Hand Tools Archive

Derek's efforts...
Response To:
Don't forget about Derek ()

david weaver
...some might discount because of his relationship with LV, but I don't because of that.

I generally want to get a separate look because most of what Derek works with is harder or more abrasive than what we work with. I recall Derek mentioning that clifton's O1 blades (which are not the longest wearing of the O1 irons, but a lot of people like them) last few passes in a lot of the wood there. In cherry here, they'd last a lot.

One of the things I wanted to test in terms of longevity was a "normal" good-natured wood that we'd use in the united states. In good-natured stuff, it may be that my observations are even better.

When the inclusions or whatever they were (pockets of silica? who knows) showed up in the maple, the carbon steel blade took a fraction of the damage that the other irons did (tsunesaburo) - is there a need to have more polite wood? I don't know. The stainless powder knife tests that bill linked to show stainless PM steels as being relatively low toughness, but we've figured out here that if surface quality isn't a concern, low toughness really isn't a problem. If the wood is agreeable, I barely saw anything other than very minor defects in the beech tests (maple tends to show a little more in terms of edge defects - both tests - where carbon steel will work fine without showing any and all of the alloyed irons left some very small lines).

At any rate, I don't discard anything from anyone who has experience, though I do stuff some of derek's observations off to the side if they're done in really tough woods because we don't often use those types over here.

I had a very soft dwight and french iron in a try plane. I would bet you could gently roll a burr on it (if not, almost) if you needed to. I was sure that when I went to use the plane (which I bought while testing various try planes before building), the iron just wouldn't do. But I used it, anyway, and to my surprise in try planing, it lasted fine. Enough for me to get tired. It had visible bright wear on the bevel when I resharpened it, but it worked just fine.

I stepped it up and (can't remember which) tried to put it to a stick of hard maple or heart beech, and it was nothing but a fight. What derek usually works is a level up from there, and while I like the stanley irons in beech and cherry, stepping up to something like jarrah would probably make cut resistance more noticeable.

From a variable standpoint, it's important to me for all of these tests that even if derek has done some testing, rather than just requesting to stuff it in with the results of mine, I want to generate all of the results in the same plane with the same cap iron (if able - I had to use a different cap iron for M4 because modifying the original LN cap iron meant that it would no longer work with an iron thicker than stock LN).

Even swapping over to the norris plane to test the ward iron, I can tell the plane design is not quite as well suited to provide natural downforce in regular cutting vs. an LN bronze 4 - that could very well account for 100 feet of planing distance. I just don't want that variable. Doesn't mean that the norris is a worse plane, it's just going to be less tolerant of using a dulling iron. Contrary to some older literature that suggests infill planes excel at working longer into a dulling cycle. If that's true, it's not true compared to the bronze 4.

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