Hand Tools Archive

Re: Probably closer to 86.25º

david weaver
Monkey metal, rubber steel, pure carbides...

.. I think if one wasn't told about various sharpening regimes and carbides, etc, they might not think about it too much.

the poor man's M2 in the chinese iron will get your attention if you attempt to flatten it, but it sharpened perfectly fine on an india stone, arkansas stone and strop. Would it fail to last like it does with diamonds? I'm sure it would lose some edge life.

what's the goal is the question, I guess? I will probably sink back to my normal habits within a month. That is, if something doesn't seem to last long enough, increase shaving thickness, sharpen as quickly as possible. I do like the cast on diamonds, though - it's very practical. Perhaps not necessary and demanding (the plate that phil sent to me to evaluate his iron is actually pin straight and flat, unlike I've ever seen before, but one has to be willing to iron those issues out).

The biggest sin that I see in planes in use when I have bought used tools that were in current use is lack of finishing of the sharpening process. None have been exceptionally finely sharpened that I can recall, but that's not the worst thing in the world if sharpening is actually completed. I don't have the experience that you do with teaching individuals, so I don't know what's practical and what's not at this point for beginners, and I'm sure once I write up all of this stuff, I'll be quoted as saying all sorts of things that the report doesn't actually say, or linked to making recommendations that I never made.

The two things from it that I wanted to find out, though, if anything - how much potential difference in longevity for V11, which had 3V and M4 added - turns out to be more than I expected. Could I have lived without knowing and without using them? Sure.

And a quantification of clearance angle since I am often told that anything over 30 is counterproductive, and I used 35 in this test for ease of method. That turns out to have less of an effect so far than even I expected, but I also didn't know which way it would go, either.

I've got a youtube channel where I've detailed making planes. From time to time, I get a snarky commenter who thinks the idea of using a washita or arkansas stones is antiquated, slow and hokey. My first recommendation for someone who despises sharpening is always, learn to sharpen faster and to do it with a method that ensures you complete sharpening each time. We don't skip parts of the lawn on purpose so that we can come back later and make extra laps, and we don't purposely push the lawn mower as slow as possible and measure every blade of grass.

I still think learning to sharpen quickly is more valuable than switching steels, and I've learned more about planing productivity from soft steels than I have from hard ones.

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