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  1. #1
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    Sep 2004
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    Default New Narex Chisels arrived

    Within the last hour or so 7 new Narex bevel edged chisels and 6 mortising chisels have arrived from Veritas in America. I have not had the chance to do much with them at all apart from measure them. They are in imperial sizes and so far as I can see are all within the stated size to within one thousandth of an inch. The backs look flat (on a visual inspection), the handles are chunky to hold compared to the set of Stanley Dyna Grip chisels I have used for 20 years. The sides are nice and narrow. They are not beautiful in appearance in the way an LN chisel is. But I got them to use not a ornaments, so that does not concern me so much.

    Once I have finished making my wife's Christmas present I will start honing them.
    My age is still less than my number of posts

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  3. #2
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    Feb 2011
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    Brisbane - Southside
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    Hey Chook,

    I just ordered the Narex bench chisels & the Narex paring chisels so I'll be interested to see what you thing of your chisels.
    Could not believe the price really & from scouting various reviews on a number of sites the feedback seems quite positive. If/when my skills improve I will consider investing in better quality chisels but until then the Narex will no doubt suffice.

    Now stop reading this post & get back to your wife's Christmas present !!

    Cheers,

    Scott

  4. #3
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    Sep 2004
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    Default Better Skill?

    The idea that you need better chisels if your skill improves is an interesting one. I suspect if you gave some of the people on this forum a blunt bread knife they could turn you out a beautiful object, because they have the skill to compensate for the inadequacies of the tool. I am a moderately skilled individual in my opinion. The things I have done often, tables, boxes, cabinets, though simply made, are at least made nicely. I can cut to a line, most days, and make a fair fist of mortice and tenon joints, dovetails etc. I have built and fitted out an entire manual building with benches and furniture and filled several houses with tables, sideboards, kitchens and the like. But I also look at some of the beautiful objects made by others on this forum and shake my head in wonder at the skill they have. I know I have only begun. So I need the best tools I can reasonably get because I do not have the skill to compensate for bad ones. I bought the Narex chisels for the same reason as you. I did an extensive search on the net and I could not find anything much other than praise for them. I could have waited a bit longer and bought LN chisels but I figured that the Narex might have sufficient quality to be a workable option. I do not want to pay a lot more money from a name or a certain look. I am not much worried about the fact that more expensive tools are right to use out of the box. I don't know that you can ever be sure of it and anyway I like honing and sharpening. I am much more concerned about what these chisels will be after I have played with them rather than what they are now. One of my favourite planes is a Stanley number 4 that was just awful when I got it home from a Sunday market. But by swapping around the bits from this plane, with another even more horrible plane plus a bit of fiddling and I have a very good little smoother for next to nothing.

    My daughter lives near a Lee Valley store in Canada and so she bought and forwarded them on to me. I cost me $190 for 13 chisels (7 bevelled edge and 6 mortice). A mad price and unless they turn out to be made of cheese then I do not see how I can go wrong. If they work then the paring chisels and some new 16 inch back saws are next on the menu.

    For some of us,perhaps many of us, the tools we buy come out of the money we earn and that remains in our pockets after the bank, the supermarket and the tax man have ravaged us. We hope that we buy quality and this forum really helps in that regard. Also the source of the tools was an encouragement to me. Lee Valley has not been, in my limited experience a seller of rubbish. And so I have hopes for the Narex.

    I will not get a chance until tomorrow morning to get into them in earnest. As soon as I do I will put some pictures up for you to have a look at.
    My age is still less than my number of posts

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    McBride BC Canada
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    Default

    Narex (CZ) is very good steel from a wood carver's perspective.
    Tough and holds a "carving-sharp" edge better than Pfeil. Yes, they do.

    Do not hesitate to make other tools from Narex stock tools.
    I made a 1/12 stop chisel from a 1S/12 skew. One of those "go-to" tools.
    Just go easy, don't cook the edge and you should be pleased.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Buderim qld
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    Our High School order of 120 chisels are about to arrive here in OZ. One thing I have heard is that the coating on them can be a brute to get off and furniture paint stripper was suggested. Can this be confirmed?

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Default

    Can't say I noticed any coating on mine. I have bevel edged and mortise sets. Unless you mean the handles??
    Those were the droids I was looking for.
    https://autoblastgates.com.au

  8. #7
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    More on the chisels:
    I have now had a chance to sharpen and begin to use the bevel edged chisels. So what can I say?

    The backs are hollow ground and take very little time to get into a serviceable condition. I gave each chisel a very short session on a 1000 and 6000 King water stones and a 13000 Shapton stone to flatten the backs. Now I made no attempt to polish the entire back of the chisel. It seems to me that getting an area immediately behind the blade right was enough. The backs are flat anyway but there are faint horizontal machine marks across the backs that are easily removed. The bevel comes ground at 25 degress and I left them at that. I honed a small 27 degree micro bevel across the edge. Finally I stropped them on a bit of leather.

    They hold a razor sharp edge. My left arm is hairless. But a safer test is to get a clean cut across the end of a bit of crumbly pine. Done easily.

    The handles are an ugly stained brown and a bit chunky compared to what I am used to. Once the actual chiselling begins this difference is not noticeable and is more a matter of what I am used to than any problem. Did I mention that they were an ugly stained brown? I might try wax or shellac to improve the look and especially the feel

    Fashion aside they work wonderfully well. The sides are narrow enough to get into the corners of dovetails without being uncomfortable to hold. I am making a trolley out of cheap knotty pine. Chiselling the knots made no impression on the edges.

    I like them.

    I cost me $240 for 13 good chisels (7 bevel edged and 6 mortise) delivered in 8 days from America.
    My age is still less than my number of posts

  9. #8
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    Apr 2011
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    McBride BC Canada
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    Told ya so. Good to read that my opinion is vindicated.

    I bought a pair of 1/2" Narex skews from Lee Valley. Bevelled back to 20 degrees,
    wonderful for wood carving. So, immediately bought pair #2 as I'm quite paranoid about reverse engineering.
    Excellent. Jointed one of them and made a 1/12 carver's stop chisel (DB/20 degrees). Eventually, I'll make the other one from pair #2 into some sort of useful carving tool.

    Poo-colored fat handles. Can't possibly be mistaken for any other tools & I have big hands.
    Finish. I don't recall any sort of varnish/coating on mine.

  10. #9
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    Good to hear Chook.

    Thanks for the feedback.

    I look forward to receiving my (probably late) Christmas presents.

    Cheers,

    Scott

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robson Valley View Post
    Told ya so. Good to read that my opinion is vindicated.

    I bought a pair of 1/2" Narex skews from Lee Valley. Bevelled back to 20 degrees,
    wonderful for wood carving. So, immediately bought pair #2 as I'm quite paranoid about reverse engineering.
    Excellent. Jointed one of them and made a 1/12 carver's stop chisel (DB/20 degrees). Eventually, I'll make the other one from pair #2 into some sort of useful carving tool.

    Poo-colored fat handles. Can't possibly be mistaken for any other tools & I have big hands.
    Finish. I don't recall any sort of varnish/coating on mine.
    There is no other finish, just the poo coloured stain. I wonder if a bit of shellac might be nice on them? But they are good to use.
    My age is still less than my number of posts

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by chook View Post
    There is no other finish, just the poo coloured stain. I wonder if a bit of shellac might be nice on them? But they are good to use.
    O'course you could always rehandle them with a nice Aussie hardwood

    Cheers, Vann.
    Gatherer of rusty planes tools...
    Proud member of the Wadkin Blockhead Club .

  13. #12
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    Default

    can you take a photo of the handle so we can compare ? (Plus i dont really think it happened as no photos)

    Mine are the big fat ones without the ferrules on the top. They dont seem to have any finish on them.

    Pictures here

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pac man View Post
    can you take a photo of the handle so we can compare ? (Plus i dont really think it happened as no photos)

    Mine are the big fat ones without the ferrules on the top. They dont seem to have any finish on them.

    Pictures here
    You can see from the table that the chisels are close enough to the stated sizes. The sides of the chisels are in the order of 1 mm wide.

    When Narex first released chisels they made them a bit wider on the sides and they did not have the metal ring at the top of the handle. Also I am not sure but I think that they were not made to imperial sizes. The ones pictured come from Veritas and I believe that Veritas specify that they are to be made to accurate imperial measurements. I have not been able to find out where they got the elephant poo for the handles.

    I do not own a lathe at present and who knows what chisels I will have by the time I get hold of one again. So I will have to get used to them.

    Next week I take possession of 6 mortice chisels. I was a very good boy and so I believe some are sitting under the Christmas tree.
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    My age is still less than my number of posts

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