lee valley carving chisel-good value?
#20
  Re: RE: lee valley carving chisel-good value? by AHill (At less than $10 per...)
(03-20-2021, 08:55 PM)AHill Wrote: At less than $10 per chisel, they won't be stellar chisels.  I suspect the edge holding on them will be mediocre at best.  They are cheaper than Ramelson carving chisels, which I would classify as mediocre.  I don't know what occasional use means for you, but it wouldn't take long for the tools to lose their edge and require honing or sharpening.

Keep in mind these are a special buy.  You don't usually find their best quality stuff in the special buy category.

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Last in line...

There are a few questions that come to mind regarding what it is the OP intends to carve and what type of wood he expects to be carving...that makes a huge difference....Carving in a hard wood in the hardness range of oak "might" require a change of bevel angle on the tool...IF OTOH he will be carving wood such as Bass, a lower angle may be what is needed..That's why we have so many knives...If you're carving with a tool that is ground for best performance on Bass, it wont hold up well on Oak...If you are carving caricatures in hand, you want short handle tools...And that is why I say that the ability to modify and take his edges to a hair-popping sharpness SUITED TO THE WOOD is crucial to enjoyable carving.People that cannot get that hair-popping edge will never know the pleasure of carving wood.
My experience with chisel "sets" is such that I feel the manufacturers grind their tools they sell in "sets", at the angle that produces the best overall performance on HARDER wood...They do not want the edges to collapse at the first stroke of the blade. This is no good on softer woods...it wont be fun to carve with them...I don't care for "sets" anyway...there are tools in "sets" that are seldom, if ever used...but they sound attractive to newbies...I prefer buying knives individually as required..A good brand overall is the Flex-cut line and another good brand is Warren Tools.They have been in business in New York State for almost a hundred years...They know steel and they know how to make tools...and they know what "sharp" is...Flex-cut does as well....For most carving you only need a few knives, one of which I find essential is the "V" tool...and it is one of the most difficult to sharpen correctly..Once you master sharpening a V-Tool, you will have learned 90% of what you need to know about sharpening in general!!!!..Just my two cents...Rant over and out!!! Big Grin
"If you don't read newspapers you're uninformed...If you do read newspapers, you're misinformed.....Mark Twain

Jack Edgar, Sgt. USMC Korean War 51/52
Get off my lawn ! Upset





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#21
  Re: RE: lee valley carving chisel-good value? by Timberwolf ([quote='AHill' pid='...)
Buying the best one can afford is sound advice but only for those who know what they're doing.

I have had good deals snatched in the past from someone who decided he was no longer interested in making dovetails with his months old leigh jig, like new wrench set because the guy wasn't into mechanics anymore, turning gouges hardly used (except one badly sharpened) when the fellow found woodturning wasn't his suit. A sharpening system for pennies after the guy preferred to use power tools only. I made some good money from reselling those...but before long, it was all spent away!

Many of us have come across or heard about similar stories.

For people who don't know the craft yet, beginner sets or economical tools are the best way to start. Having a "cheap" set doesn't keep one from upgrading.

Sometimes when experts or seasoned fellows give advice, they have good intentions but also a blind spot: they assume everyone else has or will have their level of skills and experience.

I agree buying an expensive set is not a good idea, but at $65 (less than the cost of one of my chisels) I wouldn't give it a second thought. One time, I bought a whole set of tools, but I really needed just two of them. I kept the two and sold the rest, and recovered 25% of the price I paid. It was still much cheaper than to just the two individually.

Simon
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#22
  Re: lee valley carving chisel-good value? by toolmiser (Lee Valley has a 7 p...)
I did email them, and they even answered on Sunday, yes they are from China. Some times a decision is tough to make. I am one who appreciates quality, but also value. Pretty sure I am not going to get into carving too much, it would be nice to have something that could help me cut out a groove or match a small detail when I can get away with it.

Thanks for the responses
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#23
  Re: lee valley carving chisel-good value? by toolmiser (Lee Valley has a 7 p...)
They look like the carving chisel set on Aliexpress under brand names like Mytec and various others.

I bought a set some time ago to practice sharpening irregular shaped chisels. They're kind of OK but took so much work to tune up the shape before you could even start putting a good cutting edge on them. If Lee Valley do any quality control and only on-sell those that are close to being the right shape you might be OK. Otherwise be prepared for a fair bit of grinding and honing.
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#24
  Re: lee valley carving chisel-good value? by toolmiser (Lee Valley has a 7 p...)
They resemble a set sold by LV a few years ago as a special deal. On a whim I purchased them (the special deal from a few years back) and have used them several times.

Mostly used in cherry, poplar and walnut but with some mahogany and kahya. 

Smaller/shorter than similar Pfiel chisels. 
Steel will take an edge, didn't seem like excessive work to sharpen on diamond plates or Arkansas (soft) stones. Responded well to power stropping with a leather wheel and green crayon as one would expect.
I had sort of worked out their equivalent sizes 7/10 in the Pfiel scale but I don't have that info handy.

All in all, I think they were a decent investment for me as I don't do much carving, mostly fussing with shapes like pulls and lifts. Pretty sure I paid less than the current $65.

But compared to Pfiel (have a few) and some Hirsch carving chisels, they aren't as high quality in the fit and finish. And as I said, they are a bit shorter. So for me it gets a little crowded when using two hands on the chisel.
Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things. -- G. Carlin
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#25
  Re: RE: lee valley carving chisel-good value? by Rob Young (They resemble a set ...)
I must add this remark to my previous suggestion that for beginners use "beginner" tools. There're some big exceptions. Among them handplanes and saws.

I've come across people who almost gave up hand sawing and hand planing because of the lousy (sometimes rusty) tools they got on ebay or flea market. I blame that partly on people like Paul Sellers and the like who use old Stanley planes in their shows. Beginners don't have the skill to use the tools let alone fix them.

So, get a L-N or Veritas plane/saw the kind that you can really use out of the box if you're a beginner starting to learn to use it. A few beginners who used my saw or plane were able to cut or shave properly with only some simple hands on guidance from me. That's when buying the best you can afford makes good sense.

Simon
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#26
  Re: RE: lee valley carving chisel-good value? by Handplanesandmore (I must add this rema...)
(03-22-2021, 11:53 AM)Handplanesandmore Wrote: I must add this remark to my previous suggestion that for beginners use "beginner" tools. There're some big exceptions. Among them handplanes and saws.

I've come across people who almost gave up hand sawing and hand planing because of the lousy (sometimes rusty) tools they got on ebay or flea market. I blame that partly on people like Paul Sellers and the like who use old Stanley planes in their shows. Beginners don't have the skill to use the tools let alone fix them.

So, get a L-N or Veritas plane/saw the kind that you can really use out of the box if you're a beginner starting to learn to use it. A few beginners who used my saw or plane were able to cut or shave properly with only some simple hands on guidance from me. That's when buying the best you can afford makes good sense.

Simon
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That's when buying the best you can afford makes good sense.

I think Simon makes a great point...Eventually tho, ALL cutting tools { even the most expensive of them } will need maintenance to KEEP performing like new, and I think the newbie should understand that that they will have to learn most aspects of that maintenance shortly after learning to use the tool correctly. We see lots of really "like new" high-dollar tools for sale because the owner lost interest OR they didn't learn to maintain them...And IMO, sharpening is THE crucial skill that must be learned quickly in the hobby in order to really enjoy it. That cannot be over emphasized... Crazy
"If you don't read newspapers you're uninformed...If you do read newspapers, you're misinformed.....Mark Twain

Jack Edgar, Sgt. USMC Korean War 51/52
Get off my lawn ! Upset





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#27
  Re: lee valley carving chisel-good value? by toolmiser (Lee Valley has a 7 p...)
(03-19-2021, 08:30 PM)toolmiser Wrote: Lee Valley has a 7 piece carving chisel set for $65.00 .  https://www.leevalley.com/en-us/shop/too...UR%2C17I4W  I am sure it isn't great, but would it be ok for occasional use by someone who doesn't know anything about carving?  

There are times when some carving chisels would come in handy.  Let's say for a repair of something.  I don't need or want something top dollar, but are these usable, or just bad?

All comments are appreciated.

These gouges look very much like they were made in a Chinese chisel factory. Note the conical necks which are found on chisels, not carving tools. If you google "chinese gouges" and look at "images", you will see a lot of this stuff at much lower prices. I doubt Lee Valley paid $20 a set. 

For carving tools, they would be a little heavy, (and a little clumsy),but otherwise serviceable, about like the Aldis chisels. I prefer Aldi chisels to Lee Valley chisels.
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#28
  Re: RE: lee valley carving chisel-good value? by wmickley ([quote='toolmiser' p...)
(03-22-2021, 02:48 PM)wmickley Wrote: These gouges look very much like they were made in a Chinese chisel factory. Note the conical necks which are found on chisels, not carving tools. If you google "chinese gouges" and look at "images", you will see a lot of this stuff at much lower prices. I doubt Lee Valley paid $20 a set. 

For carving tools, they would be a little heavy, (and a little clumsy),but otherwise serviceable, about like the Aldis chisels. I prefer Aldi chisels to Lee Valley chisels.

Some of the past clients I dealt with (in consumable goods, not woodworking tools) marked up their prices 50% or more (keystone). But there were good reasons. They bore every kind of risk, and costs (inventory costs were a big one). Customer service and returns were also steep for them. In the end, the profit margins were nothing glorious. A good friend of mine runs a food business, his markups are between 5% to 30%, mostly 10% to  20%. He can't afford to pay his workers too much...or compete with amazon wage policy.

Paul Sellers had some good words on the (old) Aldis...I've never tried them.

Simon
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