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By Bodgers
#1205978
Interesting test. I see the ECE blade is by no means the worst, almost middle of the pack in that result. Seems to rate better than A2 from Lee Valley. Not sure if things are any different now, since this was published.
By D_W
#1206073
Yes, not the worst, of course. Not intended to suggest that it's by any means unusable, either. They don't have the edge life of a2 , though.

Some chippiness can be avoided by making sure the final bevel is at least 34 degrees.

The other implication is that chippiness yields some edge thickness. If you think of the wearing edge as a triangle, a chip is like removing a part at the triangle, whereas the wear on the tsunesaburo is more like slowly shaving the sides of the triangle. The latter feels sharper for obvious reasons.

Beach is obsessed with wear bevel length, but that's only half of the equation.
By Bodgers
#1206138
D_W wrote:Yes, not the worst, of course. Not intended to suggest that it's by any means unusable, either. They don't have the edge life of a2 , though.

Some chippiness can be avoided by making sure the final bevel is at least 34 degrees.

The other implication is that chippiness yields some edge thickness. If you think of the wearing edge as a triangle, a chip is like removing a part at the triangle, whereas the wear on the tsunesaburo is more like slowly shaving the sides of the triangle. The latter feels sharper for obvious reasons.

Beach is obsessed with wear bevel length, but that's only half of the equation.


I might give the 34 degrees a try.


I have relatives bringing me back either a shooting plane or something else nice in a couple of months, so I would just add a PMV11 Veritas Stanley fit blade to the order, but I'm not sure the thickness would work or the extra gap on slots (to allow the large chip breaker screws through without removing them) would be an issue...



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By patrickjchase
#1206146
Bodgers wrote:Interesting test. I see the ECE blade is by no means the worst, almost middle of the pack in that result. Seems to rate better than A2 from Lee Valley. Not sure if things are any different now, since this was published.


The problem with that "test" is that the metric (wear bevel size) is completely meaningless. As woodworkers we care how the iron cuts and what sort of finish it leaves. Wear bevel size is at best a weak predictor of the former inasmuch as it correlates to when the blade will stop cutting due to loss of clearance, and tells us nothing at all about surface quality. As a result that test strongly favors highly abrasion-resistant irons even if they chip like crazy and leave tracks all over the workpiece. Beach's highest "ranking" irons are generally ones that I wouldn't let within a mile of any of my smoothers.

That's why I added the cautionary post yesterday - I've seen far too many people go down the "Brent Beach rathole" over the years. Look at the pretty pictures and draw your own conclusions if you want, but ignore the rest.

I would NOT rate the ECE iron as "better than" A2 from either LN or LV (which are of similar quality IMO). Such A2 irons are also a bit chippy compared to HCS/O1, but not as much so as ECE's mystery Cr-V alloy.

EDIT: Fixed missing negative modifier. It sort of changes the meaning.
Last edited by patrickjchase on 05 Feb 2018, 19:30, edited 1 time in total.
By D_W
#1206168
I'd use it for a while first. I have probably embedded this comment a couple of times in the comments about the shortcomings of the iron. They're not really shortcomings as far as a usable tool goes, they're shortcomings because their discussion of the iron in ad copy would suggest that it's as tough as M4 high speed steel. At the time that they touted the toughness of the irons, lots of makers were claiming things that didn't really hold water, and though the iron is no japanese masterpiece, it's still decent. I don't think anyone would've said anything about it if they'd have just excluded it from the discussion. Calling something the greatest thing since sliced bread (not literally, but you know what I mean) and then not delivering is something that draws a little heat.

I wouldn't spend the money on another iron, though, until or unless you've confirmed that you need to.

Boasting of iron and chisel edge holding magic is one of those things that just about everyone has engaged in.
By Bodgers
#1206420
D_W wrote:I'd use it for a while first. I have probably embedded this comment a couple of times in the comments about the shortcomings of the iron. They're not really shortcomings as far as a usable tool goes, they're shortcomings because their discussion of the iron in ad copy would suggest that it's as tough as M4 high speed steel. At the time that they touted the toughness of the irons, lots of makers were claiming things that didn't really hold water, and though the iron is no japanese masterpiece, it's still decent. I don't think anyone would've said anything about it if they'd have just excluded it from the discussion. Calling something the greatest thing since sliced bread (not literally, but you know what I mean) and then not delivering is something that draws a little heat.

I wouldn't spend the money on another iron, though, until or unless you've confirmed that you need to.

Boasting of iron and chisel edge holding magic is one of those things that just about everyone has engaged in.
The 'instructions' that come with the ECE jointer are mildly amusing. After boasting of the edge retention abilities, it then compares the blade height adjuster to the rack and pinion steering of a highly responsive sports car...

I think I will use it for a while. I suppose there is just that 'what if' thing of a thicker blade with a potentially better edge.


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By D_W
#1206439
Thanks for passing the information along about the edge retention :) I guess it's a habit that they just can't break.

The original IBC irons that came from Woodcraft had an anonymized comment about holding an edge longer than other irons - made by a "professional woodworker".

I'm pretty sure the statement was just made by Rob Cosman.

I found them to be decent irons but not quite as good as the LN's I had on hand at the time. The difference between the two could've easily been explained by general variation in A2 irons from one to the next (as in, there wasn't much difference, even though I actually counted strokes and found the LN to be a little bit less chippy. I'd have to do 20 of each over a period of time to come to any solid conclusion, but the cursory glance suggested that the anonymous comment from a "professional woodworker" was very likely fluff).

I haven't seen a good in-depth discussion that encompasses why I like carbon steel for most things, but the pictures on Beach's website tell half of it, and I'm sure I've blurted out the other half a million times - it relates to the thickness of an edge. That being, if you see those sparkly bits, the actual thickness for a length of wear (Beach is obsessed with wear bevel length) will be thicker as it's introduced to the wood vs. an edge that doesn't have those sparkly bits. Beach seems surprised when he talks about how well the japanese iron cuts despite the length of the wear bevel, but he has probably not thought that much about the thickness of the edge. I borrow that from the knife people who talk about simple steels cutting better in light duty slicing tasks, despite the bevel itself wearing faster in its length than it would if it was a whiz bang modern steel.

I have never counted strokes again to quantify this, though, because the property of the cutting during those strokes is fairly important if you actually want to use an iron into its dullness cycle.

You'll often find people who work only with hand tools (Warren Mickley and Brian Holcombe come to mind, though Brian is now switching to power tools for some things) professionally preferring carbon steel. It's more predictable and even through dulling. And if you're working with a brisk enough cut, it'll still outlast your stamina between sharpenings.

All that said, I'd still pretend I never read any of this, or any of the ECE fluff about how great their iron is, and see how it works. If it chips a bit, work up until you get to a 35 degree final bevel angle. if it still chips at that, it's a turd (A2 holds together much better at higher angles, as do all steels that go up from there in terms of alloying - the bigger the carbides, the more they benefit from a blunt angle. Cliff stamp referred to 50 degrees with knives as being the point where the ultra high carbide blades will better simpler steels).
By patrickjchase
#1206470
Bodgers wrote:The 'instructions' that come with the ECE jointer are mildly amusing. After boasting of the edge retention abilities, it then compares the blade height adjuster to the rack and pinion steering of a highly responsive sports car...


I think the more apt automotive metaphor for the Primus adjuster would be the front-end design of the VW A4/Passat with its 8 control arms and 10 ball joints. They're both complex and finicky to maintain, but some people (masochists, I think) like them.
By D_W
#1206476
Having owned two VWs in the past (learning my lesson on the first one and then marrying into the second), at least the primus plane doesn't usually generate repair bills just by existing.

I'm sure I could take interest in English cars and find something where the engineers hate mechanics more than they do at VW, but I hope to never see such a thing.
By patrickjchase
#1206543
D_W wrote:Having owned two VWs in the past (learning my lesson on the first one and then marrying into the second), at least the primus plane doesn't usually generate repair bills just by existing.


Way off on a tangent now, but I've seen VW designs over the years that make me wonder (as a former ME) if perhaps they were conducting diesel exhaust experiments on the engineers alongside the other primates that we already know about.
By D_W
#1206619
patrickjchase wrote:
D_W wrote:Having owned two VWs in the past (learning my lesson on the first one and then marrying into the second), at least the primus plane doesn't usually generate repair bills just by existing.


Way off on a tangent now, but I've seen VW designs over the years that make me wonder (as a former ME) if perhaps they were conducting diesel exhaust experiments on the engineers alongside the other primates that we already know about.


I don't know if you work on your own cars, but as I get older, I do more and more on mine just because I've learned to. I've seen little that matches the frustration level in VWs (I've never owned a cadillac, though). Cousin in-law of mine is a VW tech and sort of likes that, because he can get a 15 year old car, work on it, drive it a bit and still sell it at his total costs (so, free car, less time). that includes the car that nobody else can keep on the road - the Type IV jetta diesel. The last car I finally ditched (i don't drive daily, I use public trans here - but spouse and kids are in cars all the time) had about three problems a year despite a 1500 mile per year load. It could literally develop problems sitting, just from poor spec or stinginess - or who knows what. Coil over plugs that you have to keep on hand because they're a consumable for the car, breather hoses that are exposed to oil from the crankcase made of a type of rubber that degrades and fails with contact from oil (part cost for one wye from the breather assembly - $200!!! - for 6 inches of substandard rubber hose, and the pleasure of an aftermarket supply that doesn't fit and the promise that when you replace a section of hose, the next hose down the line will break trying to attach the new piece, so you do that twice and then just spend an enormous amount of money on a breather hose assembly - $500 for two feet of non-critical hoses and routing.

Horrible company, horrible cars. A shame, because the basic powerplants are a bit behind technologically and in terms of efficiency, but they're solid (the metal parts of the powerplant - nothing else around them is), and they have such a great handle on clutch and steering feel in lower-end cars that others don't. But you can only replace the same window motor or breather hose or water pump so many times before you realize that they're just being willfully stupid. Oh, and remove the entire intake assembly to change a theromostat? Great idea. Require premium unleaded in N/A engines while others are making DI turbos that run on regular? Great. First car that I had wouldn't even run on regular (a VR6) - the engine computer wasn't capable of adjusting its timing like they're supposed to.

While I wait for public trans, I get to see cars going by. I literally see more chevy volts than surviving Jetta IV and V platforms.
By richarddownunder
#1206751
I have one ECE smoothing plane. Its higher bed angle makes it useful for some jobs but the rod tensioning the thing (connected to the knob at the back) snapped and required welding as the replacement parts are very expensive overe here. So, perhaps another similarity to VW? No sign of delamination but our RH is quite mild 40-60% most ofthe time. I quite like the plane in some situations e.g. with interlocked grain, but generally I prefer the presence and control of heavy planes and get better results with my Cliftons or Records.

Cheers
Richard
By CStanford
#1207019
Such a completely different 'feel' than an iron plane and also seem more responsive to changes in downward pressure (at least to me) and this takes some getting used to.

Of course more things in the world have been built with wooden planes than will ever be built with metal ones, so there's always that.
By D_W
#1207171
Sort of an irrelevant comparison when those items were made in a period when metal planes were generally not available.

Not that there's anything wrong with the continental smoother. A good vintage one is a bit better yet (and usually about ten bucks and an hour's work to get right. If one has a fascination with lignum, I'm sure it could be screwed to the bottom of an old plane).