Modifying chisels for dovetail work?

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In your PW magazine article on modifying chisels for use in cleaing up hand cut dovetails, it was difficult to determine if the top of the handle was concave or convex after they were cut shorter.  Which way would be the best for use with round mallet work? 
I am looking forward to possibly attending your 18th Century Carving class next year. Thank you


-John
 R. 

Tallahassee, FL

Our Expert


For the past twenty-five years I've used the long-discontinued Stanley #750 chisels for dovetail work. Their perfect balance provides good control when chopping the waste area from between tails and pins. Unfortunately, most chisels today are too long for accurate dovetail work. 


The solution is to cut off a portion of the handle. I suggest that you cut the chisel to nine inches in length. Afterwards, use a file to crown the end of the handle slightly.


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