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What is Chiseling? Ways How to Use Chisels Properly in Doing Woodworks

Updated on June 13, 2014

If you are a beginner it is more efficient to use firmer chisel. Paring or trimming with then use of chisel, pushing the tool with your hand on the handle and manage the cutting with your other hand on the blade. Most of the time flat side of the blade is put parallel to the board surface to be produced. Bevel side is used when you will be removing excess amount wood. Use vise in clamping the wood if you cannot hold it by your hands firmly. Cut the waste side of the wood while watching the grain.

Large chisel is used in a shearing cut for pairing, trimming or pushing, when you wanted to chisel a curve surface, make sure it will be done with the grain so that the border of the chisel will not split the grain. The hand of the chisel must be handed carefully and chiseling must be done little by little.


wood chisel via
wood chisel via | Source

Like plane blades chisels are also sharpened in the same way. There cutting edges must be handled with caution. And never try to throw them on a bench or pile them with other tools. Always keep the chisel sharp so that the work will always be good with satisfactory. In using a chisel you must be very careful about it so better know how to handle and use it.

If possible, it is good to make a box so that chisels will be placed in sets as it has different types. So that after using the chisels it can be put in order with proper receptacles. The first requirement for chiseling is to make sure that the chisel is always sharp and in good condition to have a good work. For dull chisel makes the worker’s work inaccurate and at the same time will cause too much fatigue.

Cold Chiseling

There are several ways on how cold chisel is use, and they can be bought from your local hardware store. It must be kept well sharpened and properly used like the other tools. The general use of cold chisel is it must be ground with the bevels on the cutting border making a 70 degrees angle. A Keene end may be ground for cutting a thin sheet or soft metal. And you will also observe that a cold chisel is often used than a wood chisel.

Uses of the Cold Chisel

The chisel must be held securely enough to guide it, yet loose enough to ease the shock of the hammer blow and it will keep the hand from getting tired. And always remember to hold the hammer handle near the edge. With the motion of the wrist light blow is made and motion from the shoulder is made in heavy blows.

  • To avoid damage from the chisel all cutting in the anvil should be done on the chipping block. The chipping block is softer than the face of anvil. In heavy vise, cutting can also be done. Clamp bars and rods in a vise when cutting, and then nick them deeply by the use of chisel near to the jaws. By bending, the rod can easily be broken, and always make sure that hammering in the stationary jaws of the vise and not against the movable one.

It is prefer to use a chisel in cutting an iron bar than using a hacksaw. It must be securely clamped in a vise with the cutting line just even with the top part of the jaws. And after that the chisel is placed at one end of the piece with the bevel and flat against the top of the vise jaws.

  • Place its cut near to the jaws when using a chisel and in order to avoid splits. This will provide a nice shearing cut, which will make cutting in metal fast which will produce smooth surface. And metals can also be cut by a pair of snips if it is not too thick.

chiseling via
chiseling via | Source

Skills and Practices

To be developed in the Use of Wood Chisels

Chiseling is not just an easy job either a simple work at all, for you need to be careful in using it to avoid cuts and accidents. If you don’t know how to use the chisel you are risking yourself for any single misuse of it may harm you. Here are some of the following reminders that you must kept in your mind to have a safe work.

1. To avoid tearing the surface always cut with the grain of the wood.

2. If possible clamp the work in a vise so that both hands are free.

3. Make sure to push the chisel from you and keep the other hand at the back of the cutting edge.

4. Left hand is used in guiding the chisel and the right hand in pushing the handle forward.

5. Use chisel with bevel down for rough cuts and bevel up for fine paring or finishing cuts.

6. Move the chisel back and forth in pushing the chisel forward to make a better and easier cut.

7. In chiseling across the board you must cut from the both edges to avoid the board to split. Bevel side up rising to cut enough and to make the chisel cut. And if working across a wide board, the bevel side is down.

8. In case you have so many surpluses to remove, make a rough out first leaving about 1/6 in. to be eliminated later with a finishing cut.

9. Mallet is used when a considerable force is needed. But never use a steel hammer for it will destroy the chisel handle.

Chiseling is one of the most important in finishing woodwork. And having this skills and practices will make your work better with quality and satisfactory.

Reference: Basic WoodWorking by Arsenio J. Galauran

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