Hand Tools Archive

More "old vs. new"

david weaver
Pictures of V11 this time to compare the missing carbides vs. A2 and see how refined the edge can get (I didn't go to iron oxide, though).

I don't use V11 much, but if I do, I usually use either a diamond hone or a norton fine india to raise the initial bur and then polish it off with something else. This is Norton fine india to "dan's hard" (not the expensive stones, but the grade below) in an IM 313. The reason for the step down is that the IM 313 just puts pools of mineral oil on a stone and it can be a pain to use the very finest stones with it. Plus, a hard ark of that inexpensive type will cut very finely once it's been broken in.


I believe the black spots are removed material, but oil looks almost the same. The trick if the spots are oil is to see a scratch carry through in the dark dot (as in, the line will still appear as a darker line in the oil dot). I just can't tell with these, and couldn't through the scope. AT this magnification, it's very difficult to get a dust, oil, dirt, water free picture.

I like this level of sharpness, though. It's quick to get and in terms of any test, it will make clean cuts on end grain, easily shave hair on both sides of the bevel, etc.

I followed this with a new black arkansas stone, but didn't see any improvement (the stone needs to settle in) https://s1.postimg.org/6itsl26wlr/dans_black_ark.jpg

And since I wasn't going in any particular order, I crossed over to a charn or some green novaculite stone from the UK that's been covered with oily 6500 grit diamond powder. It works well. Not a super fine edge, but one capable of any real reasonable work (focus on the quality of the edge and not the size of the visible scratches on the bevel).


Following that, I slurried (to make sure there was no burnishing or anything else that could damage an edge on the surface of) a sigma power 13k.


Somewhat finer - the scratches are definitely much smaller, and the edge is a little better.

The next reasonable step after that is chrome ox on balsa (graded 1/2 micron powder).


true chrome ox is very slow cutting unless you have pressure on it, but that just chances deforming an edge or allowing a contaminant to do real damage.

(all of this after the 6500k diamonds is really a waste of time for any practical purpose, by the way).

I planed with this edge then for a while (as in on an actual project) and noticed some odd nicks, likely contaminants in what I was planing - not sure. I was actually planing plywood, but not of the baltic birch type, but rather the very soft and easy cutting and planing 3 ply cabinet plywood. Due to the possibility of something untoward being on the plywood edge, or the invisible glue line maybe causing a problem I'm not accounting for, I can't really draw any conclusions about durability other than to say there was no durability increase that I can think of from taking the sharpening that far.

Lastly, after all of that (I'd still use my method in the very first image - it takes about a minute), I had a pocket knife handy. One that claims to be 440C, and I thought it would be interesting to touch it up as it's a bit soft and had visible wear (but not chipping) on the edge. It's a $12 boker stockman from China. I like a knife like this for the shop, it's extremely easy to sharpen, and rather than use any special method, since it's soft, I just put it on a slurried japanese finishing stone of the mediocre variety (they all work about the same on slurry, mediocre or great, as long as there is nothing toxic or uneven about the stone). This is what I got for an edge:


The reason I did this and thought it might be interesting is that I don't ever remember fiddling with any of these cheaper knives to get a very clean shaving edge like I had to on the 154CM edge. You can tell that this steel is soft by the depth that the stone cuts, and I'll have to go down and photo the tidioute same scope, etc, to see the difference, but the edge on this knife is really quite nice, even if a bit deeply cut due to its softness. I think a knife like this one that's easy to sharpen is much nicer to have than the same "wondersteel" knife, because the entire process to remove the wear and get to this point was a single stone and 2 minutes.

I'm sure it's not cool to like the really cheap knives better than the techy advanced stuff, but something like this is just more practical for every situation except the one where you're on an island with no sharpening stones and you can only eat until you can no longer skin a rabbit.

(re the V11, still not sure if I was able to pull anything loose, etc, but if I'd have gone from hard ark to a japanese stone to chrome ox, it would look the same as the sigma power, so there's no real case that it can't be sharpened well on natural stones. It's a bear to grind on them, but there's no real need to do that).

Disclaimer, I did not pay for the plane that this came with, it was slightly pre-production IIRC. I did pay for a V11 iron before i ever got this plane, though. LV never requested I do anything with this plane, and they didn't ask me to withhold anything that I found from the public, or I'd have never taken it. I did make good on my clumsiness and dropped the plane almost as soon as I got it.

This has been a lot of "new". I'll be on to pictures of more old next.

Messages In This Thread

More "old vs. new"
Tidioute vs. Chinese 440C
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