Chisel Techniques Every Woodworker Must Know!

One of the most not talked about tools in woodworking and yet its the most important of them all is the good ole fashion chisel.

Chisels can be used for three functions in woodworking; pairing, light chopping and heavy mortise chopping. It is advisable for a woodworker to master the techniques of using a chisel to improve his or her woodworking skills. However, easy said, a chisel is not easy to be used and many woodworkers use them in the wrong way. We will share with you on the three main uses of a chisel and the right way to use them.

chisel types

1. Paring: During paring, you will need to use knife edge of a chisel to slide wood off. To slicing the wood accurately, a sharp chisel is used. A chisel has the ability to enter inaccessible places which a plane or knife can’t. Examples of woodworking work you can perform using paring techniques are:

– When trimming cheeks of mortise to fit a large tenon.

– Absence of shoulder plane thus you will need to pare tenon.

– If space between dovetails is too large for a chisel, you will need to pare them.

light-chopping2. Light Chopping: For chopping, you need a bench chisel. You should use chopping when you are removing wood, defining a hinge mortise or carving through dovetails. Remember, never use a bevel edged bench chisels for mortising as they are too thin for this type of chiselling. In light chopping, you are actually marking a cut line or removing a small amount of work. It is advisable for you to place your work on a leg of a table or bench to prevent pressure from chisels to cause a flex on your bench.

mortising-chisel3. Mortising: Mortising is the most tiring chiseling job. You will need muscles to hammer, pound and chop away the wood. At the end of the day, you will end up totally drained out. Woodworkers use this method to make a square flat sided hole in a piece of wood to create a tenon. For mortising chisel size, you should get a 3/8″ tool. A too large chisel might cause your wood to break when you hammer it. Besides that, it is advisable for your to purchase a chisel with long handle to reduce force on your hand and save yourself from experiencing severe pains.

These are the most used techniques for chisels. They require some practice in order to the technique right but once mastered you can practically carve anything you want out of the wood you are working on.

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