Tuesday, November 28, 2006

For slim pigs?

I admit I have yet to comb all possible references, but has anyone else ever come across oval bolstered mortise chisels, aka "Pigstickers" in sizes less than 1/8" (3mm) in width? I did, on Sunday, but I must have had a mental aberration 'cos I didn't buy them. They looked ridiculously thin but were fearsomely strong. What on earth would you want such a narrow width but such strength for? Bizarre. My malaise continues 'cos that was by no means the only tools of possible interest I saw but not one jot of enthusiasm was worked up for them. Contented myself with a very crispy 5/8" Jennings auger bit, a Marples ratchet screwdriver and yet another Eclipse 77 saw set. I may have to start giving them away as free gifts with saws at this rate... Oh, and the Old Man expressed a desire for calipers for Christmas, so a selection followed us home too. Gawd knows when I'm going to get to clean them in time though.

Meanwhile Blogger is adjuring me to switch to its new improved version - I fear mass deletion of archive and ensuing wailing and gnashing of teeth, so I'm reluctant. Oh well, if this blog suddenly vanishes you'll know what it was. With the current blogging rate you may not even notice...


  1. I'm happy to find pigstickers of any size. I have three now, but don't come across them that often - and certainly I've not seen any as narrow as 3mm.


    Paul Chapman

  2. Never heard of 'Pigstickers' let alone seen one:-)
    The above is true but more than anything I just wanted to see if this 'comment' thingy works!!

  3. "Pigstickers" in sizes less than 1/8" (3mm) in width?

    Less than, no. And (frankly) I haven't seen MANY at 1/8", let alone below.

    I have several "small" mortise chisels at 1/8" (handy little buggers), but not full blown, oval handled pigsticker.


  4. Though I would hate for this to be taken as encouragement to blog less often, you should take heart from the fact that you are currently outposting Philly by several country miles.

  5. Hmm. Never have seen them that much smaller unless they are well used.

    My 1/8" is spot on for a full inch or so from the tip, but my 1/4" and 3/8" are both 8-10 thou over--maybe they have the steel the thin ones you found didn't [g]...But Al, tsk tsk for not at least buying one of them!

    I've used my OBM 1/8" for mortising small work in Oak, such as A&C mantle clocks. The rails and stiles for the panels are finished at 3/8" to 7/16" thick, depending on the clock's size.

    A new and improved blogger...changing sounds prone to probs.

    Take care, Mike

  6. Alf,

    Being completely novice to OBM chisels and intrigued by very much discussion on forums, I found one, well my first, a Sorby, 1/8 of size. I always related pigstickers to trapezoid crossections but mine tought me something else, it is completely ground. And I have no idea what to build in order to use it... but it's VERY handy. So far I'm losing my status of woodworker and become collec...

    Marc in Luxembourg

  7. Hi Marc--the Sorby is possibly a sash mortise despite the handle/bolster type because as far as I know sash MC are always ground square.

    But...while my 1/8" OBM is trapazoidal, it only tapers 3-4 thousandths. As they get larger, the trapazoidal crossection is more pronounced.

    Take care, Mike

  8. Al
    Don't see many pigstickers, although I do keep my eyes open for them.
    As to what use? What about plane making? They would come in handy for opening up the throats of moulding planes.
    And Nick-I heard that!!! ;)


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