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More from Cliff -parallels iron testing

David Weaver

I tested plane irons last year. V11 lasted as long in an ideal test as O1.

Since then, I've found that appropriate performance in less than ideal situations (as in, not splitting shavings or doing other things that make it more difficult to judge what's going on) doesn't measure up to the idealized testing, especially when sharpening time is considered. I didn't do any specific test to judge this, just repeatedly pulling an iron out of a jointer (a record 8) and noticing that the amount of chipping was much greater than I was used to and the nuisance of getting rid of it was greater.

To be fair, this is my XHP iron, and it's possible that V11 could be slightly better (though we've seen in chisels the same kind of behavior - it's harder to eliminate chipping than it is with O1, etc).

That's caused me to go back toward whatever chips least for normal use (as my normal use is a small percentage of smoothing and a lot of other things).

Interesting in this case as cliff compared a harder CPM10V knife to a softer knife made of bandsaw blade material in dirty used rope. Once the rope was dirty, the idealized clean test results nearly disappeared.

I'm not binge watching these videos, they're just running in the background while I do some work so that I don't go into a trance.

Cliff apparently started testing knives before 2000 (so the youtube videos are not him new to playing around with this). 20 years ago, manufacturers claims were generally untested and forums formed around manufacturers and guruism ensued. Some makers of larger heavier knives with special proprietary steels or processes charged well over four figures for semi-production knives (it was easier to get away with) and cliff got a label placed on him of being anti-fill in the blank (super steel, anti-carbides, whatever).

Interesting in this case only because I have gone back to simpler steel for most planing just due to performance and overall effort, and then will run into a video like this that talks about what happens when the use environment is less than ideal.

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