Simple Tool That Works

Published on: 01:19AM Jan 27, 2018

A long time ago I chipped the cutting edge on a medium-size cold chisel. For some forgotten reason, rather than re-sharpen it, I held it square against a grinding wheel and blunted the end. I ended up with a 6-inch-long chisel with rectangularl tip that was 1-inch wide and approximately 1/4-inch thick.

Over time, I found myself grabbing that "dull chisel" more and more often. It worked great for locking or unlocking lock collars on bearings. It was perfect for knocking out bearing races, because its oval profile caught more of the race than the round-tipped punches I formerly used. In fact, I just about quit using round-tip punches except for alignment purposes. The blunt chisel was easier to "aim" and didn't wander around on whatever I was trying to hammer on. I actually blunted a couple more cold chisels of different sizes to expand my arsenal.

Then a couple years ago a tool salesman came through the shop with a pouch full of "bearing race punches." They were exactly like my modified cold chisel, except in lengths ranging from 6- to 24-inches, with appropriate-sized oval tips. The price wasn't bad, especially since I'd already proven to myself the value of the design. The long ones work fantastic for reaching through wheel hubs to knock out bearing races, and the short ones have become my go-to tool for just about any pounding job.

If you've got some old cold chisels with broken tips, and haven't taken time to sharpen them, "blunt" them. Put them in your punch drawer, and make a point of grabbing them often enough to see what they offer. For me, they offer a lot.