Hand Tools Archive

Re: Bark inclusion
Response To:
Bark inclusion ()

david weaver
I'll take that into account. I'm not inclined to define it in the summary that gets posted ultimately. My picture was taken after most of it was planed out, so the gritty looking part was mostly gone.

There are several other spots on the outside of the board that I'll get a picture of with a surface scope - I can't find my old hand held scope and am waiting for another one to be delivered, or we'd have seen a better picture.

For the purpose of the summary, it's not vital what it actually is other than that it damaged every edge and puts into perspective the conditions needed to actually attain the idealized results (in beech, none of the irons suffered any significant defects. I expected greater degradation of surface quality as wear accumulated on the more highly alloyed irons, but it didn't happen - they all just lost lustre as the irons wore. Only the O1 iron showed no evidence of any visible issues, though - well, the japanese iron did the same, but its lustre dulled almost immediately. It robbed itself of performance by giving up the chunks seen in the pictures, but they were too small to leave visible lines). Or to be more clear, until the O1 iron was spent, all of the other irons left surfaces with no defects. The point where they began to leave very minor defects that were very difficult to see was after 800 feet.

It may be their resistance to abrasives that causes people to sharpen them incompletely (but that still butts up against K&K's much harsher conditions where they did find everything other than carbon steel had some kind of surface quality failing).

This was the first time that i very deliberately extended the sharpening cycle and checked with a scope until all marks were removed from the entire edge of all of the irons (think 400 total strokes on three sharpening stones), and I'm not sure that I'm not just as guilty of this in the past. But I'm also sure I have zero interest in 400 strokes on a sharpening stone when a fraction of that on carbon steel will completely refresh an edge (where the defects seem less likely in the first place).

I think every mostly or all hand tools worker is still going to stick with carbon steel even though there's no chance that any carbon steel iron that I've ever seen will match the V11, chinese steel and 3V in longevity of lifting a shaving. The total in-context time spent on the carbon steel irons is probably still less, and subjectively, the predictability of the quality is a lot easier. Sharpen once, use, no finding defects that weren't removed. Dull, sharpen again. No sharpen, plane some, super bright finish with lines in the middle, resharpen, still a line in the middle, and after 10 minutes, finally get a period of finish quality performance.

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