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Osvaldd

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Im having issues with my no 220 block plane blade constantly chipping. At 25° its almost unusable, it would chip immediately. Secondary bevel at 30° helped but did not eliminate the issue.
I don't know if its the actual blade(its old, possibly 50s Record) at fault or is it common with BU planes? It drives me mad.
 

MikeG.

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I don't use a secondary bevel on plane irons. 30 degrees works fine as a single bevel, and is therefore, obviously, stronger than the set up you are struggling with. Give it a go, it may help.
 

El Barto

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I can't say that's happened with any of my 25° BU planes before, and I've given them a fair bit of abuse on some pretty hard woods. I also don't use a secondary bevel, just keep it at 25°.

Might be worth trying a replacement; Ray Iles plane irons can be had for pretty cheap and are very good.
 

ED65

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There are a few things worth checking to help narrow down the possible cause.

Are you getting this planing anything, or just harder stuff? I presume you're not getting this just planing the easy parts of pine or spruce but would when you go over knots?

Can you confirm, is it actually chips being removed from the edge or little sections rolling/folding over? Rolls can look like chipping but they're from basically the opposite cause.

How wide have you made the secondary? If it's very narrow still (more microbevel than a full secondary) then it may not have imparted as much strength to the edge as it could. So if does happen to be narrow make it wider and see if you still get the same result.

Last thing I can think of, what grit is your final honing surface?

Osvaldd":1ltzde4c said:
...is it common with BU planes?
Not unheard of for 25° bevels to be less durable than you'd like, but even with stock plane irons it isn't at all rare to hone at the ground angle of 25°.

You might be unlucky in having a weaker iron that is typical for its era, and if the plane is indeed from the 50s the iron could quite easily be a later replacement from a time when quality control was poorer and/or the irons may have been commonly less hard.

The usual advice for edge chipping is of course to steepen the angle at the edge until the problem goes away, but this isn't really feasible on a common block plane as you know. Unless you're okay with it becoming a high-angle plane. Although there's a noticeable increase in planing resistance a block plane prepped this way can work well, but it does make it less suited to general day-to-day tasks.
 

Osvaldd

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@ED65 yes, it was more of a micro-bevel, I put a decent 32°-ish secondary and its fine now, been planing oak, and knotty pine, all good. Struggling a little bit with end grain, but I'm using this little plane mostly to chamfer/smooth the edges of awkward places so its fine.
cheers all.
 

AndyT

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I agree with Mike. One bevel, about 30°.
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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Osvaldd":9zadgmap said:
Im having issues with my no 220 block plane blade constantly chipping. At 25° its almost unusable, it would chip immediately. Secondary bevel at 30° helped but did not eliminate the issue.
I don't know if its the actual blade(its old, possibly 50s Record) at fault or is it common with BU planes? It drives me mad.
Hi Osvaldd

This is not about BU blades, but about your blade, per se. It is too soft to hold an edge.

25 degrees on a BU plane (with the 20 degree bed of the #220) is actually potentially more durable than 30 degrees on a BD Stanley #4 (with a 45 degree bed). Both have a cutting angle of 45 degrees, but the BU plane widely outlasts the BD plane in my experience (and testing).

Let's face it, the #220 is not the most expensive block plane around, and the quality of the blade is in line with this. Replace it or, better still, get a better plane, such as a vintage Stanley/Record #60 1/2. Or a more modern block plane.

If finance is an issue, I would re-heat treat the blade. This is pretty straight forward. Yell out if you want to go down this path.

Regards from Perth

Derek
 

D_W

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Osvaldd":2p1k6tk5 said:
@ED65 yes, it was more of a micro-bevel, I put a decent 32°-ish secondary and its fine now, been planing oak, and knotty pine, all good. Struggling a little bit with end grain, but I'm using this little plane mostly to chamfer/smooth the edges of awkward places so its fine.
cheers all.
Hardness issue. Use the blade the way it likes to be used, and don't write off using your bench plane for end grain (it'll probably work a lot better than the block plane).

Block planes in the 50s were construction tools, and i'm sure the hardness level was chosen so that they could be site sharpened pretty easily to trim mostly softwoods. My older stanley planes were the same, which made them harder to use like you see in guru videos with block planes - but I'd imagine most cabinetmakers were trimming end grain with bench planes and only doing trimming/edge breaking with block planes, if anything at all.
 

D_W

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Osvaldd":146oin0h said:
Im having issues with my no 220 block plane blade constantly chipping. At 25° its almost unusable, it would chip immediately. Secondary bevel at 30° helped but did not eliminate the issue.
I don't know if its the actual blade(its old, possibly 50s Record) at fault or is it common with BU planes? It drives me mad.
Hi Osvaldd

This is not about BU blades, but about your blade, per se. It is too soft to hold an edge.

25 degrees on a BU plane (with the 20 degree bed of the #220) is actually potentially more durable than 30 degrees on a BD Stanley #4 (with a 45 degree bed). Both have a cutting angle of 45 degrees, but the BU plane widely outlasts the BD plane in my experience (and testing).

Let's face it, the #220 is not the most expensive block plane around, and the quality of the blade is in line with this. Replace it or, better still, get a better plane, such as a vintage Stanley/Record #60 1/2. Or a more modern block plane.

If finance is an issue, I would re-heat treat the blade. This is pretty straight forward. Yell out if you want to go down this path.

Regards from Perth

Derek
I don't think it's a finance issue that caused the softness. They hold up fine if they're bumped up to 60-62 hardness, but rather who the target end user was. Someone using a plane in construction and who might be honing damage out of a blade.

10 years on from discussions years ago about the low quality steel used in original stanley planes, I think the steel itself is actually better quality than the steel that's used in O1 hock irons, they're just hardened to the target level for a typical user (70s+ irons that david charlesworth often talks about were pretty bad, though).

For all of record's marketing about laminated blades and tiny crystal structure, etc, I've found the typical stanley wwII era blade or earlier (which is probably just oil hardening steel) to be better, but even then, the nos boxes of (old) block plane irons turn up to be pretty soft.
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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Keep in mind that the bed of the #220 is 20 degrees. If you add a 32 degree secondary bevel, you end up with a 52 degree cutting angle. That is fine as a small smoother, but you are no longer going to plane end grain as cleanly. In other words, if you keep raising the bevel angle, the plane becomes less and less a user in the traditional low angle block plane concept (where the cutting angle is 37 degrees).

If you want to keep using this plane, then either get a better blade, or heat treat the existing one (assuming it is too soft).

Regards from Perth

Derek
 
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