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By Graham Orm
#972362
Jacob wrote:
bugbear wrote: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.


You're splitting hairs just for the sake of it Jacob. The word 'better' is defined by the description 'ball bearing grade steel' the bar is set by that statement, the assumption of the populus being that the 5001's are made from 'better' steel and so are sought after and acclaimed. They have acheived this noteriety simply because they are 'better' than most.
User avatar
By Jacob
#972371
Graham Orm wrote:
Jacob wrote:
bugbear wrote: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.


You're splitting hairs just for the sake of it Jacob. The word 'better' is defined by the description 'ball bearing grade steel' the bar is set by that statement, the assumption of the populus being that the 5001's are made from 'better' steel and so are sought after and acclaimed. They have acheived this noteriety simply because they are 'better' than most.

"Ball bearing grade steel" is specific (I presume) but "better" is very vague.
So you question makes sense if you rephrase it "Does Ball bearing grade steel get sharper?" except that you have to ask "sharper than what". So it's still circular.

But yes 5001s get to stay sharper than some softer steel chisels, but may be too hard for some jobs.
User avatar
By bugbear
#972391
Jacob wrote:
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 keep spoutin' inconsistencies, I'll keep pointin' 'em out.

More generally, woodworkers have always avoided steel that takes a good edge, and holds it.

No, wait, hang on, that can't be right!

BugBear
By Cheshirechappie
#972393
Might be worth noting for the non-metallurgists amongst us that a given grade of tool steel can be 'harder' or 'softer' depending on the heat treatment it's received.

Straight carbon steels (and the simpler alloys) achieve their maximum hardness when heated to their critical temperature and then cooled very fast - quenched. The rate of quench can be altered by using different quenchants; caustic soda is one of the fastest, brine is fast, cold water a bit slower, warm water slower still, then oils of various types and finally air (for straight carbon steels, oils and air tend to be too slow, but they work well for some alloy steels). A faster quench gives a harder steel.

However, in the fully-hard condition, the steel is very brittle. Some toughness can be re-introduced by tempering back, the amount of tempering controlling the final toughness, but at the expense of hardness.

Thus, 1% straight carbon steel hardened and tempered back to about 150 centigrade is very hard and quite brittle, but makes good finish turning tools for materials like brass. Temper back to 300 centigrade, and the steel loses a bit of hardness, but gains enough toughness to make springs and sawblades. Other types of tool are somewhere in between - you could have quite hard and slightly brittle paring chisels, or slightly softer but tougher mortice chisels from the same steel by controlling the tempering temperature.

Thus, it's not necessarily right to say that harder is better. Harder is more brittle, generally.
User avatar
By bugbear
#972394
Cheshirechappie wrote:

Thus, it's not necessarily right to say that harder is better. Harder is more brittle, generally.


Of course, the whole point of some "interesting" alloys is to be hard(er) without being (too)brittle. :-)

BugBear
By Cheshirechappie
#972398
bugbear wrote:
Cheshirechappie wrote:

Thus, it's not necessarily right to say that harder is better. Harder is more brittle, generally.


Of course, the whole point of some "interesting" alloys is to be hard(er) without being (too)brittle. :-)

BugBear



Indeed so!

But steel metallurgy is complex indeed - one good source for anybody wanting to explore further is 'Engineering Metallurgy' by Higgins. Part 1 is the relevant volume. Warning - it's a well written text, but the subject can still be heavy going.
User avatar
By Graham Orm
#972399
Jacob wrote:"Ball bearing grade steel" is specific (I presume) but "better" is very vague.
So you question makes sense if you rephrase it "Does Ball bearing grade steel get sharper?" except that you have to ask "sharper than what". So it's still circular.

But yes 5001s get to stay sharper than some softer steel chisels, but may be too hard for some jobs.


OK Sheldon.....errr I mean Jacob. :wink: :lol:
User avatar
By Jacob
#972406
bugbear wrote:
Jacob wrote:
bugbear wrote:I think harder is generally deemed better.

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

.......
:wink:

BugBear

You've been in my archive again! Well spotted BB keep up the good work.


You keep spoutin' inconsistencies, I'll keep pointin' 'em out.

More generally, woodworkers have always avoided steel that takes a good edge, and holds it.

No, wait, hang on, that can't be right!

BugBear
I wouldn't trouble yourself too much BB I don't think you'll get it. :roll:
I think you should go and play in the garden while the sun is still shining.
User avatar
By Derek Cohen (Perth, Oz)
#972410
bugbear wrote:
Cheshirechappie wrote:

Thus, it's not necessarily right to say that harder is better. Harder is more brittle, generally.


Of course, the whole point of some "interesting" alloys is to be hard(er) without being (too)brittle. :-)

BugBear


Exactly.

Good Grief ... I posted on this earlier in this thread - elasticity vs hardness, and how to add the former to the latter.

Regards from Perth

Derek
By Corneel
#972423
Toughness and wear resistance are opposites in steel. And that's the job of the metalurgist, finding a good balance for the job at hand. And because handtool woodworking is not a real factor in the market anymore, we choose from what is available. But don't expect miracles anytime soon. PMV-11 seems to be heading in the right direction. It's still fairly expensive stuff though. Which also is a factor.
By woodbrains
#972429
Hello,

The new Stanley Sweetheart chisels are made from the same alloy as the old 5001's BTW. They sharpen well but not quite as well as Ashley Iles. Probably a bit tougher, though. Both are head and shoulders over Fat Max!

Mike.
User avatar
By Graham Orm
#972433
woodbrains wrote:Hello,

The new Stanley Sweetheart chisels are made from the same alloy as the old 5001's BTW. They sharpen well but not quite as well as Ashley Iles. Probably a bit tougher, though. Both are head and shoulders over Fat Max!

Mike.


That's the answer Iwas looking for Mike! I've filled my box with crispy sharp 5001's and ditched the FatMax's.
By woodbrains
#972437
Hello,

I don't know why Stanley didn't continue making the 5001 chisel. I cut my teeth on them and they were great. Nice fine lands, too, so it can be done, though sadly not on the new Sweetheart line. My set are as old as me, bought by my dad the year I was born. They are now butt chisels, in my collection, after a life of use the. Blades are about 1 1/2 long, but still going strong. I rehandled them with short bubinga handles, so they an be used where other chisels dare not go. I might look for some more used ones, though I have loads of chisels already. Still, the remind me of my dad, so where is the harm having a few more!

Mike.
User avatar
By Jacob
#972444
woodbrains wrote:Hello,

I don't know why Stanley didn't continue making the 5001 chisel.....
Lack of demand I guess.
It's easy to forget the massive shift in the market from about 1960 to now, with the decline in hand tool trade use. That's why we have vast quantities of old tools available dirt cheap. Even cheaper if you want wooden planes.
They still supply what the trade wants and needs (Fatmax etc) but the new generation of amateurs, or born again hand toolies, don't get catered for so well.
I bought a few new 5001s in about 1970 but only because they'd run out of much cheaper blue handled ones*. The 5001s were top of the range.

*from Hazelhursts in Derby - an old established proper tool shop long since disappeared. The rot was setting in then - I asked for a mortice chisel (my first one ever) but the lad behind the counter didn't know what they were. The queue of old chaps behind me were derisive - "it's a chisel for cutting mortices yer daft t.wat" etc etc