Hand Tools Archive

Re: (It's a matter of likelihood, of course)

Steve Voigt
David, I've been thinking about how these results might vary in different species. Last week, I made some float handles in African Blackwood and Boxwood. With the blackwood, my normal O1 iron was badly dull after 50 or so shavings…on a five inch long blank. So that's less than 25 lineal feet. Caleb and Darryl (both of whom I hold in high regard) commented that they considered PMV11 mandatory in something like blackwood.

You're right that folks often make too much of "difficult" woods--no one in their right mind is going to be building cabinets out of blackwood, or lignum vitae. Euro/American handtools are best suited for the more moderate hardwoods (and softwoods) that have historically been used here, and it made sense to do your testing on medium hardness timber that represents what the majority of woodworkers are using these irons for. But I guess my point is that I agree we can't make blanket statements, and the results are likely to vary significantly by species.

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