Ray Iles Mortise Chisel Issue
#11
  Re: (...)
I bought a set of three Ray Iles mortise chisels about a year ago, 1/4, 5/16, and 3/8 inches. I never did much with them; mostly just playing around and practicing chopping mortises. Recently I decided to use them on a large project. Around 200 or so mortises for mortise and tenon work. Many of these are 1/4 inch wide mortises. To save time I drilled out waste near one end of the mortise, then used the chisel to chop out the mortise. I couldn’t seem to center the chisel on the drilled hole. I was always just a little off, one side or the other. Frustrating, and I thought my technique needed improvement. So I practiced on scrap, and still just couldn’t get that chisel centered on the drilled hole. Finally I did what I should have done much sooner: I measured the width of the chisel with a micrometer. What a surprise! The 1/4 inch Ray Iles chisel measured at .268 inches (s/b .250). That’s .018 wider than specification. That seems rather much to me. It’s noticeable if trying for a snug mortise/tenon joint. Yes I can compensate for the difference with my tenons, but I would rather have a true .250 wide chisel. Is this oversize normal for a mortise chisel? Normal for the Ray Iles mortise chisel? I have other standard bench chisels that are pretty much dead on .250. Has anyone out there experienced this problem? Is it even a problem or am I being too picky? Is this a manufacturing defect or deliberate for some reason unknown to me?
The other two Ray Iles chisels are also a bit wide, but not nearly as much. The 5/16 measures at .322 and s/b .3125. Not too bad. The 3/8 measures at .379 and s/b .375. Very close. I have no qualms about using either of these two. It’s only the 1/4 inch that I am unhappy with.
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#12
  Re: Ray Iles Mortise Chisel Issue by Sierramtns (I bought a set of th...)
From whom did you buy them - and have you called them?
Thanks,  Curt
-----------------
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards."
      -- Soren Kierkegaard
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#13
  Re: Re: Ray Iles Mortise Chisel Issue by cputnam (From whom did you bu...)
I bought them from Tools For Working Wood. I have not yet called them because it was just today that I measured them and found the too wide issue. Before calling TFWW I wanted some opinions and/or advice from members.
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#14
  Re: Re: Ray Iles Mortise Chisel Issue by Sierramtns (I bought them from T...)
Deleted.. misread your OP
~ Chris
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#15
  Re: Re: Ray Iles Mortise Chisel Issue by Sierramtns (I bought them from T...)
Switch to a 64th larger bit.
Blackhat
Common decency is as rare as common sense. I figure there was only a finite amount of both made and its getting shared out among too many folks.


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#16
  Re: Ray Iles Mortise Chisel Issue by Sierramtns (I bought a set of th...)
I don't post here at all, but I'm bored and your question grabbed my attention. My answer sounds a little harsh, it is not meant that way.

You were right when you said you thought your technique needed improvement, just not in the way you think it does. Your post suggests to me that you are stuck in a machinists mindset (put down the micrometer). Instead of thinking, "I want a mortise exactly 1/4"," gauge your work off the chisel you have. It doesn't matter that your chisel is 1/64th off. Instead of trying to measure the mortise, set your mortise gauge to what the chisel actually is and go from there. Don't have a mortise gauge, make one, you're a woodworker. Then use the same gauge to lay out the tenon (cut outside the line).

Also I don't understand the part about drilling out the end. Are you trying to chop out the mortise or drill and pare? Or some weird combination of the two?
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#17
  Re: Ray Iles Mortise Chisel Issue by Sierramtns (I bought a set of th...)
I thought Ray Iles were all mm not standard.

Arlin
It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

Hi, I'm Arlin's proud wife! His brain trma & meds-give memory probs and has pain from injuries, but all is well materially & financially.  
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#18
  Re: Re: Ray Iles Mortise Chisel Issue by MikeLemon (I don't post here at...)
Yup - I have the same "issue" (?) with my "new" 3/8" Howarth -




I polished it up a bit today and my calipers say it is really 0.357" rather than 0.375", maybe a dyslexic machinist. I'm not too huffed about it even though I might have to work a bit harder to cut the extra 0.018" off my tenon thickness.



Phil
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#19
  Re: Re: Ray Iles Mortise Chisel Issue by MikeLemon (I don't post here at...)
You aren't being too harsh. Always use the chisel to set the width then CHOP the mortise first, then fit the tenon. It's wood for God's sake! It may swell or shrink by a few thousandths of an inch just because your're handling it. THROW AWAY the micrometer!!!
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#20
  Re: Ray Iles Mortise Chisel Issue by Sierramtns (I bought a set of th...)
I have the 1/4 Ray Iles mortise chisel as well. I agree with the others who say forget about the micrometer and cut your tenon to fit the mortise, whatever the exact size is. I will add that I would also forget about drilling the initial hole since that is what is mucking you up. You don't need it, these chisels can hog out the cavity just fine without it.
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