Hand Tools

retry at my own pic - link to micrographs *PIC*

David Weaver
after looking at the micrographs, I have indeed chosen a plain steel that's relatively coarse for plain steels. White steel would end up looking the same. Interesting that V-toku, which is a slightly modified japanese steel (chrome and vanadium like siliver steel?) looks much finer, but purists would probably shun it).

at any rate - 26c3 with some wear

And the link to 42 micrographs in one place.

It's easy to look at the picture and feel like you can tell small differences, but I don't think that part is easy. It's definitely easy to see which steels have poor carbide dispersion, and I"m not aware of any situation for woodworking where that's good (on a large metal to metal wear surface, it's not bad, and may be an advantage where corner toughness isn't needed).

If I'd have seen these images first, I may have spent more time figuring out how to work with AEB-L (still could) and less with 26c3, which so far, would've been the wrong direction.

You can also look at pictures of steel like S90V, which has a lot of vanadium, a lot of chromium and an enormous amount of carbon, and wonder why it's not used in any really high end woodworking irons, and the missing part of the discussion is like what I mentioned about 3V - the peak hardness isn't there. But it doesn't have a tolerable range like 3V does (which by accounts is wonderful at 61 hardness) - crucible has a target range for S90V of only 56-59. 59 is lacking in edge strength - 56 would be soft enough that you could probably roll a small burr. Maybe it would make a great scraper.

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