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I Forge Iron

socketed chisel set


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decided that i needed a real set of wood chisels and wanted a set that would hold up and not snap off at the transition between blade and handle when hit with a hammer/mallet. so here are the first of a growing set.
they will be approxamately 1 foot long, and proportioned as 4" handle,4" socket, 4" blade. the handle is apple wood and the ferrule is just a piece of a bicycle tubing, while the blade is forged from leaf spring, triple normalized, quenched in water, and double tempered to a purple/brown. the handled one is 1.25" wide and the smaller one is 1". bothe sockets are about an inch in diameter.
post-1642-0-16298000-1303913283_thumb.jp
post-1642-0-05337200-1303913293_thumb.jp
post-1642-0-53932500-1303913300_thumb.jp
post-1642-0-66411900-1303913308_thumb.jp
post-1642-0-50253300-1303913324_thumb.jp
post-1642-0-62754800-1303913338_thumb.jp

more to come
Ed Steinkirchner

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Awesome chisels! One question on the tempering though. It has been my experience that leaf spring forgings crack if I try to quench them in water as opposed to, say, hot oil. Are you getting it red hot before the quench? Maybe the multiple normalizations have something to do with it? Just curious. At times like this I wish I more of a metallurgist.

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Awesome chisels! One question on the tempering though. It has been my experience that leaf spring forgings crack if I try to quench them in water as opposed to, say, hot oil. Are you getting it red hot before the quench? Maybe the multiple normalizations have something to do with it? Just curious. At times like this I wish I more of a metallurgist.


Modern leaf springs typically seem to be oil hardening steels, and some will even air harden a bit in thin sections. I have had only bad experiences quenching them in water, not that I've done it often. (Triple normalizing after forging and prior to hardening is good practice. It should not reduce grain size so much as to make something like 5160 require a water quench in order to harden.) Even if Ed has succeeded with water, I will stick with warm oil for modern leaf springs, unless I run across some that just refuse to harden in oil. (Antique, shear steel leaf springs may be a different matter.)

I agree, by the way: nice lookin' chisels.
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well, I forgot to mention that these springs are about 60+ years old, though ive been successful water-quenching leaf spring that is more modern as well, though new springs are better oil quenched in my opinion. for the normalizing i take to critical, then barely non-magnetic, then just below non-magnetic, air cooling until i can hold it in between.then bring to critical and quench the blade while agitating. finally polish, temper, re-polish, temper again and let cool. well, the actual last step is to take a propane torch to the bade-to-socket transition to make sure that it won't break off in use. the inside of the socket is true enough that i can lathe-turn a handle to fit pretty close. I might take step by step pictures of the next one and show all of the steps in the making of one. but that won't be until semester break in 2 weeks.
i will say that this is one of the best ive used and the best i can make right now, if you ignore the crooked seam on the socket. I hope to make a set in 1/4" intervals down to 3/4" and up to 2 inch then in 1/8" intervals to 1/4", for a grand total of about 10 chisels. a pretty good set, for me at least.

Ed Steinkirchner

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Modern leaf springs typically seem to be oil hardening steels, and some will even air harden a bit in thin sections. I have had only bad experiences quenching them in water, not that I've done it often. (Triple normalizing after forging and prior to hardening is good practice. It should not reduce grain size so much as to make something like 5160 require a water quench in order to harden.) Even if Ed has succeeded with water, I will stick with warm oil for modern leaf springs, unless I run across some that just refuse to harden in oil. (Antique, shear steel leaf springs may be a different matter.)

I agree, by the way: nice lookin' chisels.


Thanks Matt (and Ed). I was just confused for a minute there!
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  • 1 month later...

"I hope to make a set in 1/4" intervals down to 3/4" and up to 2 inch then in 1/8" intervals to 1/4", for a grand total of about 10 chisels. a pretty good set, for me at least."

Good looking chisels. When log cabins were big business years ago, there was a pretty good niche market for custom tools like this.

Roy Underhill mentioned in one of his shows that he bought a new complete set in one of his visits to England. When he got home, he realized that they were metric widths, and useless to him. :P

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"I hope to make a set in 1/4" intervals down to 3/4" and up to 2 inch then in 1/8" intervals to 1/4", for a grand total of about 10 chisels. a pretty good set, for me at least."

Good looking chisels. When log cabins were big business years ago, there was a pretty good niche market for custom tools like this.

Roy Underhill mentioned in one of his shows that he bought a new complete set in one of his visits to England. When he got home, he realized that they were metric widths, and useless to him. :P


I remember Roy's woodworking series on PBS..I do not recall him ever using a ruler....not sure how making it a bit smaller or larger would have affected his life at all.
AND
one can always regrind the tool...

Ric
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All widths on these can be considered approximate. Though, I do try to keep the smaller size ones pretty exact(+or- 1/32), because 1/16" over or under is alot when the graduations are in 1/8" intervals. But a difference of 1/8' or even 3/16" doesn't matter much to me on a 2" chisel. For astheatic's sake, I keep the handles and sockets as close to the same as possible.

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I remember Roy's woodworking series on PBS..I do not recall him ever using a ruler....not sure how making it a bit smaller or larger would have affected his life at all.
AND
one can always regrind the tool...

Ric


Could be wrong, but I think that was a joke.
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