Hand Tools Archive

Re: Past game changers..
Response To:
Re: Past game changers.. ()

david weaver
I know you're just trying to stir the pot a little.

* re: the primus planes - there's nothing wrong with the original wedge design continental smoothers, the type that klausz uses. There's just no improvement by trying to bling them up with all of the junk that's on a primus plane, and then turn around and put a badly designed chipbreaker on them with a highly alloyed iron. I'm not assailing continental planes. I have three of them, but none with an adjuster. I just thought the ad copy that some sellers of the primus planes use is particularly "shystery". Catches beginners because it's so bold. Like Larry's comments about double iron planes catching shavings and not being able to be full width. Larry's wrong, but he says it in a lot of words and forcefully, and lots of people go for that kind of thing.

* iron hardness - nothing 58 or so hardness would bend hitting a knot. Saw temper is too soft for an iron. George is advocating a very specific range when he suggests dark straw to light brown temper. I agree on the linearity - though I'm not sure how you're referring to it. 56 or so is probably the start of usable, and 65 is probably the high end of it. At 65, even the sharpening stone used matters in terms of preventing chipping. Some HSS tolerates that hardness level well, but then the very edge fails right away on that stuff. I'd make the range linear from 0-9 with 56-65. Durability has to do with shaving thickness - all of the irons last similarly in a heavy shaving (more than 5 thousandths). At 1 thousandth, the contest is won by the hardest iron that doesn't chip. Ron Hock's irons are thrown around as a substantial improvement over stanley stock, but the HCS irons that I had of Hock's were chippy, and several people have privately told me the same thing (nobody wants to say that publicly). George has stated publicly that 62 is too hard for O1, but for every time you say that, there are 10 people who have never actually examined the durability of a hock iron in work context vs. a good condition stanley iron of reasonable vintage.

* don't care about coffin smoothers, moulding planes or japanese planes when talking about krenov. You don't pull a krenov jointer all day or cut mouldings with it. Krenov's removal of the handles in smoothers isn't a big deal - they don't do really heavy work. Taking them off of jack and jointer planes where they serve ergonomic purposes (as well as alignment on a jointer) is sub par, but folks who read more than do will quote krenov and tell you that all handles on planes are uncomfortable. Japanese jointing planes are subpar to western, jacking is fine. There is no superiority of them over western planes in function as is sometimes asserted, and the irons are good high carbon steel, but the stories of their durability are overblown when compared to any carbon steel iron of reasonable quality (for example, they are no better in any way than a ward iron that is reasonably hard). The difference in japan is the desire for or focus on tradition. We don't have it here. 98% of japan is uninterested in that stuff, though, and all you have to do is go to the japan auction site to find that out. Just like kamisori - the market for that stuff is export. The domestic market wants the latest digital rice cooker and digital gadgets.

I'll give you the "pam of the day" award, since Pam used to come along and always try to make the conversation about japanese planes. they're a fine esoteric enthusiasts tool. When considered to be a reasonable design that works, great. When considered to be better than everything else, that's just for the partisans.

* Stanley seems to have done pretty well with their adjuster, despite being like rubber tires on a covered wagon. Their planes were sold in larger numbers than any others, and used hard.

* floats made of O1 should still be hardened (unless they are throw away), at least the tip of the float. You can harden that and temper it saw temper pretty easily.

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