As I seem to be in the mood, this blog might just focus on chisels for a while. (Surprise) Kinda like Shark Week, except it may or may not last as long as a week, depending on my mood. Or maybe longer than a week. And there are no sharks.
Having said which, the odd one out I had in mind was indeed the "Where's Waldo?" candidate. (Or as it's called here in Blighty, "Where's Wally?". Possibly because anyone walking about in red and white stripes like that would naturally tend to be described as a bit of a wally...)
Anyway, this is a E A Berg 1031 series 3/8"/10mm chisel with the famous Shark logo. (See what I did there?)
It came to Alf Towers in a state of abject misery, and has stayed to become something of a favourite. In the normal scheme of things I wouldn't have touched it with a Ten Foot Pole (Or any other Eastern European of abnormally tall stature - I'm an equal-opportunities employer. Or rather, in this case, non-employer.) However, at the time there was a lot of chatter about the joys of Berg chisels on't fora, vis-a-vis the superior quality of their steel, and I was curious.
My being curious gets me into all sorts of trouble, tool-wise. You may have noticed.
So this thing was basically a length of rust with a handle. Indeed the blade was so rusty a previous owner had declined to have it anywhere near their pot of Pure Brilliant White emulsion, and had instead stirred the paint with the handle. But it was the only Berg I'd ever seen before or since, so I had to have it. Didn't I? I believe I was (over) charged 20 new pence for the thing. Or one fifth of a pound sterling. Or about 30 cents at the current exchange rate. The paint on the handle was thrown in for free.
Having absolutely nothing to lose, and only less rust to gain, I threw the thing at the belt sander, and as is often the case in life when you have nothing to lose and thus take no particular trouble at all, it came out beautifully. Okay, so by the time I'd found steel it wasn't actually 10mm wide any more, but just a hair under 9mm, but I also had slightly finer bevels as a result too. So it was a win-win.
And only a couple of hour's work to lose the paint off the handle... Well, most of the paint.
Now the astute observer will have gathered that I'm not a fan of plastic handles. At all. But this puppy? Man, it is so comfortable, it's ridiculous. Fits my hand "just so", doesn't roll off the bench, gives an instant tactile feedback on which way the back's facing. It's brill. If I wasn't such a lazy so-and-so I would make oval handles just like it for a whole bunch of chisels. Alas, it's so much easier to slap something on the lathe and make it round. Sigh. It's not easy being a lazy so-and-so sometimes...
So there we have the E A Berg. The 1031 are made under the Bahco brand now, and I don't know if the steel is as good. If it is, well if I'm ever in the market for some more plastic handles, I think I'd give them a shot first.
Tomorrow, or maybe Wednesday, from plastic handles to Made in China. Can this blog stoop any lower...?