Hand Tools Archive

Re: more questions
Response To:
more questions ()

david weaver
Dykem on the top of ground stock, trace a blade that fits, and you have your marks. Carbide scribe.

I have to admit on the decarb issue, I'm not really that well versed in how long it takes for it to be an issue and how much it matters. As far as the stock I'm using, it's already ground beforehand, and in the three blades, I've come to the conclusion that getting the blade to heat quickly in my case is important (open atmosphere) and pushing to get a tiny additional color change to get to more heat isn't helpful.

So, I heat quickly to try to limit decarb, relying on the mill grind to have full quality material at the surface. You can sand or deburr the scale/oxidation off of the outside of the iron, it's not that deep (but it is definitely hard at first). What's left behind doesn't take that long to flatten unless the blade warped significantly. My blades probably move with the adjuster a little less easily because the surface isn't as perfect. That can be countered by just loosening the lever cap screw a little bit.

I'm sure (i'm not really sure, but I'd guess), there's some performance loss for doing what I'm doing, but I'm trying to limit it because the value of making and feeling like I can horse something around (for some reason, I feel like i have to be more careful with things I buy, and even though I might like the V11 blade better if it was a point or two softer, I will sell it or give it away instead of heating it).

The experimenting is almost as valuable as the having the blade at the end for me. That the final versions are as workable as they are is a bit of a surprise. I wish I could get a picture of the surface brightness that all of these blades leave (v11 as well as the slightly softer XHP irons), it's unreal given the sharpening media (washita) as a finisher. On the softer ones (and probably the V11), the first few strokes seem to result in improvement in uniformity (maybe that happens with carbon steel) and brightness.

I thought while making the first one that there might be a significant expenditure on files and bits for these, negating any cost savings (which isn't important, anyway, or I'd be making irons out of foreign O1 - or...wait, smart thought, using that very inexpensive chinese iron in the first place), but the change in drilling holes to drilling each a little at a time (still allowing almost continuous drilling) and finding that the very dull looking teeth was actually an accumulation of material on a file brings the cost of gas and files probably to about $5 per blade.

One other side comment - when I had the blades harder tempered, at 375 or whatever it was, I checked the wear on one of the two new ones, and it had that same powdery look. I'll check the wear at the 415 degree temper with the scope after it's got some significant wear and see if it again has the same smooth looking wear that my test in sap beech showed.

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