Hand Tools Archive

Tiny scratches on some but not others

david weaver
I figured out why some of the irons appear to have tiny scratches at the very edge (in line with iron length) and others don't. That's actually based on the focus of the microscope. All of the irons have scratches at the very edge like that, but the focus can be set to the surface of the iron instead of slightly lower. That's probably the biggest challenge in all of this - getting consistent pictures.

Each iron reflects a little big differently and the scope software tries to compensate changing brightness and contrast. The result is different light/dark in pictures.

that's not a material nuisance, though. What we see in wear should be a lot more significant and viewable regardless of color.

Testing starts this weekend at the latest. I'm not going do do it in a rush for several reasons:
1) handling the irons - sounds stupid, but with six irons, you have to be ultra careful to not allow any edge to get touched in handling. I lay them on top of each other in two piles staggered so that nothing can touch their edges.
2) avoiding other issues of failure that are unintentional - like making sure the board edges are all clean
3) stopping and taking pictures (goes back to handling the iron) of the edges. It would be easy to bang an edge on something while moving it around on the scope. I'm also a horribly disorganized person, and if I try to do the test in a rush, I'll probably end up losing track of something.

I'm debating weighing the shavings that come off of each test round. I shoot for uniformity in shaving depth, but that is a constant adjustment while planing. As clearance starts to go with use, the depth needs to be advanced. I'm not sure if high humidity days would affect the accuracy of weighing the shavings, though. I think it'll all even out in the end, and may not post shaving weight data, but one of the irons will be using a separate plane vs. the others, possibly two.

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