Tool Test: Blue Spruce Firmer Chisels

These conventional instruments are a
throwback for a completely trendy maker.

By Christopher Schwarz
Web page 14

Maybe the final instruments I ever anticipated to come back out of the Blue
Spruce Toolworks are essentially the most conventional set of recent bench
chisels I’ve ever used.

In any case, Dave Jeske of Blue Spruce has spent all of his
toolmaking profession constructing attractive instruments which have a particular
trendy and West Coast taste. His knives, chisels, awls and
even his mallets are about as near modern sculpture
as you may get (and I imply that as the best praise

However Dave’s newest chisels are full throwbacks – they’ve
18th- and 19th- century design particulars, use old style
high-carbon metal they usually have skinny blades that remind you of
utilizing a wonderful previous firmer chisel.

However like all of Dave’s instruments, the match and end is taken to a
stage that few producers (and even customized toolmakers) can
ever obtain.

So let’s take these chisels aside and discover out what makes them

These are lengthy instruments – about 111⁄four″general – with a 51⁄four″-long
O1 blade, brass ferrule and octagonal hickory deal with. The
deal with is fantastically completed (like all Blue Spruce merchandise) and
the tapered octagonal form is snug and orients the instrument
so that you at all times know the place the bevel is. The slight swelling by
the ferrule is the right place to push ahead together with your
thumb and forefinger when paring.

The ferrule itself is price notice. Not like most makers, Dave has
at all times used a closed ferrule, which provides a neat look,
will increase its sturdiness and hides the instrument’s inside
construction (extra on that in a second).

The blade tapers gracefully from .195″ on the ferrule to .110″
the place the bevel begins. This tapered thickness lightens the
weight of the instrument, which makes it simple to wield and makes the
instrument extra delicate and responsive throughout paring.

Much more necessary – no less than for me – is that the blades are
made out of a fine-grained O1 metal that’s hardened to about 58
on the Rockwell “C” scale. Which means they received’t maintain an edge
so long as A2 chisels, however they’re fairly simple to sharpen on
any sharpening media, together with oilstones. The opposite good factor
about O1 is that it doesn’t chip like A2. So when an O1 edge
will get boring it simply turns into more durable to push. An A2 edge tends to
get “toothy” and scratch your work.

OK, now again to the ferrule for a second. The ferrule hides the
tang of the instrument because it enters the hickory. Inside, the blade
has a major rim the place it enters the wooden. This rim
reduces the prospect that you just’ll break up the deal with while you strike
the instrument – a typical drawback with tang chisels.

Total, these instruments are tied with the Lie-Nielsens as one of the best
chisels I’ve ever bought. Whereas the Lie-Nielsen’s socket
development and brief size make them unbeatable when
chopping, the lengthy and tapering form of the Blue Spruce instruments
give them the sting when paring. Both model of instrument is an
glorious selection for the woodworker who desires one of the best.

Sure, these instruments price loads, however they are going to be appreciated for
many generations to come back. You may as nicely purchase them after they
are new.

Watch Dave Jeske sharpen a marking knife so it tracks

From the February 2013 challenge #202

Buy this issue now

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: