Chisels and Wooden Joinery Mallet Set from Garrett Wade

Chisels and Wooden Joinery Mallet Set from Garrett Wade

Chisels are the most basic joinery tools, and every woodworker needs a few decent ones for fine tuning and a couple of cheap ones for rough work. This woodworker’s set (item 63A04.70, $87.50) includes a quartet of some of the most commonly needed chisels plus a wooden mallet and a denim storage roll. The chisels are 9” long, with ash handles and an Rc (Rockwell) hardness of 57–59. They are sized ¼”, ½”, ¾”, and 1”. They have beveled edges to avoid jamming in a tight pocket.

The joinery mallet weighs 3/4 lb. and it has a 2” wide face and a beechwood handle. It’s made in France to traditional specifications. It’s a lot gentler on wooden handles than a bench hammer, and it allows the woodworker to tap lightly when shaving a hair off a tenon.

Rockwell is a hardness scales based on testing a metal surface for indents. A special machine whacks the metal at different speed/weight loads, and the indent is measured. It gives engineers a good idea of the tensile strength of the metal. There’s a delicate balance between hardness and brittleness where the edge on a chisel can either dull or chip. Carbon steel (tool steel) chisels are usually 58 to 60 HRC, although they can be a hair higher.

WoodEzine’s guide to sharpening a chisel is here.