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Author Topic: Building an ice chisel or "spud".  (Read 1195 times)

Offline wood/canvas

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Building an ice chisel or "spud".
« on: December 26, 2017, 02:59:24 PM »
Hi:  I would like to build an ice chisel.  Looking for dimensions for the blade, length, thickness, width.  Also, are these chisels made from high carbon steel such as 1095 or O1, or mild steel?  Also, what is a good starting point for the length of the handle?

If you can provide any information that would be great!

THANK YOU!!

Offline AunNordDuNord

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Re: Building an ice chisel or "spud".
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2017, 03:05:57 PM »
I like a 2" wide blade, length is some what irrelevant. large socket to receive the handle that is at least 6 feet in length. I made mine out of spruce and so far so good...

As for steel, you want something that will be easy to sharpen in case you hit some rocks/gravel in shallow water...

I would think O1 would be great. Maybe 1095 even better. I think I would keep the Rc factor at no more than 50 so it sharpen easily...


Offline mewolf1

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Re: Building an ice chisel or "spud".
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2017, 09:07:05 PM »
I like a 2" wide blade, length is some what irrelevant. large socket to receive the handle that is at least 6 feet in length. I made mine out of spruce and so far so good...

As for steel, you want something that will be easy to sharpen in case you hit some rocks/gravel in shallow water...

I would think O1 would be great. Maybe 1095 even better. I think I would keep the Rc factor at no more than 50 so it sharpen easily...

+1       I've made chisels wider and thicker only to find a reduction in performance; thickness is less important than width. My latest are 2-2.5 wide, and 3/16ths thick welded to a piece of 2" sched 40. and cut fast and clean. Like AunNordDuNord a six foot spruce pole set with bees wax and stainless screws, and a loop of line to stave off loss has been my best so far.

Offline Paul_the_Pike

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Re: Building an ice chisel or "spud".
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2017, 09:49:59 PM »
What will be the intended use for the chisel?

There are quite a few designs and some are best suited for specific tasks. If you are looking to go straight through 4-5' of ice for water, a good spike will do better than must anything. I would not use that for fishing however. I often use my chisel for splitting logs as well. This saves bringing an ax when I need the chisel for fishing anyway, which tends to be the purpose of my trips.

I've commercially manufactured chisels for fishing for some years. My favorite design has a slightly concave cutting end. This allows for the edges to bite without deflecting or glancing off the ice, which is especially useful for tapering out the bottom of a hole.

I do recommend a strong hollow grind on the cutting edge of just about any chisel design for best results.

Offline mewolf1

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Re: Building an ice chisel or "spud".
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2017, 08:26:48 AM »

Offline sd

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Re: Building an ice chisel or "spud".
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2017, 10:15:43 AM »
What will be the intended use for the chisel?

There are quite a few designs and some are best suited for specific tasks. If you are looking to go straight through 4-5' of ice for water, a good spike will do better than must anything. I would not use that for fishing however. I often use my chisel for splitting logs as well. This saves bringing an ax when I need the chisel for fishing anyway, which tends to be the purpose of my trips.

I've commercially manufactured chisels for fishing for some years. My favorite design has a slightly concave cutting end. This allows for the edges to bite without deflecting or glancing off the ice, which is especially useful for tapering out the bottom of a hole.

I do recommend a strong hollow grind on the cutting edge of just about any chisel design for best results.


Paul,
Do you have any pics or measurements regarding the 'slightly concave cutting end" and the "strong hollow grind"?

Thanks,
Sheamus

Offline Paul_the_Pike

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Re: Building an ice chisel or "spud".
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2017, 07:28:06 PM »
Paul,
Do you have any pics or measurements regarding the 'slightly concave cutting end" and the "strong hollow grind"?

Thanks,
Sheamus

Here is a rough diagram of what I am referring to.


I have found I like about .25" concavity on a 1.25-1.50" wide chisel. The outer edges are aggressive and keep the blow on target. Because of the way ice likes to fracture, having less surface area hitting at once can also be to your advantage. The hollow grind is done by using the circumference of a grinding wheel to create a hollow behind the bevel. A smaller diameter wheel will create a deeper hollow. The image is exaggerated a bit.

Most of my personal chisels are small and lightweight. They take a lot less energy to use and produce just about the same result as a heavier chisel. The only time I use a large or heavy chisel is if I need to free a frozen-in ice house, in which case the bigger the better for prying.

I have quite a variety overall, and each edge has its advantages and disadvantages. This is just my favorite for general use and fishing. It is surprising the number of uses you can find for a good chisel in the winter.


Offline sd

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Re: Building an ice chisel or "spud".
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2017, 07:32:47 PM »
Thanks, Paul. Very helpful.

S

Offline wood/canvas

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Re: Building an ice chisel or "spud".
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2017, 01:31:05 PM »
Thank you to all for all the info, the photo and the drawing.  I'm going to give it a whirl, I'll let you know how it turns out.
THANK YOU!!