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I Forge Iron

Pawn Shop Chisel ID

Eric Morgan

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I'd imagine you're definitely right, Mr. Coke. I can see it working well for that application with that profile. 


Any idea of typical materials used to make these? This would be an item I could see being made of a medium carbon or lesser steel due to its application.

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Think cutting keyways by hand, more than driving out the key

Yes  they are designed to cut key ways.  you will notice that there is a reduction in the width of the chisel directly behind the working edge.  The reduction allows the chisel to clear the path it cuts.  There is a similar design with a half round profile that was used in a similar fashion.  I was shocked the first time I saw a retired machinist use a chisel to cut steel like it was nothing out of the ordinary. The other guy was talking about getting a cutting torch.:) 

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One thing to remember is all to often "modern" hand tools are not as hard as "old" tools. A chisel should be rather hard, so it maintains its edge and cuts anneald steel. Buy the averige cold chisel and it will quickly dull, take the same chisel, reforge the blade, properly heat treat and sharpen and walla.

I had a friend of mine who owns a shop and salvage yard needing some help. Well he was trying to cut the rivets to remove the radius arm bushing brakets from the frame of a Ford truck, to replace some that had been damaged on another. In the time it took hom to remove 1 (4 rivets) with an air hammer with a chisel bit, I took one of his cold chisels, reshaped it (as my truck caries a forge and anvil) heatreated it and sharpend it. And removed two brakets of the other truck (8 rivets) 


The same is true of hammers. I have inly seen One brand of hammer with a warning against hiting hardend tools with them.

Got a scar from old trusty, 7 staples when she sliped. That was 10 years ago, I've dressed the back twice and sharpend her once sence then. 

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I have a hammer that I still use that my father acquired at a auction in Ohio in 1960.  The seller was retiring and closing his shop.  The hammer has a stamp on it CCC.

The owner had been in the "Civilian Conservation Core"  as a young man. Other than smoothing the face a little and the peen the only change has been to replace the handle because I messed up learning with it. 

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Old oil hardened (black) chisels at yard, garage, etc. sales for almost nothing are always worth picking up, not for a dollar each though. They're high carbon and make fine additions to the stock shelf for when you need a special something be it a punch, chisel, paint scraper, pry bar, etc.

If you show just a bit of interest in the chisels but NOT the price the price usually drops like a stone. I rarely pay a buck for a handful of chisels, punches, old Allen/hex key wrenches, etc.

Frosty The Lucky.

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