Hand Tools

slipped the lane...

David Weaver
when I posted the picture of the shavings and the uniformity of the edge, that's secondary to trying to get a perfect surface straight off of the plane as a matter of furniture practice.

The point of it is that predictability with edge uniformity, and edge strength both lead to better outcomes for more than just surface finish (V11 makes the brightest surface finish I've seen if it's not nicked. It's easy to notice using the same sharpening material and one plane next to another. In the test, it also left the brightest surface. Why is that the case? I don't know, but the same result appeared over and over.

I didn't see a difference in surface brightness with carbon vs. alloy (and if you include blue steel, blue steel was actually worse due to the carbides exiting) - where I see a difference is in nicking and strength outside of idealized tests. The knife community seems to have the same conclusion when they discuss "fine edge holding" rather than notch toughness, that the test results don't cover everything.

I'm catering to woodworkers like me (OK, I'm catering to me). On these forums, we have:
* amateur woodworkers who make a lot
* amateur woodworkers who make nothing
* professional woodworkers who don't use hand tools much
* perhaps one who does
* and people like me interested in tool making, and instrument making more than furniture (but I make larger things from time to time, and since I'm familiar with the hand tools, they tend to be the use tool).

If we're going to talk much about plane use in general in any volume of professional woodwork, we're out. If we're talking about use of large volumes of walnut, that's out.

You're in an alternate reality that doesn't exist commercially, and I'm in one where I'm not at all interested in what's commercially viable.

To some extent, I find less work in sharpening using O1 or something like 26c3 than I do the alloyed irons. Less overall. Not always fewer trips to sharpening stones, but less total effort and more predictability with what I have.

I think for practical purposes, I can pretty easily disprove a lot of things that you consider to be the case (I don't have trouble staining wood uniformly if it's been planed, but I did have trouble staining it uniformly just using can stain from the store).

I can say for sure, I don't prefer to use V11 or woudln't 3V or CPM M4 planing and chiseling, because they're not less effort overall. I have no idea what they would or wouldn't be in a context of machine planing everything and then sanding after the fact because if and when I do sand, it's very little, and I usually regret other than in reaches that are hard to get to with something else.

But this discussion has not that much to do with ideal surface brightness or only planing to a finish or the practicality of that - it has to do with planing everything. Steels like this definitely work better in jack and try planing, and I see far better predictability with the edge when finish planing (whether there's follow up sanding or not). The shortness in sharpening intervals is meaningless because there's less nicking to deal with, grinding is far cooler and faster, and honing is faster and not media dependent). That's it.

There are more professional woodworkers on the UK, and more plane use in the course of work. I've never seen any of them prefer anything modern or boutique over original or more vintage stuff. AT first I was confused by that, but I'm less confused now. I guess I haven't seen any professional woodworker who uses hand tools a lot who thinks there's a need for more edge longevity.

One of the more humorous things that I saw early on was Tommy Mac, before he was affiliated with anyone. He had two LN tools - chisels and a gents saw. He thought the gents saw was too expensive, but said it did work nicely.

He preferred marples blue chip chisels to the LN chisels because with an older set of blue chips, he could use one stone and a leather strop, sharpen quickly and work quickly. His preference wasn't just flippant, he made a big deal about it. At the time, I thought he should just get a "more modern" sharpening practice, but I fully get what he's saying now. He's doing a lot of hand work and would be sharpening many times a day, not many times per month. The cycle of sharpenability and lack of aggravation was worth it to him.

Once he contracted with woodcraft, his videos all disappeared, and I'm sure the ones with LN tools got scarce when new ones were reposted because not long after, he had a video where he was trying to make the case for buying some chinese-made chisels that WC sells. But he was less overt than most and it did look like a half hearted effort.

(i've never seen a UK woodworker who does work talk about wanting tougher chisels either - they seem to like chisels that are subpar to mine - that are faster to sharpen. stuff like later marples or stanley 5001s, etc, which are about the same thing).

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