This chisel is ideal for inlaying one piece of veneer into a veneer background, or can be used in conjunction with the V-edge for straight seam knife cuts, for free-hand cutting, assembly of banding or ‘filleti’ inlay and is a good tool for creating decorative veneer patterns.
The chisel should be sharpened on a grinding wheel and honed on a 1000 grit water stone as you would a normal chisel, paying close attention to keeping the back completely flat on the stone while knocking off the burr created by honing the chisel facet. The active cutting edge needs a slight radius (around .020”) to cut veneer effectively and can be made by dragging the cutting tip backwards over 100 G sandpaper. The edge needs to then be re-honed on the water stone to re-sharpen the curved or blunted tip. After sharpening the facet on the water stone, polish the edge lightly with a rotary felt wheel with rouge. The active tip of the chisel that is actually cutting the veneer also needs to be ever so slightly polished by buffing both sides of the tip. The chisel should then draw properly through the veneer, without dropping into and following the grain, (which splits the veneer ahead of the cut.)
Grasp the chisel close to the cutting edge, and draw the first pass as light as a feather to score the veneer. If you are right handed, the facet of the chisel will be facing left, or toward you (Left handed people will have the facet pointed right, and toward you) This first pass will allow the subsequent passes to follow the path you have established, in order to cut through the veneer completely on the third or forth pass. The chisel can inlay, or cut one piece of veneer (scrap) into another by securing the ‘inlay’ veneer with tape onto the veneer background, score the background using the inlay edge as a fence, and cutting through the background until the waste is cut out. (see pic) You should always be working on the ‘glue’ face of the veneer pattern and be cutting toward the ‘show’ face on the veneer, which can yield a perfect fit on the inlay. This method of ‘ veneer inlay’ can be used to remove defects in burls, repair veneer mistakes, do modern design work, and create classical borders. The handle end of the chisel is also useful for pounding a seam flat on a joint, in order to make sure there is no overlapping. Gaps can be filled, overlaps will create problems during glue up and finish sanding.