We are pleased to offer the growing line of socket chisels made by Ken Hertzler of York Pennsylvania. A big feature of his chisels is that they are made from O-1 tool steel, which is uncommon with today’s chisel manufacturers. O-1 will take a very keen edge, hold that edge for a long time, and is easy to sharpen. Many hand tool users prefer this type of steel over the more common A-2 alloy.
His chisels are also surface ground on the top, bottom, and sides after heat treating the bottom portion to Rc 58-60 Rc. This ensures flat and square surfaces with a very fine finish. They only require a light honing on the cutting edge and back to produce a razer sharp cutting edge.
The hard maple handles employ a tapered tang that locks into the socket of the chisel. A solid rap will firmly seat the handle into the socket. Socket chisel handles are less likely to split in use, and can easily be removed for replacement if needed.
1/10″ wide mortise chisel. A narrow chisel is essential for side escapement plane making, and it will certainly find other uses when necessary to get into confined spaces. The usable portion of the blade is about 4″ in length, and tapers from 1/4″ tall just behind the bevel to 3/8″ where it joins the socket. Overall chisel length including the handle is about 9 1/4″. Handles are now hard maple. Price is $97 plus shipping.
Firmer chisels. These chisels are designed for heavy paring or chopping cuts. The blades taper in thickness down to 1/8″ at the cutting edge. The sides are square (hence the firmer name) to the top and bottom, which will help prevent these chisel from undercutting an adjacent, vertical surface when paring against, such as when paring a tenon shoulder. Bevels are ground at 25 degrees. All flat surfaces of the blade have been surface ground for a smooth, flat finish. Only a light honing will be needed for the initial sharpening.
The 1″ Long Firmer Chisel full width portion of the blade is about 7 1/4″ long, and when the socket is included, is over 9 1/2″ long. Assembled with the hard maple handle, overall length comes in at about 16″. This chisel works very well when pared with the miter jack vise, having enough reach to extend all the way across the jaws in all set up configurations. Price is $170 plus shipping.
The standard Firmer Chisels feature usable blade lengths of 5 1/2″,with an overall length including the handle of about 12″. Like the 1″ firmer chisel mentioned above, the blade tapers down to 1/8″ thick at the cutting edge, and the sides are square. The handle tapers to a larger end that is more flattened for mallet work. This chisel is designed for heavier cutting and chopping.
The Dovetail Chisels feature a thin 1/8″ thick blade for it’s full usable length. The sides are tapered down to small, .015″flats on the edges for getting into the corner of dovetail joints. Usable blade length is 4″ with an overall length with handle of about 11″. The handle swells larger in the middle and has a rounded end and is quite comfortable in the hand for paring work. This chisel is more delicate and should used by hand or with light mallet blows.
Shown above is the 1″ Long Firmer Chisel.
Dovetail Chisel and Firmer Chisel, both 1/2″.