how to use curved chisels

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How to Use Curved Chisels: Tips for Beginners

What are curved chisels?

A curved chisel is a tool used by woodworkers to create detailed, intricate shapes in wood. Curved chisels are available in a variety of sizes and shapes to suit different purposes.

The most common type of curved chisel is the gouge, which has a U-shaped blade with a sharpened edge along the inside curve. Gouges are used for creating concave curves and hollows, such as those found in bowls and spoons. Other types of curved chisels include veiners, rabbets, v-tools, and skew chisels.

Using a curved chisel correctly requires practice and patience. The best way to learn how to use these tools is by taking a class or working with an experienced woodworker who can show you the proper techniques. When using a curved chisel, always grip it firmly with both hands and apply gentle pressure as you work your way around the shape you’re carving. Start with small cuts and gradually increase the depth of your cuts as you become more comfortable with the tool.

Why use curved chisels?

There are many reasons to use a curved chisel rather than a straight one. For starters, it allows you to get into tight spaces and corners that a straight chisel simply couldn’t reach. It also provides more control over your cuts, which can be helpful when working with delicate materials.

Another advantage of using a curved chisel is that it can help you create smoother, cleaner cuts. This is because the curve of the blade helps to guide the tool along the surface of whatever you’re cutting, resulting in a neater finish. Finally, curved chisels can also be used for decorative purposes – for instance, you can use them to create interesting patterns or shapes in woodworking projects.

How to use curved chisels

There are a few different ways you can use curved chisels. The most common way is to use them for carving out concave shapes in wood. This is because the curve of the blade helps to control the depth of the cut, which can be difficult to do with a straight chisel.

Another way you can use curved chisels is for cutting through tenons and mortises. The curve of the blade helps to keep the chisel from slipping out of the joint as you’re cutting, which makes it much easier to get a clean, precise cut.

Finally, you can also use curved chisels for paring down bevels and shaping edges. The curve of the blade lets you follow the contour of the wood more easily, which gives you more control over your cuts and helps to prevent accidental gouges.

Tips for using curved chisels

When using a curved chisel, always hold it at an angle to the workpiece. The bevel should face the direction that you are pushing the chisel. This will ensure that the cutting edge of the chisel does not dig into the wood.

To make a cut with a curved chisel, start by placing the tip of the chisel at the end of the line you want to cut. Then, push down on the handle and move the chisel along the line. As you do this, apply pressure to keep the cutting edge in contact with the wood.

When using a curved chisel, it is important to keep your fingers clear of the path ofthe blade. If your fingers are in front ofthe blade, they could get caught and injured as you make your cut.

Finally, always be sure to use a sharpened blade when working with any type of woodworking tool. A dull blade will not only make your job more difficult, but it could also cause damage to both you and your workpiece

How to sharpen curved chisels

There are a few different ways to sharpen your curved chisels depending on what you have available and what you’re comfortable with. If you have a bench grinder, that will work perfectly. If not, you can use a hand-held rotary tool or even a sharpening stone.

To sharpen on a bench grinder, first put on your safety gear (goggles and gloves). Then, holding the chisel at about a 15-degree angle to the wheel, slowly run the blade across the grinding wheel until it’s nice and sharp. Don’t press too hard or grind for too long in one spot or you risk overheating the metal and ruining the temper of the blade. Once you’re done, use a honing compound on a buffing wheel to give the edge a final polish.

If you don’t have access to a bench grinder, you can use a handheld rotary tool like a Dremel fitted with an abrasive cutoff wheel. Just be very careful not to overheat the metal – work in short bursts and keep moving the tool around so as not to stay in one spot for too long. You can also use a sharpening stone; just make sure it’s nice and flat so your chisel doesn’t get damaged.

Once your chisel is nice and sharp, it’s time to put it to good use! Curved chisels are great for carving concave surfaces (think bowls or spoons) or for cutting out intricate shapes like dovetails. So get creative and see what you can make!

How to care for curved chisels

If you’re lucky enough to have a set of curved chisels, then you know that they’re a versatile and handy tool to have in the shop. But if you’ve never used them before, you might be wondering how to care for them. Here are some tips on how to use and care for your curved chisels:

1. When using a curved chisel, always hold it at an angle so that the cutting edge is pointing downwards. This will help prevent the chisel from slipping and causing injury.

2. Always use a sharpening stone or file to keep the cutting edge sharp. A dull chisel is more likely to slip and cause injury.

3. When not in use, store your curved chisels in a safe place where they won’t get damaged or lost. A tool box or drawer is ideal.

4. Inspect your curved chisels regularly for any damage such as chips or cracks in the blade. If you find any damage, stop using the chisel and repair or replace it as soon as possible

FAQs about curved chisels

-Why are curved chisels useful? Curved chisels can be used to create a variety of different shapes and sizes, making them perfect for detailed work.
-How do you use a curved chisel? First, you will need to select the appropriate size and shape of chisel for your project. Next, mark out the area where you will be carving. Finally, use a mallet or hammer to strike the chisel and carve away at the material.
-What are some tips for using curved chisels? When using a curved chisel, it is important to keep the blade perpendicular to the surface you are carving. This will help prevent the blade from slipping and causing injury. Additionally, be sure to apply even pressure when striking the chisel with your mallet or hammer.


A curved chisel is a great tool for getting into tight spaces and for creating concave shapes. The key to using a curved chisel is to keep the blade perpendicular to the work surface. This can be tricky, so it’s important to practice on scrap wood before tackling your project. When you’re ready to use the chisel, hold it like a pencil and apply gentle pressure as you push it along the wood. You can also use a mallet to strike the chisel if you need more power. Just be careful not to damage the wood or injure yourself!


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