Tonight's photos show a swan-neck
morticing chisel I forged out of an old rake tine.
I made this tool in 1974 using a
small farrier's forge set up in my backyard and forged it on my
great grandfather's anvil. It is 16-1/2 inches long and made to
clean out the bottom and corners of blind mortices.
I couldn't afford a manufactured
tool of this type then but after using a couple of them later, I
much prefer the one I made. It's length provides plenty of
leverage that manufactured ones do not.
If you decide to make one of these,
pay close attention to the shape of the cutting head on this one
in the photos. It has to be.close to that shape with a curved
heel to slide against a mortice wall and cut the bottom flat
into the corners.
The little wooden faceted rear knob
fits into a conical ferrule I forged flat and rolled into shape.
The wood used to make the knob is dogwood. This tool has been
used lots in the last few years to shape the mortices in the
uprights of turning saws my students make for their unplugged
This chisel has been used to cut
the mortices in lots of turning saws. This is a photo of me, on
the left, and Terry Wyatt, one if my students, holding a turning
saw which is near completion. The mortices are in the uprights
where the crossbar joins them.
James E. Price
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