Wood chisels are an important part of log cabin building. A good wood carving chisel comes in handy during the corner notching, windows and doors. I have both new and antique chisels. The old are no better than the new.
I try to find as many different sizes and shapes as possible. Most of the time I find the slick too big and bulky. A decent chisel between 1"1/4 and 2" wide works great.
The condition of the handle is very critical. An old wood carving chisel with a slit up handle will crack after too many mallet blows. I try to make sure all the handles on the ones I buy have the metal band. This band keeps the handle from shattering.
When striking a chisel do not use a metal hammer. This will ruin the wood handle after a day or so of hard use. Always use a wooden mallet if possible when striking the handles.
Also be careful how you store your tools. Antique chisels are usually a piece of tool steel forge welded to a mild steel base and handle. New chisels are one piece of tool steel. Both are so hard they will chip easily if dropped or come into contact with steel. I put mine in a five gallon bucket tip down. This may not be the best way to store chisels, but it works for me!
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