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269921 scott grandstaff <scottg@s...> 2020‑02‑09 Re: Chinachiz
On 2/8/2020 2:29 PM, Joseph Sullivan wrote:
> Last years scores. Also dirt cheap
> > http://users.snowcrest.net/kitty/sgrandstaff/images/oldtools/chisels
> Scott, hard to tell with the photo perspective, but are you using shaker pegs
as handles in those carving tools?
Those are Chinese carving chisels in the upper right, Joe
         A totally different animal it took me some time to figure out.
   My buddy Matthew brought them back from a street market in China when 
he was teaching there.
Lots of weird blade shapes like heavily skewed incannel shallow gouges, 
or radical fishtail straight chisels. Lots of big cutting edges on a 
long slender lightweight tool.
   Some of you will remember I'm sure? This was a few years ago.
Well, he just brought back the unhandled tools.

  I tried several different handle configurations (so did Jim Thompson) 
but none we made was very satisfactory. Then I finally found some pix 
and got a clue to go on.

    The chisels are not made to be driven forward, like a standard 
western chisel.
The technique is more like rowing a boat. You park one hand, holding the 
chisel blade, on the surface and place your other hand on top of the 
mushroom at the end of the handle.
  Then you slip a corner of the oddly shaped blade into the wood and 
sweep your top hand around. Neatly slipping under the surface of the 
wood and "walking" the chip out.

Its pretty weird and I am not the best at it yet. But its like cheating.
Instead of brutally driving the chisel in along the grain, you are 
slipping in a corner and sweeping mostly crossgrain, and 
slicing/levering the chip out.
   Its nearly effortless to take a big fat chip when you get it right.

The chisels are lightweight with a wrapped but unwelded socket that is 
spring tempered. Putting the handle in spreads the socket open a skosh 
and then it bites down hard on the handle tenon, holding it very 
tightly. The constant sideways motion would loosen a welded socket 
chisel handle in no time. But the spring sockets hold very well.

    Since heavy pushing or pounding the chisel is off the menu, handles 
don't need to be really hard wood. I just split some old growth fir 
billets as I was making kindling for the fire, and went with those.

   I started by turning the whole handle at once. But the 2 1/2" 
diameter mushroom atop the long handle was really a lot of waste to hog 
off.  So I started turning them as straight handles with a tenon on the 
end and then turning the mushrooms wholesale off the same billet, gluing 
them together.
   Totally useless chisel handle configuration for western chisels but 
completely adequate for the Chinese style.

   In China they carve 75 foot long wooden bridges from giant timbers, 
and carve detailed scenes a foot deep along the whole thing. And 
countless other examples of giant carving like it was ordinary 
practice.  Nearly unfathomable wood carving.

This is how they do it.
   yours Scott

    Scott Grandstaff
    Box 409 Happy Camp, Ca  96039

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