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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-05-2017, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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Default Chisel?

At first I thought this was a mortise chisel but the more I look at it the more certain I am that it isn't and I'm not sure it is even a chisel at all. I bought this in a lot of chisels I purchased from a seller on ebay in the UK. There is no makers name on it.

The pictures are poor but the best my cheap camera will manage. They do show that the blade is 3 sided and that one side is convex. The convex side has striations on it that are similar to a sharpening steel. In fact I tried sharpening a chisel from that lot on it and it worked. If it were a mortise chisel then the end of the handle should be hooped to withstand mallet blows. The last picture shows that there are no signs that the handle has ever been struck.

The tip doesn't appear to have ever been sharp. It is almost uniformly dull in fact with a slightly rounded flat that has a slight taper from one side to the other that is around 1/32 at the thickest.

I thought for a while that maybe it was a burnisher but the two bottom edges are fairly sharp, more so by quite a bit than the tip. A burnisher should have rounded edges. So I'm at a loss to figure out what it was meant for and I've never come across another like it or or have seen a picture of it anywhere. Anyone know what it is?
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-05-2017, 02:27 PM
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Maybe it was handcrafted...a very long time ago (pre Lee Valley)?
My grandfather was a part time blacksmith ( in only that it was part of the skill set required to be in the horse trading business).
He made all his own tools. If had an old triangular file, worn down, I'm pretty sure he would have turned it into something like what you've got there, Charles...waste not; want not.
Maybe it was for wood turning?
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-05-2017, 02:55 PM
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It looks like it was used for cleaning out mortises, whatever its origin. I recall that for a very long time, German machinist apprentices first effort was making their own basic tools. The age on the handle and patina on the steel sure looks like it has some serious age on it.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-05-2017, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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It may have been a prototype of something that didn't turn out as very practical and it doesn't have any of the indications of hand made and all the indications of factory made. The real head scratcher here is the convex side with the striations in it. They are too uniform in my opinion to have been hand cut. And they are exactly like the ones on a sharpening steel. And likely put in while the steel was soft and then hardened after. But if it was only for sharpening then why triangular instead of the standard round? And why the sloped nose? Keep in mind that I got it from the UK and the origin is likely the UK (although one of the chisels is stamped China) and that Sheffield was the chisel making center of the western world at one time.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-05-2017, 03:05 PM
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Charles - I tend to agree with DesertRat - looks like a mortising chisel. Check this page out:

REHANDLING AN OVAL BOLSTERED MORTICE CHISEL
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-05-2017, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertRatTom View Post
It looks like it was used for cleaning out mortises, whatever its origin. I recall that for a very long time, German machinist apprentices first effort was making their own basic tools. The age on the handle and patina on the steel sure looks like it has some serious age on it.
My original thoughts Tom but as I stated, it doesn't appear to have ever been sharp or sharpened after manufacture for that matter. Very few amateurs sharpen without leaving a scratch pattern that shows it. This doesn't have that anywhere on it. It also doesn't have a hooped handle that I would expect to see on a mortise chisel. The straight chisels are expected to be struck, hence the reinforcement on the handle to resist splitting it.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-05-2017, 03:32 PM
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One of the woodworking magazines have a monthly feature on tools with apparently unknown uses. Itís amazing the feedback they get. Someone always knows what it is and how it was used. If you donít get your answer here, perhaps you could submit it to the magazine. They may even give you something for the submission.


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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-05-2017, 04:08 PM
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I believe that to be a pigsticker....

"..... limited only by imagination"

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-05-2017, 04:35 PM
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Default In a Pig's Eye!

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I believe that to be a pigsticker....
I thought they were bigger than that?

Not all drive-in restaurants are equal...
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-05-2017, 04:37 PM
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dovetail chisel...
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=dovetail+c...ages&ia=images

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

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