When I first became serious about hand tool woodworking, I bought a set of Lie-Nielsen chisels. Overall, they are fantastic, but I made two mistakes. Not knowing which steel I wanted, I bought four in A2 and only one, the 3/4", in O1. I strongly prefer the O1 chisel and always reach for it first. I prefer it so much that I have seriously considered selling the other four and replacing them with the O1 versions, but there is a big problem. Lie-Nielsen only sells A2 chisels now. I just cannot understand this because, in my opinion, A2 is obsolete. In my opinion, you either want to stick to O1, like I do, or you should move to something like PM-V11 steel. If you want longer edge life, this is a superior alternative by far. Of course, this is only my opinion.
The second problem is that Lie-Nielsen sells an alternative long handle that they promote as great for paring and I bought it instead of the regular handle for the 1/4" chisel. I guess I understand their reasoning, but just putting a long handle on a regular bench chisel doesn't make it a paring chisel in my opinion. I have never liked it and never used it, so I have to use a handle from one of the other chisels when I need a 1/4" chisel. It just sat in the chest for years. Then I had a brainstorm:
I cut it in two, rounded over the top and, voila, a handle I really like for this small chisel. To make it even better, I found a great use for the other piece. Some years ago, I bought a cheap little brass mallet that I like to use with my chisels, but the poorly-made handle fell off. For the way I like to use it, by holding the head with my thumb and forefinger, this is perfect:
It nests in the palm of my hand like it was custom-made, and it's Maine hornbeam! When I was growing up in upstate New York, we had this common trash wood we considered useless which was called ironwood. Apparently, it was American hornbeam. Wish I had some of it now.
I love it when a plan comes together: