There are a number of forms of chisels, but the only two classes you will probably ever be in need of are the firmer and framing chisels. The former are intended for hand use only, while the latter are used for heavy work, such as mortifying, where it becomes necessary to use the mallet.
In using a Firmer chisel, the work should be placed in the vise or be otherwise held in position, that both hands may be kept upon the tool, the right hand grashing the upper end of the handle and doing the pushing, while the left hand holds the lower part of the handle and acts as a guide in working it.
Paring with the chisel consists in trimming a piece of wood to a given line. It is an operation very often saved to in finishing the end of a piece of work instead of planning, and in trimming up a curved edge. Here the line misrepresents the line of the finished end of a piece of work. The board is first placed in a vise and the wood removed to about one-quarter inch with a compass-saw, following the curve of the line as near as possible. Then lay the piece upon the bench-hook and pare to the line with the chisel.
The chisel is often used to pare down the surface of a piece of work to a given line.
The Framing chisel should have been held in the left hand, and the blows dealt upon the handle with the mallet in the right hand. In handling the framing chisel the bevel of the blade should be towards the work. Unless this is done the chisel will not cut down squarely but will cut in under, as it can not be guided as easily as the firmer-chisel can, with both hands to hold it.
Chamfering and Bevelling are somewhat similar operations. They consist in cutting the edges of a piece of wood.
The corner of a block of wood is very often chamfered, when planning end-wood, to prevent the wood from splintering. It can only be done, of course, before the adjoining side has been planned up, that a square corner can be obtained again when the work is finished.
The Gouge is a chisel with a curved section, its use being for cutting grooves and curvatures in a piece of work where the chisel can not be employed.
A Draw-knife is very handy for quickly reducing the size of material and in rounding sticks. The blade is drawn toward you instead of being pushed as in the case of a plane or chisel.
Source by James W. Vincent