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Birth of a butt chisel - Printable Version

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Birth of a butt chisel - DCarr10760 - 12-04-2015

So this happened...

I bought a set of Marples Blue Chips in the waning years of the last century and they have always been my "beaters"

But levering waste out of a 3-inch deep mortise in Sycamore, even when the waste was drilled out, was more than they were able to manage, and not what they were designed for. Sigh.

Guess I will turn it into a butt chisel. And buy a firmer (framing chisel).

I went on the popular online auction site and bought a "New Old Stock" 1-inch pre-Irwin chisel identical to the broken one, but unbroken, for just about what I paid for the set 20 years ago.

Maybe seeing it all shiny and new in the rack next to the old ones will remind me not to be a dumb*ss.

Re: Birth of a butt chisel - Bob DeViney - 12-04-2015

Bummer. How long did you just stand there looking at it, thinking I can't believe that just happened?

Re: Birth of a butt chisel - CaptainRob - 12-05-2015

I think that it was time for you to have a new chisel

Re: Birth of a butt chisel - Fisherman - 12-05-2015

I have the same set, guess I won't try that. Hard to believe that happened though. Bummer!

Re: Birth of a butt chisel - blackhat - 12-05-2015

You may find that she is very hard at the fracture, the tempering did not go far enough. It may be brittle if you try and put an edge on it at that length.

Re: Birth of a butt chisel - wmickley - 12-05-2015

My Marples chisel from 1983 is considerably shorter than that, under two inches of length before it begins to taper. It has never been broken and never been worked on a grinder, but has been sharpened thousands of times.


Re: Birth of a butt chisel - DCarr10760 - 12-05-2015

In examining the actual point where it broke, there appears to be some discoloration like oxidation about 1/32 deep on the top of the chisel. It's like there was a stress fracture that left a hairline crack and allowed oxidation to penetrate. That's where the chisel broke.

Like I said, these were my beaters, maybe I cracked it a long time ago and it was weakened. I wasn't really using that much force on it when it snapped.


Re: Birth of a butt chisel - EricU - 12-06-2015

I have a 1/4" one of those that the same thing happened to. I don't pry with them any more. I always wanted a better set of chisels, maybe I should start prying with them