..first, what was causing the failures the first time around. If they don't recur, I don't think we'll ever know, and I'm not a fan of substituting an assertion without proof.
Second, I've changed planes - the inability to set the cap iron properly was really bugging me. My option with the stanley was to file the mouth, but it's my favorite smoother, so no way. No civilized person would move the cap back twice as far as it should be from the edge, so that is rectified. BUT, what happened to the wear on the back of the iron right at the edge? The shavings are about 2 1/2 thousandths. I shot for two early on, but my calipers keep you guessing with a little bit of springback without wood in them.
I'd guess the setting for the cap now is somewhere in the 6 to 8 thousandth range because it's influencing shavings but it's not really adding much resistance. This is exactly where I"d have it for smoothing. The shavings are straightening, but not compressed. IF you were to use this plane and want to take a shaving half again thicker or a little more, it would compress the shavings some - you could work quickly with no risk of tearout.
But ...where's the wear bevel on the back, I thought we saw it on the other ones. I don't know. IT could also be that the polish is so bright now that it will have to be bigger before it contrasts enough to see it.
On the actual wood, after this, there are two tiny lines. They may not even be seen if I was using a washita to smooth, but the uniformity of the edge on this and the sharpness makes them stand out on a super bright surface.
As you look at the second picture, you'll see mostly removed lines that terminate just before the edge. That they do is important, because any depth of lines getting to the edge creates an unsupported corner and that unsupported corner will erode on both sides making the defect bigger.
There's a double layer of relief tonight, too. I was wary of coming home to a house where the mrs. saw a guitar was delivered, but before leaving work, she called to tell me that she was taking the kids to the pool - unboxing and stowing of the box and throwing the case into general population where the newbie wouldn't be noticed was achieved without detection. YAY!