Some Chisel Basics For Mortising Type Chisel Work

The photo above shows a penciled line (0.7MM Mechanical Pencil), which has been rapped by a chisel, held approximately perpendicular to the wood surface. The chisel blade was 3/4″ wide. The chisel was used on both the pine and maple wood pieces, and the two wood types are labeled in the photo.

The photo above, points out the following:

  1. The chisel crosses the line, less on the backside of the chisel, but the chisel still crosses the line, on both the backside and also the bevel side.
  2. On the Pine wood, the chisel crossed the line on the backside of the chisel by 1/64″.
  3. On the Maple wood, the chisel crossed the line on the backside of the chisel by 1/32″.

Its best to have the bevel side of your chisel, on the waste side of your cut.
No matter what your chiseling, I feel the way to go, is to space your chisel approximately 1/16″ away from the final cut line. Next, using a paring chisel, walk your chisel toward the final cut line, by paring off thin shavings, as you walk your chisel to the final cut line.

The Sketch above, shows the direction of forces, associated with rapping the chisel. Explanation of forces shown, is as follows:

  1. Force “A” is from wacking the chisel.
  2. Force “B” is from the bevel being pushed into the wood surface and trying to move the chisel along this line of force.
  3. Force “R” is the resultant force, representing the actual direction the chisel blade, ends up traveling along. The resultant force, ends up bisecting the angle, between the two forces “A” and “B”.

In Summary:
1. Place bevel side of chisel on waste side of cut line.
2. Place backside of chisel, approximately 1/16″ from the final cut line.

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Until Next Time, Take Care