Moderators: Random Orbital Bob, nev, CHJ, Noel, Charley

 Reply
By woodbrains
#972265
Jacob wrote:hereby pronounce that any steel which you can't easily get sharp, is useless!
If you have to buy special kit it might make more sense to dump the tool instead and get your money back on ebay.

Sharpening is an essential and continuous part of the process just like sharpening a pencil if you were drawing. It needs to be easy. The tool needs to be usable.


Hello,

I suppose Hengis Pod made a similar statement when someone tried to get him to change his bronze sword for a steel one! :lol: 'Try this nice new steel sword, Hengis, to repel the Romans. But you won't be able to use a bit of sandstone to put an edge on it. No? sure? OK suit yerself'

By that logic, Japanese chisels are useless if one doesn't own waterstones. It is an odd assertion that one should only own tools that a previously owned maintenance kit will service. Surely you get the tools you need then the stuff to take care of them. All metallurgists please stop devising new steels, because they out perform out oilstones and we won't change!

Mike.
User avatar
By Jacob
#972267
woodbrains wrote:
Jacob wrote:hereby pronounce that any steel which you can't easily get sharp, is useless!
If you have to buy special kit it might make more sense to dump the tool instead and get your money back on ebay.

Sharpening is an essential and continuous part of the process just like sharpening a pencil if you were drawing. It needs to be easy. The tool needs to be usable.


Hello,

I suppose Hengis Pod made a similar statement when someone tried to get him to change his bronze sword for a steel one! :lol: 'Try this nice new steel sword, Hengis, to repel the Romans. But you won't be able to use a bit of sandstone to put an edge on it. No, sure, OK suit yerself' .....
Bronze is much more difficult to sharpen then steel and doesn't keep an edge. Sandstone is good for sharpening steel swords - what else do you imagine they used?
By that logic, Japanese chisels are useless if one doesn't own waterstones.
Yes there is some truth in this.
User avatar
By bugbear
#972302
Graham Orm wrote:So anyway, does it?


I gave a careful answer to your actual question on page 1.

I suppose it got lost amongst the cut 'n' paste hobby horses.

BugBear
By Cheshirechappie
#972312
Graham Orm wrote:So anyway, does it?


Whether one steel is 'better' than another is rather subjective. However, given exactly the same sharpening equipment, tools made of some steels do give sharper edges than the same tools made of some other steels. So the short answer is 'yes'.
By woodbrains
#972321
Jacob wrote:Bronze is much more difficult to sharpen then steel and doesn't keep an edge.



Hello,

This is exactly what Hengis said! But still he didn't recognise the superior steel with its longer edge holding properties, just kept on with the same old same old. Jacob, I'd ask if you were one of Hengis' decendants, but I guess some Roman steel ended his lineage back in the Bronze Age. :shock:

Japanese steel is 'better' and does take a finer edge, so yes, better steel can be 'sharper'. Necessary or not is another debate, but in my workshop it is.

Mike.
User avatar
By Graham Orm
#972337
Cheshirechappie wrote:
Graham Orm wrote:So anyway, does it?


Whether one steel is 'better' than another is rather subjective. However, given exactly the same sharpening equipment, tools made of some steels do give sharper edges than the same tools made of some other steels. So the short answer is 'yes'.


Thank you CC, I'd surmised that on the first page of the thread ;-). I was being sarchastic about the meanderings that the thread has taken, quite often missing the point.
User avatar
By Jacob
#972338
woodbrains wrote:
Jacob wrote:Bronze is much more difficult to sharpen then steel and doesn't keep an edge.



Hello,

This is exactly what Hengis said! But still he didn't recognise the superior steel with its longer edge holding properties, just kept on with the same old same old. Jacob, I'd ask if you were one of Hengis' decendants, but I guess some Roman steel ended his lineage back in the Bronze Age. :shock:
Mike I don't have any bronze tools - what are you burbling on about?
Japanese steel is 'better' and does take a finer edge, so yes, better steel can be 'sharper'. .....
Sounds a bit circular to me! Surely "better" steel means steel which can be made sharper (in the context of tools) by definition. There isn't "better" steel which can not be sharpened because this would make it "worse" steel.
By Corneel
#972339
It wouldn't surprise me if Stanley used a chrome vanadium steel for its fatmax chisels. These form large and rock hard carbides, which prevent the formation of an ultimate edge, make sharpening more difficult and reduce the toughness of the steel. Add to that the indifference of the underpaid workers in some far away country and you probably take your chances with the hardening and tempering proces too.

To compensate for the reduced toughness of the type of steel they temper to a lower hardness level, 56 HRc or so, kind of negating the virtues of the carbides.

At least, that is how my carpentry Bahco chisels seem to be, they love to chip and are a bear to grind.

And meanderings of threads are a wonderfull thing and should be encouraged at all times!
By Cheshirechappie
#972341
Graham Orm wrote:
Cheshirechappie wrote:
Graham Orm wrote:So anyway, does it?


Whether one steel is 'better' than another is rather subjective. However, given exactly the same sharpening equipment, tools made of some steels do give sharper edges than the same tools made of some other steels. So the short answer is 'yes'.


Thank you CC, I'd surmised that on the first page of the thread ;-). I was being sarchastic about the meanderings that the thread has taken, quite often missing the point.


Well, in one sense, it did open a discussion about toolsteels and their differences, and the result was for the most part thoughtful, informative and interesting, with fewer than usual silly or snarky posts. I rather agree with Corneel, though - sometimes meandering threads can reveal useful woodworking insights. It was a worthwhile question, given the ensuing discussion, so thanks for asking it Graham!
By woodbrains
#972343
Jacob wrote:Mike I don't have any bronze tools - what are you burbling on about?
Japanese steel is 'better' and does take a finer edge, so yes, better steel can be 'sharper'. .....
Sounds a bit circular to me! Surely "better" steel means steel which can be made sharper (in the context of tools) by definition. There isn't "better" steel which can not be sharpened because this would make it "worse" steel.


Hello,

I'm not suggesting anyone does have bronze tools, I'm using a metaphor for people who disparage development, without any evidence for doing so, because they refuse to try it, or take the opinions of those who have.

The Stanley 5001 chisels are good tools, but there is compromise in the steel, which to some extent exists in all tools. It just depends which element of the tool is more important to the user. The 5001's have a fair bit of chrome in it, which gives the steel a certain amount of toughness for its hardness. But chrome reduces the level of sharpness a bit; the wire edge is clingy and does not break away as cleanly as a purer carbon steel. A plain carbon steel, for equivalent hardness, will be sharper, but will not quite have the toughness. Both these steels are relatively easy to sharpen with oilstones, say. Neither are terribly abrasion resistant. A2 is more abrasion resistant, but has an even more tenacious wire edge so needs a bit more care to get a sharp edge. Not difficult, just a bit different, if the user understands what is going on. Water stones help with this. A2 is a little less tough, hence higher honing angles. It is a trade off. I find Hock A2 cryo has a better sharpenability in this regard. Metallurgists and metalographers try to develop steels that have the best balance of all the characteristics. So far PM V11 is ticking more of the boxes than other steels I've used, but still is a compromise. I'm finding it to be no more difficult to sharpen as A2 but releases its wire edge super cleanly; it gets sharper. It is more abrasion resistant than steels I've used before and seems not to have a fragile edge, so can be sharpened with lowest honing angles. I've not tried a chisel, so can't tell definitively about toughness, but the edge of a plane iron shows little signs of break down of the edge as plain A2 sometimes does, so I suspect toughness is improved, too. In short, it sharpens as well as plain carbon steel without too much more effort, it can be made truly sharp, it has prodigious wear resistance and looks like it is tough. Logically it must be tough, it is hard too and the edge does not break, so must be tough. Better steel?

Mike.
User avatar
By bugbear
#972352
I think harder is generally deemed better.

For example, an experienced woodworker said this a while back:

If I wanted 2nd hand better than Marples (the old blue handled ones) I'd look for Stanley 5001s which were top of the range back then. Identical shape but black handle and harder steel.


:wink:

BugBear
User avatar
By Jacob
#972355
bugbear wrote:I think harder is generally deemed better.

For example, an experienced woodworker said this a while back:

If I wanted 2nd hand better than Marples (the old blue handled ones) I'd look for Stanley 5001s which were top of the range back then. Identical shape but black handle and harder steel.


:wink:

BugBear

You've been in my archive again! Well spotted BB keep up the good work.
You may have missed my slight change of opinion on this (see above somewhere). I think 5001s are too hard for some purposes - they are prone to chip and not suitable for "site work"; if you hit a bit of grit etc it may take out a bigger chip from the edge as compared to a softer chisel. But then 5001s will take and hold a finer edge e.g. honed to 25º - it's horses for courses.
The trouble with our OPs question (Does better steel get sharper?) is that it is meaningless unless you can define "better" steel in a way which doesn't take into account sharpening, which for an edge tool would also be meaningless. It's circular.