Sorry, guys, but the chisel in my dream was definitely a half inch. Just kidding.....What I meant to say was a chisel size which is the one you grab most of the time. 1/2, 5/8, 3/4 all are fine.
Thanks, Jeff. I like the idea, too. I wish it was original. Whoever's idea it was originally, I think it is worth passing along.
Steve, I like Ron Hock's book. I have both in my library, and would recommend both to you. They complement each other. I'm a book buff, and recently, a DVD and you tube fan, also.
My Japanese fishtail chisel is a Matsumura. It's very nicely made; I would not hesitate to buy more. I enjoy reading the descriptions of the blacksmiths in The Japan Woodworker catalog. By comparison, western toolmakers seem boring and conventional. Go to work, make a good product, go home.
Jeff, your term "old friends" describes my feeling for many of my tools. I started with the 5/16" size Lie-Nielsen chisel because I thought is would work well with my grandfather's Stanleys. It does, and I suspect I will probably eventually add a full set. They are even nice outside of the leather wrap.
One design feature I appreciate in the Lie-Nielsen chisels is that all the bevel edge chisels from 1/8 to 3/4 use the same size handle. The same handle work with all but the largest mortise chisels as well. They also sell long handles (interchangeable) for paring.
Steve, please keep us posted on your chisel experiences.
Jeff, any wife who gives her husband chisels for Christmas was well chosen!