Mortise chisels are used for ‘chopping out' joints. They are useful for cutting mortise joints because they are strong enough to hold up to heavy blows with a mallet. The handle is normally made of Ash or Beech with a steel hoop at the top to stop it from splitting. It also has a strengthening piece called a ferrule, just like a paint brush, which prevents the handle from splitting at the bottom when it is hit repeatedly by a mallet. The blade is made from tool steel and the bevel is ground to an angle of 30 degrees.
When you think of woodworking tools and hardware it's hard not to think of wood chisels. Today there are jigs that take routers and router bits to do the same job. But chisels and router bits don't have to be in competition, they can work together in the same shop doing different duties.
There are times when just having power tools is not enough. That's where power tools accessories come in. For example, the taper jig, used to make tapers when making angle cuts on table saws or radial arm saws. It measures up to a 3” per foot taper. It is two pieces hinged at one end and the side in the center for adjustment.
Another accessory that is very handy to have around is the clamping miter gauge. The clamping miter gauge is safer than standard miter gauges. It has a comfortable D-handle grip, built-in sliding stop, and positive clamping trigger. It fits standard miter gauge slots, 3/8" by 3/4" with positive angle stops at 90 and 45 degrees both left and right.
The Block Plane is one of the most useful planers you are going to buy. A planer is used to reduce the thickness of an edge of something. It shaves wood a little at a time smoothly and cleanly if the blade is kept sharp and you don't try and shave too much off at a time. The planer, or block plane, is about 6” long with a flat bottom and a small slit where the blade edge produces out to make contact with the wood. It is adjustable and has a handy knob on the front to hold onto.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|