Hand Tools

If you're going to weld, harden and temper...
Response To:
Rebitting plane irons? ()

David Weaver
I think you're better off just making replacement irons. You can make a nice parallel iron in 2 hours and match the norris surface finish. I'm not going to encourage you to forge the stamp on one, but you could if you really wanted to.

The originals that are solid are unlikely to be true water hardening steel without elements added for hardenability, whereas the bitted irons are probably a higher carbon water hardening steel for better forge welding.

I could be wrong, though - they may have been expensive enough at the time to deal with warpage and loss.

I'd make the irons for them and get just what you want and set the originals aside so as not to discolor them or modify them. If I were going to add a bit to them, I'd do what the chinese do and braze HSS so that when it gets hot during brazing, it rehardens.

Bill had a chinese brazed iron tested and I believe it was still low 60s at the braze, and the business end of it averaged a little over 65 (it's a bit overhard, but still works well).

I've only had maybe 10 norris planes, but never bothered to try to find original irons because they're not that great for the price, and everyone trying to match parts planes with irons to resell (dealers) drives up the price of them.

M2 bit at 60 hardness would probably be pretty nice to use, actually - easy to sharpen aside from holding a wire edge, and could be brazed right to the iron and ground.

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