a few years ago, at an OWWM swap meet, a guy had, literally, hundreds of rusty chisels in buckets and plastic trays for $5 & $10 apiece.  I picked up a 1 1/2", 2" framing chisels, a 1" skew chisel, and a 3" slick for $10 apiece.  They all took a lot of time to get the rust off (Evaporust soak......white vinegar works well, too, just slower), backs flattened, and reground and honed.  On 2 of them, I needed to turn new handles, but I have a nice Oliver wood lathe.

If you don't mind the extra hours spent on fixing them up, you can end up with a really nice set for cheap money.  For optimal quality in use, you have to get the back of a chisel extremely flat and polished, just like the bevel (or microbevel, really).  It's a one time effort that lasts the life of the tool, but allows you to get a chisel as sharp as it can be.

The thing about paying $10 for a chisel like that is if, over the course of 10 years and a bunch of chisels, you run into a dud or two that were ground poorly, overheated, and lost their temper, you're really not out a lot of money.
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