Hand Tools

what is the significance of these pictures?
Response To:
carbides *PIC* ()

David Weaver
I think for most on here, this is a topic that nobody cares about. To me, I think seeing the carbides and then grooves that may be caused by their exit suggests that if you can wear the matrix down planing to see the carbides exposed (they do not show up on fresh honing pictures, for obvious reasons), then some of the wear from woodworking is from them exiting the matrix (but maybe in smaller amounts than those seen on the blue steel picture where the carbides are dispersed with lack of uniformity and are large).

Blue steel should've outperformed O1 because it's a similar steel and there was a wide gap in hardness, but they performed the same in distance planed, and O1 left a better surface.

Translation for 26c3, the higher carbon and hardness probably won't lead to wear that should match O1, and hitachi white 1 would show a similar picture (white steel planes sharpen easily and have great uniformity, but the edge life isn't that long in terms of wear to not enough clearance).

That leaves O1 the practical king of plane irons at this point, and we'll see with improved hardening if 52100 continues to match it (it should).

thus, since this wear doesn't occur with chisels, the higher hardness potential of 26c3 makes it good for the chisels (which it is - it sort of easily makes a very nice chisel), but unless the initial crispness is really dandy for someone, it won't make a better plane iron than anything else. Higher hardness would probably make for better potential with a razor or a very thin knife (which is apparently where it's preferred).

That doesn't make it a bad plane iron, it just makes it "better than 1095 and 1084 for chisels" but probably not better for plane irons.

none of this will show up in woodworking ad copy, though - you'll still see things like "D2 is really tough" (D2 is, in fact, a very low toughness steel. Lower than anything else we're likely to come across in a woodworking tool)


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