Hand Tools Archive
Almost all of us come to this hobby from something else we already do well.
It makes it hard for someone to not want to have that same level of success when they start woodworking, and ego and impatience get in the way.
I like to think some of my interpretation of these results is driven by what I expect to see - just as you'll be able to tell my surprise if I see something different than what i expect.
It's easy to go into the shop and say "I'm too important to have time to learn that" or "nobody will care what it does for results, because they won't notice", but it's far smarter to go into the shop each time you're working an expect to both do and learn. The idea of being told what to buy and told by someone else why it's superior is OK as a starting point, but we can observe things, discuss them, and sharpen our own ability to branch off and either improve our own abilities or figure something out.
Some of it isn't easy to communicate. I still can't communicate that well why everyone who does nearly all hand work migrates to carbon steel irons. I could put out a whole bunch of bullet points, but someone has to feel them or see them or experience them after an hour of planing and then do that 10 times.
I try to observe something new or think about something new (even if I'm just building something in the shop) each time I'm in it, and if I'm in for more than a very short period, allow myself the room to make a mistake on something to learn.
There is no real need to run this durability test, except I feel like the community is owed a comparison of the V11 iron after Brent Beach made a decent display of just about everything else we use on a regular basis. Where the results come out, I don't really care.
But even in this, I learn or relearn something. when I did my first test of these irons - it's dullard work - i fence the plane with my fingers and the top of my left hand index finger gets smooth and burnished. It starts to feel after about 20 shavings like the bronze smoother is getting noticeably duller. The sole grips the surface of the work a little bit more, and that causes the same behavior as a dull iron in terms of smoothness. Add a little bit of wax and continue on and it's as if it's a different plane. I will remember that in the middle of planing something, it's often tempting to keep going and not wax the sole of the plane for what could be 100 strokes. I see how much effort I'm wasting by not pausing to do that.
This is now the second time that I realize what people often perceive as a dulling plane is probably them leaning on a plane that's got more friction due to loss of wax. And the precisely made premium planes have so much contact area on the wood that they really have some significant grip once the wax starts to go. Not sure if the bronze is worse than steel because I don't have a steel version to compare, but it does seem fairly grippy.