How to Use a Wood Chisel
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Today we are going to share with you:
Tips for sharpening and using a chisel, one of the carpenter's basic tools
Wood chisel basics
You may not need one very often, but when it comes time to cut a hole for a hinge or strike plate, nothing beats a sharp chisel. We'll show you basic chiseling techniques and sharpening tips to get you ready for any chiseling task with a set of woodworking chisels.
Start with a new 3/4 in. Sharpening general purpose chisel. (Keep your old blunt chisel handy for tasks like cutting nails or scraping caulking.) Buy one with an impact-resistant plastic handle. You can hit them with a hammer without damaging them. Good quality chisels don't cost a lot, and if you have a little extra cash, buy three - 1/2 in., 3/4 in. and 1 in. - for a good starter set.
Even new chisels need to be sharpened. Polish machine marks from the first inch. From the back of the chisel and sharpen a bevel on the face. Place your chisels in a special canvas sock or roller between uses to protect the blade.
Technique 1: Mortise cuts
Begin making holes or notches by outlining the area with a sharp knife or making a series of flat chisel cuts perpendicular to the surface. Skip this step and you risk chipping the plinth wood. Then remove the thin slices by tapping the chisel with a hammer, beveled side down, to carve the wood within the perimeter.
Technique 2: Paring cut
Cut thin slices of wood to flatten the bottom of an open hole. Keep the back of the chisel flat on the wood. For easier cutting, turn the chisel while cutting to move the blade in an arc.
If the hole is open on one side, like a hinge accessory, flatten the bottom by cutting thin slices with the back, the uneven side of the chisel is kept flat on the wood.
In general, when shaving a piece of wood, set the bevel down. When you are flattening a cut and have access from the side, turn the bevel upward and hold the back of the chisel firmly to the surface.
Technique 3: Chopping cut
Cut large amounts of wood by cutting small amounts with each cut. Hit the chisel with a hammer and cut about 1/2 inch. Then chisel from the end to remove the piece before continuing. Your chisel must be sharp for this cut.
Caution: Wear safety glasses.
Place the chisel next to one of the cut edges and tap it hard with a hammer to remove the wood from the notches. This is not a good job; the cut will be hidden by another plate.
Technique 4: Chop and pare
First cut a groove or notch by sawing along both edges to the desired depth. Then break the wood in half with your chisel. Space the chisel cuts about 1/2 inch apart. Away.
Chisel thresholds and other more precise joints little by little, with a series of shallow cuts, rather than driving the chisel too deep. Use a hammer or mallet for heavy-duty work or press with the palm of your hand for lighter cutting tasks or finer cuts.
Technique 5: Scraping
Scrape glue joints or other imperfections from wood designs by holding the blade at right angles to the wood with the back of the chisel facing you. To remove fine chips, hold the blade with your fingers and press while pulling the chisel towards you.
Scraping requires a perfectly flat, sharp edge. The point of the chisel should scrape cleanly, leaving no marks on the wood.
Tools needed for this project
Have the tools you need for this DIY project in place before you begin; it will save time and frustration.
- Wood chisel
- You will also need a sharpening guide.
Materials needed for this project
- Wet/dry sandpaper
We hope you enjoy watching this video about How to Use a Wood Chisel
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