If you are looking to purchase some Marples chisels, there are a number of things you should be aware of before you buy. Some of the most important considerations you should keep in mind are the size and weight of the chisel, whether it is made from ‘Compact’ or ‘Splitproof’ steel, and whether it is ‘Made in Sheffield’.
William Marples & Sons of Sheffield, England are renowned for their classic line of chisels. The company is now part of the Newell Rubbermaid family. There are three types of chisels from the company, including Firmer Chisels, Bevel Edge Chisels, and Long Thin Paring Chisels. These chisels can be used for a variety of woodworking projects.
A Firmer Chisel is usually made of a thick rectangular cross section that is suitable for harder work. They can be up to 50mm long. They are used for millwrights and coach makers. Many carpenters use chisels for general woodworking purposes.
Firmer Chisels are made of high carbon steel that contains 1% carbon by volume. This makes them more shock resistant and hard. The steel is then tempered from the edge to the trademark.
If you’ve been working with chisels for some time, you’ve probably already discovered how versatile these tools can be. They’re great for fine detail work, including making mortise and tenon joints. And they’re lighter than many other chisels, so you can hold them with one hand while you work.
Paring chisels are used to shave thin wood while fitting joints. Typically, you’ll use a paring chisel to dress the sides of a mortise and tenon joint. However, you may also use a paring chisel for other tasks, such as smoothing out corners on a workpiece.
There are two basic types of chisel: long thin paring gouges and round neck registered gouges. You can purchase paring chisels in several shapes and sizes.
Marples Splitproof chisels have a durable neck, sturdy handles, and a long-lasting finish. It is a popular brand with woodworkers, cabinet makers, and home hobbyists. These chisels are manufactured from premium grade steel and are designed to withstand the rigors of daily use.
The company started making chisels and gouges around 1860. They were sold in chisel boxes of that era. Their products were hardened from edge to trademark and tempered. They had the MARPLES trademark on them.
They were available in 4 different sizes. One was a ‘Compact’ chisel, which was only available during 1968-1969. This chisel had a wooden handle, but was made from best-in-category steel for sharpness.
‘Compact’ chisel #382
One of the first MARPLES chisels to be offered was the ‘Compact’ chisel. Introduced in 1968 alongside the ‘Harlequin’ chisel, this was aimed at the amateur market. It was also made from wood and had a wooden handle. The ‘Compact’ chisel was offered only during 1968-69.
A similar chisel was the ‘Outcannel Gouge’ #415. This was a renamed version of the ‘Incannel Gouge’, which was available in the same size range. But it was never a fine woodwork chisel, but rather a ‘gouge’ intended for everyday use.
Other chisels of the ‘Compact’ era include the ‘Round’ splitproof handled B/E Butt chisel, which was introduced in 1954. Like the ‘Compact’ chisel, it had a round neck, but it had a heavier OVAL handled version, as well as a lighter round handled version.
‘Record Marples’ on both sides
The Record Marples Chisels were a classic style of tool. They were produced c.2002. They were originally marked as made in Sheffield, UK. Later versions had the MARPLES trade mark on the handle. In a woodworking tool catalogue published in October 1979, it was noted that there were four different sizes of handles available.
These chisels are made of hardened steel to Rockwell 58-61, so they are durable. A diamond file is included to ensure a sharp edge. Each tool comes packaged in a pine box with a plastic tip guard for protection.
They are available in sizes from 1/8″ to 1-1/2″ in 1/4″ increments. You can also purchase a set of ten standard widths.
‘Made in Sheffield’
Marples chisels are available in three styles. The two styles with round handles are made from 100 CRV high carbon steel. They also have an impact-resistant polypropylene core handle.
These chisels are good for site work, woodworking and working carpenters. They are hardened to 58-61 HRC, making them shock resistant and durable. In addition to their steel, these chisels come with a plastic tip guard.
The Blue Chip Firmer chisels were introduced in 1971. These chisels have a tapered neck. However, they were not intended to be used for fine woodworking. Instead they were designed for use in the everyday woodworking environment.