Hand Tools Archive

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

Wiley Horne
David, this strikes me as a good time to start getting your arms around what you’ve already accomplished—which is a lot. This has been a fabulous experiment, with insights being thrown off like sparks. But if you keep expanding, it will be like that Tolstoy short story we read in high school literature about the fellow who was told he could have all the land he could walk around in one day—it ended badly.

Why not start tabulating and organizing your data and photos and observations-by-feel? You might think about whether it would be valid to assign a metric to your observations-by-feel, which have to do with (a) ease/difficulty of sharpening, (b) when you would have sharpened, i.e., when the iron stopped pulling itself positively into the wood, and (c) tactile behavior—how the iron felt in the cut, esp. in the early going.

For example, on all of these, you could adopt LV’s method of using two benchmarks—the best and the worst, assigning them 1 and 10 respectively, and arraying the others in between subjectively.

As the true scope of the results begins to take shape, it will likely occur to you that it would be good to go back and fill in this or that uncertainty or ambiguity. You have all the time in the world to do these fill-in studies, so if you start corralling the data and findings now, the fill-in studies will be aimed at bringing things to closure, rather than trying to walk around yet more land :) .


P.S. If the thought of tables, charts, and text makes you a little ill, you can get some help and editorial assistance from the usual suspects :) .

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