Chisel

Chisel

Overview
A chisel is a tool
Tool
A tool is a device that can be used to produce an item or achieve a task, but that is not consumed in the process. Informally the word is also used to describe a procedure or process with a specific purpose. Tools that are used in particular fields or activities may have different designations such...

 with a characteristically shaped cutting edge (such that wood chisels have lent part of their name to a particular grind) of blade
Blade
A blade is that portion of a tool, weapon, or machine with a cutting edge and/or a pointed tip that is designed to cut and/or puncture, stab, slash, chop, slice, thrust, or scrape animate or inanimate surfaces or materials...

 on its end, for carving or cutting a hard material such as wood
Wood
Wood is a hard, fibrous tissue found in many trees. It has been used for hundreds of thousands of years for both fuel and as a construction material. It is an organic material, a natural composite of cellulose fibers embedded in a matrix of lignin which resists compression...

, stone
Rock (geology)
In geology, rock or stone is a naturally occurring solid aggregate of minerals and/or mineraloids.The Earth's outer solid layer, the lithosphere, is made of rock. In general rocks are of three types, namely, igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic...

, or metal
Metalworking
Metalworking is the process of working with metals to create individual parts, assemblies, or large scale structures. The term covers a wide range of work from large ships and bridges to precise engine parts and delicate jewelry. It therefore includes a correspondingly wide range of skills,...

. The handle and blade of some types of chisel are made of metal or wood with a sharp edge in it.

In use, the chisel is forced into the material to cut it. The driving force may be manually applied or applied using a mallet
Mallet
A mallet is a kind of hammer, usually of rubber,or sometimes wood smaller than a maul or beetle and usually with a relatively large head.-Tools:Tool mallets come in different types, the most common of which are:...

 or hammer
Hammer
A hammer is a tool meant to deliver an impact to an object. The most common uses are for driving nails, fitting parts, forging metal and breaking up objects. Hammers are often designed for a specific purpose, and vary widely in their shape and structure. The usual features are a handle and a head,...

.
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Encyclopedia
A chisel is a tool
Tool
A tool is a device that can be used to produce an item or achieve a task, but that is not consumed in the process. Informally the word is also used to describe a procedure or process with a specific purpose. Tools that are used in particular fields or activities may have different designations such...

 with a characteristically shaped cutting edge (such that wood chisels have lent part of their name to a particular grind) of blade
Blade
A blade is that portion of a tool, weapon, or machine with a cutting edge and/or a pointed tip that is designed to cut and/or puncture, stab, slash, chop, slice, thrust, or scrape animate or inanimate surfaces or materials...

 on its end, for carving or cutting a hard material such as wood
Wood
Wood is a hard, fibrous tissue found in many trees. It has been used for hundreds of thousands of years for both fuel and as a construction material. It is an organic material, a natural composite of cellulose fibers embedded in a matrix of lignin which resists compression...

, stone
Rock (geology)
In geology, rock or stone is a naturally occurring solid aggregate of minerals and/or mineraloids.The Earth's outer solid layer, the lithosphere, is made of rock. In general rocks are of three types, namely, igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic...

, or metal
Metalworking
Metalworking is the process of working with metals to create individual parts, assemblies, or large scale structures. The term covers a wide range of work from large ships and bridges to precise engine parts and delicate jewelry. It therefore includes a correspondingly wide range of skills,...

. The handle and blade of some types of chisel are made of metal or wood with a sharp edge in it.

In use, the chisel is forced into the material to cut it. The driving force may be manually applied or applied using a mallet
Mallet
A mallet is a kind of hammer, usually of rubber,or sometimes wood smaller than a maul or beetle and usually with a relatively large head.-Tools:Tool mallets come in different types, the most common of which are:...

 or hammer
Hammer
A hammer is a tool meant to deliver an impact to an object. The most common uses are for driving nails, fitting parts, forging metal and breaking up objects. Hammers are often designed for a specific purpose, and vary widely in their shape and structure. The usual features are a handle and a head,...

. In industrial use, a hydraulic ram
Hydraulic ram
A hydraulic ram, or hydram, is a cyclic water pump powered by hydropower. It functions as a hydraulic transformer that takes in water at one "hydraulic head" and flow-rate, and outputs water at a higher hydraulic-head and lower flow-rate...

 or falling weight ('trip hammer
Trip hammer
A trip hammer, also known as a helve hammer, is a massive powered hammer used in:* agriculture to facilitate the labor of pounding, decorticating and polishing of grain;...

') drives the chisel into the material to be cut.

A gouge, one type of chisel, is used, particularly in woodworking
Woodworking
Woodworking is the process of building, making or carving something using wood.-History:Along with stone, mud, and animal parts, wood was one of the first materials worked by early humans. Microwear analysis of the Mousterian stone tools used by the Neanderthals show that many were used to work wood...

, woodturning
Woodturning
Woodturning is a form of woodworking that is used to create wooden objects on a lathe . Woodturning differs from most other forms of woodworking in that the wood is moving while a stationary tool is used to cut and shape it...

 and sculpture
Sculpture
Sculpture is three-dimensional artwork created by shaping or combining hard materials—typically stone such as marble—or metal, glass, or wood. Softer materials can also be used, such as clay, textiles, plastics, polymers and softer metals...

, to carve small pieces from the material. Gouges are most often used in creating concave surfaces. A gouge typically has a 'U'-shaped cross-section.

Use


Chisels have a wide variety of uses. Many types of chisels have been devised, each specially suited to its intended use. Different types of chisels may be constructed quite differently, in terms of blade width or length, as well as shape and hardness of blade. They may have wooden handles attached or may be made entirely of one piece of metal.

Woodworking



Woodworking chisels range from small hand tools for tiny details, to large chisels used to remove big sections of wood, in 'roughing out' the shape of a pattern or design. Typically, in woodcarving, one starts with a larger tool, and gradually progresses to smaller tools to finish the detail. One of the largest types of chisel is the slick
Framing Slick
A slick is a large chisel, characterized by a wide , heavy blade, and a long, frequently slender, socketed handle. The combined blade and handle can reach two feet in length. The blade of a slick is slightly curved lengthwise, and/or the handle socket is cranked upward, such that the handle and...

, used in timber frame
Timber framing
Timber framing , or half-timbering, also called in North America "post-and-beam" construction, is the method of creating structures using heavy squared off and carefully fitted and joined timbers with joints secured by large wooden pegs . It is commonplace in large barns...

 construction
Construction
In the fields of architecture and civil engineering, construction is a process that consists of the building or assembling of infrastructure. Far from being a single activity, large scale construction is a feat of human multitasking...

 and wooden shipbuilding. There are many types of woodworking chisels used for specific purposes, such as:
  • butt chisel: short chisel with beveled sides and straight edge for creating joints.
  • carving chisels: used for intricate designs and sculpting; cutting edges are many; such as gouge, skew, parting, straight, paring, and V-groove.
  • corner chisel: resembles a punch and has an L-shaped cutting edge. Cleans out square holes, mortises and corners with 90 degree angles.
  • bevel edge chisel: can get in acute angles with its bevel edges.
  • flooring chisel: cuts and lifts flooring materials for removal and repair; ideal for tongue-and-groove flooring.
  • framing chisel: usually used with mallet; similar to a butt chisel, except it has a longer, slightly flexible blade.
  • slick: a large chisel driven by manual pressure, never struck.
  • mortise chisel: thick, rigid blade with straight cutting edge and deep, slightly tapered sides to make mortise
    Mortise
    Mortise or mortice may refer to:* Mortise and tenon, a woodworking joint* Ankle mortise, part of the distal tibia joining the talus bone to form an ankle joint* Mortise chisel, a type of chisel* Mortice lock - a deadlocking lock....

    s and similar joints.
  • paring chisel: has a long blade which is ideal for cleaning grooves and accessing tight spaces.
  • skew chisel: has a 60 degree cutting angle and is used for trimming and finishing.
  • dovetail chisel: Made specifically for cutting dovetail
    Dovetail
    Dovetail may refer to:* The dovetail joint used in woodworking* The dovetail or "riffle" method of shuffling playing cards* German equatorial mount, or dovetail plate, used to fix a telescope to its mount...

     joints. The difference being the thickness of the body of the chisel, as well as the angle of the edges, permitting easier access to the joint.

Lathe tools


A lathe tool is a woodworking chisel designed to cut wood as it is spun on a lathe. These tools have longer handles for more leverage, needed to counteract the tendency of the tool to react to the downward force of the spinning wood being cut or carved. In addition, the angle and method of sharpening is different; a secondary bevel would not be ground on the tool.

Metalworking


Chisels used in metal work can be divided into two main categories: hot chisels and cold chisels.

Cold chisel




A cold chisel is a tool made of tempered steel used for cutting 'cold' metals, meaning that they are not used in conjunction with heating torches, forges, etc. Cold chisels are used to remove waste metal when a very smooth finish is not required or when the work cannot be done easily with other tools, such as a hacksaw, file, bench shears or power tools.

The name cold chisel comes from its use by blacksmiths to cut metal while it was cold as compared to other tools they used to cut hot metal. This tool is also commonly referred to by the misnomer
Misnomer
A misnomer is a term which suggests an interpretation that is known to be untrue. Such incorrect terms sometimes derive their names because of the form, action, or origin of the subject becoming named popularly or widely referenced—long before their true natures were known.- Sources of misnomers...

 coal chisel. Because cold chisels are used to form metal, they have a less-acute angle to the sharp portion of the blade than a woodworking chisel. This gives the cutting edge greater strength at the expense of sharpness.

Cold chisels come in a variety of sizes, from fine engraving tools that are tapped with very light hammers, to massive tools that are driven with sledgehammer
Sledgehammer
A sledgehammer is a tool consisting of a large, flat head attached to a lever . The head is typically made of metal. The sledgehammer can apply more impulse than other hammers, due to its large size. Along with the mallet, it shares the ability to distribute force over a wide area...

s. Cold chisels are forged to shape and hardened and tempered (to a blue colour) at the cutting edge.

The head of the chisel is chamfered to slow down the formation of the mushroom shape caused by hammering and is left soft to withstand hammer blows.

There are four common types of cold chisel. These are the flat chisel, the most widely known type, which is used to cut bars and rods to reduce surfaces and to cut sheet metal which is too thick or difficult to cut with tin snips
Tin snips
Snips, also known as shears, are hand tools used to cut sheet metal and other tough webs. There are two broad categories: tinner's snips, which are similar to common scissors, and compound-action snips, which use a compound leverage handle system to increase the mechanical advantage.-Tinner's...

. The cross cut chisel is used for cutting grooves and slots. The blade narrows behind the cutting edge to provide clearance. The round nose chisel is used for cutting semi-circular grooves for oil ways in bearings. The diamond point chisel is used for cleaning out corners or difficult places and pulling over centre punch marks wrongly placed for drilling. Although the vast majority of cold chisels are made of steel, a few are manufactured from beryllium copper
Beryllium copper
Beryllium copper , also known as copper beryllium, beryllium bronze and spring copper, is a copper alloy with 0.5—3% beryllium and sometimes with other alloying elements. Beryllium copper combines high strength with non-magnetic and non-sparking qualities. It has excellent metalworking, forming...

, for use in special situations where non-sparking
Ember
Embers are the glowing, hot coals made of greatly heated wood, coal, or other carbon-based material that remain after, or sometimes precede a fire. Embers can glow very hot, sometimes as hot as the fire which created them...

 tools are required.

Hot chisel


A hot chisel is used to cut metal that has been heated in a forge
Forge
A forge is a hearth used for forging. The term "forge" can also refer to the workplace of a smith or a blacksmith, although the term smithy is then more commonly used.The basic smithy contains a forge, also known as a hearth, for heating metals...

 to soften the metal. One type of hot chisel is the "hardy chisel", which is used in an anvil
Anvil
An anvil is a basic tool, a block with a hard surface on which another object is struck. The inertia of the anvil allows the energy of the striking tool to be transferred to the work piece. In most cases the anvil is used as a forging tool...

 hardy hole with the cutting edge oriented up. The hot workpiece cut is then placed over the chisel and struck with a hammer. The hammer drives the workpiece into the chisel, which allows it to be snapped off with a pair of tongs
Tongs
Tongs are used for gripping and lifting tools, of which there are many forms adapted to their specific use. Some are merely large pincers or nippers, but the greatest number fall into three classes:...

.

Stone


Stone chisels are used to carve or cut stone, bricks or concrete slabs. To cut, as opposed to carve, a brick bolster is used; this has a wide, flat blade that is tapped along the cut line to produce a groove, then hit hard in the centre to crack the stone. Sculptors use a spoon chisel, which is bent, with the bezel (cutting edge) on both sides. To increase the force, stone chisels are often hit with club hammer
Lump hammer
A lump hammer or club hammer is a heavy one-handed hammer with a double-faced head. It is useful for light demolition work, driving masonry nails, and for use with a steel chisel when cutting stone or metal. In this last application, its weight drives the chisel more deeply into the material being...

s, a heavier type of hammer.

Masonry


Masonry chisels are typically heavy, with a relatively dull head that wedges and breaks, rather than cuts. Normally used as a demolition tool, they may be mounted on a hammer drill
Hammer drill
A hammer drill, also known as a "Hammer drill", "roto-drill" or "hammering drill", is a rotary drill with a hammering action. The hammering action provides a short, rapid hammer thrust to pulverize relatively brittle material and provide quicker drilling with less effort...

, jack hammer, or hammered manually, usually with a heavy hammer of three pounds or more.

A plugging chisel has a tapered edge for cleaning out hardened mortar
Mortar (masonry)
Mortar is a workable paste used to bind construction blocks together and fill the gaps between them. The blocks may be stone, brick, cinder blocks, etc. Mortar becomes hard when it sets, resulting in a rigid aggregate structure. Modern mortars are typically made from a mixture of sand, a binder...

. The chisel is held with one hand and struck with a hammer. The direction of the taper in the blade determines if the chisel cuts deep or runs shallow along the joint.

Gouge



A modern gouge is similar to a chisel except its blade edge is not flat, but instead is curved or angled in cross-section. The modern version is generally hafted inline, the blade and handle typically having the same long axis. If the angle of the plane of the blade is on the outer surface of the curve the gouge is called an 'incannel' gouge, otherwise it is known as an 'outcannel' gouge. Gouges with angled rather than curved blades are often called 'V-gouges' or 'vee-parting tools'. Variations include 'crank-neck' gouges, 'spoon-bent' gouges, etc.
Gouges are used in wood working and arts. For example, a violin luthier will use a gouge to carve the violin, a craftsmen may use it to scoop out wood for a project, or an artist may produce a piece of art by cutting some bits out of a sheet of linoleum
Linoleum
Linoleum is a floor covering made from renewable materials such as solidified linseed oil , pine rosin, ground cork dust, wood flour, and mineral fillers such as calcium carbonate, most commonly on a burlap or canvas backing; pigments are often added to the materials.The finest linoleum floors,...

 (see also Linocut
Linocut
Linocut is a printmaking technique, a variant of woodcut in which a sheet of linoleum is used for the relief surface. A design is cut into the linoleum surface with a sharp knife, V-shaped chisel or gouge, with the raised areas representing a reversal of the parts to show printed...

).