Hand Tools Archive

Re: graham blackburn...
Response To:
graham blackburn... ()

Warren in Lancaster, PA
In 2011 I attended both the CW conference and the WIA in Cincinnati. Graham Blackburn was at the Cincinnati conference and I heard his lecture on the double iron.

I remember two peculiar ideas that Blackburn was very adamant about. One was that the cap iron needed to be sharpened every time the iron was sharpened. A few skeptics questioned him hard on this. I was sort of chuckling inside, imagining what a cap iron would look like after 5,000 sharpening cycles.

The other peculiar notion was that the cap iron distance from the edge needed to be the same as the shaving thickness. So if you were taking a .002 shaving the cap iron needed to be .002 as well. Because of the 45 degree geometry, this would put the cap iron tip down below the sole of the plane. Tough not to laugh.

In practice I don't think he actually put the cap iron that close. He had a plane set up for participants to try. The cap iron was way too close for the shaving thickness, so it left a horrible surface. There was no tear out, however.

In the 2007-2012 era, that is post Kato/Elliott and pre Weaver, Chris Schwarz and Larry Williams were claiming that the cap iron would not work unless it was placed within .004 of the edge. I think they were both light on experience, to put it mildly. A number of other people quoted this number, thinking that that is what Kato said.

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