Hand Tools Archive

Re: 3v may not be commercially available

david weaver
...but I recall Bill saying that it was a pleasure to work with, presumably costly though.

If it tests better than everything else, I'm sure someone might take the results and run with them.

I think there's a lot of price sensitivity in the market, though. I was going to get a 2 3/8" V11 iron to use in a bigger plane than a stanley 4 or 5, but none are available online, and the act of buying the iron and not requesting it from somewhere is important to me for subjective purposes for the test.

I'd be happy to test a 3V iron, but if it's something you're using on a regular basis, it may take months for me to get all of this done and organized, and there may be something I want to test further. I don't want to tie up peoples' nice tools.

(I do have a plane of every size 2"+ for standard irons).

As far as angle, I was planning on 33 degrees final with a guide. The reason for that is simple - that's the angle that LN's A2 (and all that I've found out there) needs to be accommodated to so that there isn't premature chipping. Steve has already documented something like that (my 33 may have been his 32 or 34), and when Brian Holcombe first launched his planed finished goods business, I vaguely recall him asking the same question and finding the LN iron to work better there than 30.

I learned to freehand hone when I was still using A2, so about 33 is baked in when I hold plane irons - they all end up there unless I consciously do something different. Someone brought that up a couple of years ago (how inaccurate hand honing would be) and I didn't find any freehand honed iron on any of my planes that differed from 33 by more than +/- 1. I was overly proud of myself for that, but I think you get to feel very little changes very easily when you do something over and over. It would feel wrong to hone a plane iron at 38 or 30.

I guess that means everything that I do, and everything that I'll test here will be based on accommodating LN's A2. I also vaguely recall that other irons (especially if they're a little soft) appreciate that same extra bit over the 25-30 older texts seem to recommend. Job 1 for me sharpening irons freehand is to give adequate clearance as much as possible, but not to a point that an iron chips - the more sharpening is dictated by wear instead of damage, the better the experience is in a long session. You can also get away with finish planing then with an iron that's not freshly sharpened - the surface will still be bright without lines.

(too with that, when I tested A2 irons, I found that early chipping both reduced terminal durability by a lot, and also made split shavings and lines relatively early on, making plane use more frustrating).

I think these things don't get talked about that often because few people really try finishing right off of a plane. If everything is dialed in right, planing to a finish on the flat bits of work is definitely faster.

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