Hand Tools Archive

for the record...
Response To:
Perspective ()

david weaver
...in our dispute about sapwood, I am the one saying that i think the results are overly rosy because sap beech is easier to plane than heartwood.

But I will also say I think there is a material difference between this iron and any of the other ones that I've planed with so far. when I was planing the last 1000 feet last night, I was giddy to see the edge picture at the end (late at night, I didn't take pictures of the edge progression to see what they'd look like - I expected that this iron may not be able to outlast the O1 iron because it wasn't that hard to sharpen), and hoping it would show something different.

I also knew and know there's a risk that I'll be labeled as a bullshitter by saying that I have an iron that planes 4000 feet.

I'm fairly confident that I could livestream a session planing if I know for sure that my phone would take an hour video without capping the video and shutting off (one of my older phones had an option to limit video size, and it burned me a couple of times in planemaking videos).

I am hoping this isn't just a fluke with this iron (did something migrate to the surface because it was heated open atmosphere and only quickly? Is it just in a spot of the iron and will the rest not wear this well? Will it wear off?).

Whatever the case is, this wood is not easier planing than cherry, and O1 on cherry, If I recall, planed 1000-1200 feet. This is worth following up on.

Worth enough that I have bought a sheet of this steel, ground. I may never use it, but won't hurt me to have it. The standard bar stock from the wholesaler is 2x36, which means I can't use it in my 7 and 8. Getting it in a wider quarter sheet (more or less) will allow me to make irons for my other planes.

it's not just that it planes longer than carbon steel, but it actually planes with less resistance, and as the picture shows, the edge wasn't really that fine from the start (i overestimated how fine the washita actually is) - like carbon steel, it "healed its edge" without forming defects around the grooves that get to the edge. I'll reserve going on about it too much longer until I can make a second iron that does the same thing. The "mule iron" here was very sloppily made, and I was considering what I'd do with the rest of this stick after I failed at making it neatly.

The real congratulations for this steel goes to carpenter. Apparently, the knife people aren't happy because this is a knife steel and the knife industry also isn't a big enough customer to get carpenter to make it in scads of sizes and keep it in stock everywhere.

I'm jumping pretty far ahead based on one iron, but if bar stock in thickness more like .125-.140 ground comes into stock, it will find its way into my infills, too.

There is a large part of me that I could probably live without, though, that still says "you're risking embarrassing yourself, you just got lucky with the first board, the next iron won't be like this, and you're one wood sample away with finding out what's defective with this iron". I had no expectations with this one other than hoping to better the O1 iron, though, so that embarrassment issue is pretty minimal.

As far as "real life planing" with contaminants, etc. I'm fairly sure a stray abrasive particle or bunch of dirt would ruin the edge on this iron just as fast as anything else. I don't have sterile conditions in this shop, and there are metal particles right in the bench top next to this because I use a portable bandsaw in the vise on the sharpening bench. I consider worrying about things like that too much (super clean shop) to get in the way of my imagination and sense of what's materially important, though.

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