Thursday, September 22, 2011

As Imelda Marcos is to shoes...

... so, apparently, am I to chisels and gouges. I knew this, but... not to this extent. Now you can see why it's taken me many months to get up the courage to return to the Spring Cleaning and stare my chisel problem squarely in the face.

Having looked it squarely in the face, I shall now run away and sit in a corner, hugging my knees and rocking back and fro. This is not a wide range of tools from which to choose - this is an actual problem.

But while I seek therapy, the truly bored reader might like to spot the odd one out. Or "an" odd one out, perhaps. I'm sure you can come up with a few beyond the one I'm thinking of, because there really are surprisingly few duplicates in there. No, really. As long as significant details like different makers represented across approximately half a dozen 1/4" chisels qualifies in your mind as "no duplicates". As obviously it does in mine...


  1. Blimey, Alf, that's impressive (not sure whether that's the right word). How do you ever find the one you want?

    Cheers ;-)

    Paul Chapman

  2. Would the odd one be the bent
    one second from the left at the bottom? Not that i'm an expert
    or anything i must add, in fact
    i own about 6 chisels in total.
    I think i may keep your picture
    as my computer wallpaper as
    something to aspire too. ;)

  3. You've put your finger unerringly on the major part of the problem there, Paul...

  4. I would be more than happy to help you with your problem. Select three handfuls of them at random, put them in a box, and ship them to me!

    In all seriousness, that really is a remarkable array of chisels.

  5. Top Row, 6th Chisel from the left - you put some white stripes on that sucker, and you have yourself the "Where's Waldo" of chisels game...

    I agree with Mackem, though... would make a lovely wallpaper for the PC.

  6. You've got some tasty stuff there, Alf. Chisels have always been my most addictive tool. Sorry, I can't spot the odd one out. Too busy soaking the front of my shirt with drool....


  7. God knows why the question just occurred to me, but Alf (and anyone else reading) - out of all of your thousands of tools, do you have a special favourite? A desert-island-tool, if you will!

  8. Ooh, I'll play...

    Extreme top-left, appears to be your only oriental-style chisel.

    Top row, sixth from left, appears to be your only plastic-handled chisel.

    The one next to it seems to be your only butt chisel (thought I remembered you having a set of butt chisels somewhen).

    And the left-most chisel in the row at bottom-right is the only one without a handle. (Obviously not counting the honking great lock mortice chisel at lower-left).

    And just spotted what appears to be the only cranked-neck model, just under the tool roll at upper-right.


  9. That is quite an array of chisels! If they are all sharp and ready to go you deserve a sharpening award.

    I am not in your league (other than my 13 mortise chisels, and my two relatively complete sets of bevel edge chisels) but I find that I don't sharpen unless I need to use the chisel and then I look to see if I have another similar chisel that is already sharp. My approach results in two dull chisels which isn't really productive at all.

    Rick in Oakville, Canada

  10. Hmm. Are you distressed because you clearly don't have enough chisels? Would you like some of mine?

    Honestly though, it's easy to look at another person's collection and say, you have too many of these. Like you seem to have too many pig stickers, for instance.

    I've got a huge clump of new and used chisels like that, and accumulated them with the intent of selling them. On ebay here in the states, you frequently come across twenty or so rusty old chisels sold in lots.

    My eventual plan is to make something like a rolling tool chest that will fit into a dehumidified cabinet. It would have a series of shallow drawers, somewhat like a Gerstner tool box, where the chisels and gouges could live.

    My advice: knowing what you now know about chisels, and the projects you are likely to complete with the time you have left, pick out your favorites and the ones you're most likely to use, and sell the rest. I wish I knew an earnest aspiring young wood worker who'd benefit from some good quality, free chisels. That might be a nice gesture some day.

    --Anonymous Comment-Leaving Person


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