Hand Tools Archive

"It's a waste of time to make stanley irons"

David Weaver
I can't remember what the context was that I said that in, but I think it may have been ...who knows. I think making an iron came about in wanting certain properties out of O1.

I haven't made that many, I think these 5 are it (lots of other irons, but stanley irons are a lot of work for what they are).

I don't think they're a waste of time at this point if you're aiming at something you like and either can't or don't want to buy it (e.g., what if you want an O1 iron that's hard, but not hock hard?).

The 3rd iron is, of course, V11. The first iron at the top is the XHP mule that I tested against the O1 iron (far other end of the line) that lasted about the same as a hock O1 iron.

The second iron from the top is O1, slightly softer than the last, and the remaining two are XHP. I like the hole in the slot at the top end of the iron. It's easier to put the cap iron on the blade and take it off because it never goes over the end of the blade by accident. I think all irons should be made that way, and am not sure what stanley's reasoning was for putting the hole down near the business end of the iron.

Subjectively, I like XHP a little softer than the two new irons are (those are tempered at 375 degrees and are a little hard mannered. I'm not going to duration test every iron that I make, but I doubt they'd go much longer than the mule (which is probably 60 hardness or so, maybe ever so slightly higher) and the mule is twice as easy to sharpen.

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