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SEVERAL IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER
Although it may look easy to use a cold chisel, it takes a lot of skill.
Here are several important things to remember when using these forged,
heat-treated tools to cut or shear.
ELIMINATE MUSHROOMED HEADS
A common problem with
all struck tools is that of mushrooming. The struck end spreads out as a result
of hammering. Flying chips and slippage usually accompany the use of mushroomed
chisels Also, the sharp edges can slice a finger like a razor. Properly dress
the mushroomed end of the chisel so that sides
are chamfered at the top, and the
top is flat and at right angles to the sides.
THE CUTTING EDGE
The cutting edge of the
chisel must be sharp in order to cut. Sharpen
it by dressing it on a grinding wheel, being careful that the original angle of
the cutting edge is maintained as closely as possible. Avoid overheating and
possible loss of hardness during dressing by moving the chisel against the wheel
lightly and frequently dipping the end of the chisel in water to keep it cool.
KEEP FREE OF DIRT
Keep chisels free of dirt, grease, or burrs. Properly store chisel for
your protection, as well as the chisel's.
USE THE CORRECT TYPE AND SIZE CHISEL
Always use the correct
type and size of chisel for the job. And be sure that you also use a hammer that
is heavy enough and large enough for the chisel you select.
WEAR SAFETY GOGGLES
Always wear safety
goggles when chipping, since one of the most common injuries from using a chisel
is being stuck in the eye with a chip. Protect others by warning them to keep
away from where you're working. Or
by setting up a screen.
HOLD CHISELS CORRECTLY
There are several
correct ways to hold a chisel. Regardless of which you prefer, you should hold
it steady, but with a relatively loose grip. If you miss the chisel with the
hammer and strike your hand, this grip will help lessen the blow. Of course, the
best thing to do is not miss the chisel.
STRIKING THE CHISEL
Keep your eyes on the
cutting edge of the chisel when you are striking a blow. First strike one or two
light blows on the chisel to check your swing, to set the chisel, and to keep
the swing of the hammer in the same plane as the chisel. Then increase the force
If you're using a
chisel on a small piece, clamp it rigidly in a vise. Avoid marring or otherwise
damaging the finished surfaces on the piece in the vise. To do this, use copper
covers or caps. Then chip toward the solid or stationary jaw of the vise and
never toward yourself.
Large work may require an extra heavy duty cold chisel and sledge
hammer. This calls for a two-man team, one using the sledge, and the other
holding the chisel with tongs.
Remember: the time to plan on safety precautions is before you start the job. After you or someone else has been injured, it's too late.
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