Hand Tools

Re: There's good merit to carbon steels...

Jack Dover

having the best fine edge strength. But I don't know what actually test that.

Yes it does! Not sure how practical it might be or whether that will be a benchmark for anything, but I would try to figure how fast my fine edge stops being fine. In all the tests it seems that all steels drop from 100% sharpness to some lower value, stay at that sharpness level for certain time and then later fail to the point surface defects are visible by a naked eye. Also it seems that in most tests we measure that certain time indirectly through linear feet planed. Maybe we could figure how long does it take for steels to go from 100% to the next stable sharpness value? It's actually easy to notice an edge has degraded while playing with thinnest shaving possible: there's a point where a plane doesn't take a translucent shaving anymore or that shaving loses integrity, but you still can use it for what Bill calls "shaping" and the surface is still acceptable. My planes are all carbon steel, so can't really compare, but I definitely can detect the transition from "perfect" to "good" quality of surface on any of my blades.

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