Hock Blades for Stanley no.4 and no.6

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tibi

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Hello,

I have bought a Stanley no.4 type 11 and Stanley no.6 type 9. I would like to get them to their best performance level as they will be my user planes together with the Mathieson jack plane.

No.6 has a very pitied blade all over the length, so I have to replace it (pitting just cannot be ground off). No.4 has a bent cap iron, and I have ground it, bent it, hammered it and the gap just does not close. I always have some little gap. In my previous no.4 I have ground the cap iron to close the gap so many times, that it became too short for the slot and I had to replace it eventually. I know that the back of the cap iron must be under the level of the stone, so that I have a clearance angle on the edge of the cap iron, but it did not help me much. Both my blades and cap irons are bent (i.e. not perfectly straight when I look at them from the side) and they are also bent convex across the width.

I am thinking of replacing both irons and cap irons with Hock 01 blades and cap irons.

There are two responses on forums, one is that they are a great improvement and one should buy them and the other is, that if you can properly sharpen the original blade and prepare the cap iron to mate well with the blade, then you do not need any modern and thicker blades, that take longer to sharpen (Paul Sellers et al).

For 2 blades and 2 cap irons, I would need to prepare approximately 160 Eur, so I would like to ask if it was worth it for you to buy Hock blades or with proper sharpening and figuring out how to mate the cap iron with the frog, 2 blades and 2 cap irons are not worth extra 160 Eur for the gained performance.



Thank you.
 
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Alwyn

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I bought a Hock blade for my Bailey no. 6 and couldn't get it to fit even after adjusting frog etc. It was the same problem with a Veritas blade. Ended up making a wooden jointer and fitted blade to it. I now swop blade from my 4 1/2 when I need to use the 6.
 

IWW

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The "is it worth it?" part of the question is something no-one but you can answer, & unfortunately, you won't be able to do that properly until after you've spent your money! :)

I've got a Veritas blade in my type 11 #4 which fitted with no problems. Both Veritas & Hock are of similar thickness, & not as thick as some of the after-market blades I've come across. Most adjuster yokes can reach through these blades to engage the chipbreaker slot but there is variation in the length of the cams of the adjuster yokes, and some will not reach - just be aware of that (see the thread by Chipmonk on post-fitting Lie-Nielsen blades).

I have a couple of Hock irons & I think they are very good bang for buck - they hit the sweet spot between ease of sharpening & edge-retention, & imo make excellent general-purpose blades. A slightly thicker blade than the original Stanley-Record blades does seem to give the plane a more 'solid' feel, though any improvement in performance you get is subject to several variables & how good your overall fettling is.

Your chip-breaker sounds like it needs serious attention. The shape of a Stanley CB is such that the toe edge meets the blade when it is laid on the blade - tightening the retaining screw doesn't pull it all that much tighter, unless someone has altered it, the system relies on lever-cap pressure as much as the screw to keep the CB tight against the blade. As you have discovered, any gaps cause serious deterioration in performance!

My first guess is that someone has tried to "fix" it & filed/ground a bit too much off the toe so that the edge is too 'high" & possibly also uneven. This is usually repairable to a limited extent - I have made myself a jig for making cap-irons & tweaking old ones, & I would use it to put a bit more curve in the CB, then hone the edge so it meets the blade accurately. If you are careful, you can also peen the curve down a little over a bit of thick steel bar (don't over-do it - been there, done that! :(), then file & hone the edge smooth. Again, take it easy - the danger is that you may shorten the distance between toe & cam slot too much & the adjuster will not work properly. The slot-to-toe distance is critical & can't vary by any more than a mm without risking major adjuster problems ( again, see Chipmonk's thread).

Until recently, at least, you could buy new Stanley chip-breakers for a very reasonable sum, and if you are not well-versed in plane fettling, I would recommend this as the best course; after-market CBs seem to be something of a lottery on older Bailey type planes. I will concede that a heavier CB can do a bit for plane performance, but with strong qualifications; the "improvement" is slight & there are several easier things that can be done to improve performance of your plane - a sharp-blade & well-fitted regular cap-iron being the pre-eminent ones....
;)
Ian
 
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Vann

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I wouldn't replace anything you don't have to.
...No.6 has a very pitied blade all over the length, so I have to replace it (pitting just cannot be ground off). No.4 has a bent cap iron, and I have ground it, bent it, hammered it and the gap just does not close...

So buy a new cutting-iron (blade) for the No.6, and a new cap-iron (chipbreaker) for the No.4. Even then the new cap-iron may or may not fit correctly.

The new No.6 cutting-iron should be stiff enough to pull the existing cap-iron into alignment. Hopefully the new No.4 cap-iron is also thicker and will help seat the existing cutting-iron.

And if that still doesn't fix the problem, you can always order more irons later.

Cheers, Vann.
 

tibi

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Thank you very much for your opinions. I have managed to hammer/grind/bend the cap iron to the extent that it is almost usable. So I will try some more before buying new. As no.6 is more of a jack/jointer plane to me, I am not expecting finishing smoothness out of it. I will give myself some more time fettling with what I have before buying Hock's blades.

I am doing woodworking to build some skills. And I would rather be proud of being able to get a standard plane in excellent condition than to be able to buy an excellent plane from the factory. Buying does not require much skill, does it?
 

Jacob

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Hello,

I have bought a Stanley no.4 type 11 and Stanley no.6 type 9. I would like to get them to their best performance level as they will be my user planes together with the Mathieson jack plane.

No.6 has a very pitied blade all over the length, so I have to replace it (pitting just cannot be ground off). No.4 has a bent cap iron, and I have ground it, bent it, hammered it and the gap just does not close. I always have some little gap. In my previous no.4 I have ground the cap iron to close the gap so many times, that it became too short for the slot and I had to replace it eventually. I know that the back of the cap iron must be under the level of the stone, so that I have a clearance angle on the edge of the cap iron, but it did not help me much. Both my blades and cap irons are bent (i.e. not perfectly straight when I look at them from the side) and they are also bent convex across the width.

I am thinking of replacing both irons and cap irons with Hock 01 blades and cap irons.

There are two responses on forums, one is that they are a great improvement and one should buy them and the other is, that if you can properly sharpen the original blade and prepare the cap iron to mate well with the blade, then you do not need any modern and thicker blades, that take longer to sharpen (Paul Sellers et al).


For 2 blades and 2 cap irons, I would need to prepare approximately 160 Eur, so I would like to ask if it was worth it for you to buy Hock blades or with proper sharpening and figuring out how to mate the cap iron with the frog, 2 blades and 2 cap irons are not worth extra 160 Eur for the gained performance.



Thank you.
I've got a Hock brand blade on a Stanley 4. No noticeable difference in use except perhaps it keeps an edge longer but it definitely takes longer to sharpen. :unsure:
Made in France apparently, with the brand name etched on. I expect the same blades will be available under different brand names.
If you had no alternative other than to continue with your old pitted blades you would soon find that you could get them working perfectly well even without grinding off pitting (within reason).
If you really have to replace blades it's generally cheaper to simply buy another old plane rather than splashing out!
 

tibi

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I've got a Hock brand blade on a Stanley 4. No noticeable difference in use except perhaps it keeps an edge longer but it definitely takes longer to sharpen. :unsure:
Made in France apparently, with the brand name etched on.
If you had no alternative other than to continue with your old pitted blades you would soon find that you could get them working perfectly well even without grinding off pitting (within reason).
If you really have to replace blades it's generally cheaper to simply buy another old plane rather than splashing out!
Hi Jacob,

Only no.6 blade is pitted, no.4 is fine and I have also a replacement stock Stanley blade for no.4, which I have bought earlier on my previous plane and I have made a back bevel there for more difficult woods.

I can also buy Juuma replacement blades from Germany, they should fit Stanley's and prices are below 20 EUR/piece. Chipbreakers are around 15 Eur.
 

IWW

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..... If you had no alternative other than to continue with your old pitted blades you would soon find that you could get them working perfectly well even without grinding off pitting (within reason)......

Hmm, not sure what 'reason' does. I guess you can get a sharp edge on a pitted blade by applying a back-bevel, but you are still going to have trouble seating the cap-iron on a pitted surface - it would certainly not work with any of the woods I plane. Unless you are vying for world champion cheapskate status tibi, I say chuck the pitted blade in the garbage & get a new one. Unless things are very different in Europe, even cheap blades are generally the equal or better of any Stanley or Record I've ever met. A blade will easily last the average weekend warrior a lifetime unless you are in the habit of re-grinding weekly, so even an expensive blade will cost you little spread over 40 or 50 years!

And Jacob, if you find your Hock blade difficult to sharpen, maybe it's time to think about upgrading your sharpening routine. I don't find either of my Hocks take much effort at all to sharpen, they are far easier than A2 or some of the other fancy alloys that have appeared in the last 20 years or so. They are thicker than bog standard Stanley/Record blades, so for those who refuse to use a bit of mechanical help to knock the rough off, I guess there is a bit more work re-forming bevels....
;)
Cheers,
 

Jacob

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Hmm, not sure what 'reason' does. I guess you can get a sharp edge on a pitted blade by applying a back-bevel, but you are still going to have trouble seating the cap-iron on a pitted surface -
Obviously there's a limit but I think it's good to make things work even if it's against the odds!
And Jacob, if you find your Hock blade difficult to sharpen, ....
Not difficult, just takes noticeably longer. Harder material.
Hock blade (2.4mm) only slightly thicker than Stanley/Record (2.1 or thereabouts) so will fit without modifications.
My favourites are the old Stanley and Record laminated blades.
The whole idea of the Stanley/Bailey design is to speed up sharpening; thin blade tightly held, easy removal /refit /adjust. Thicker/harder/non-laminated blades lose the advantage.
 

tibi

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Hmm, not sure what 'reason' does. I guess you can get a sharp edge on a pitted blade by applying a back-bevel, but you are still going to have trouble seating the cap-iron on a pitted surface - it would certainly not work with any of the woods I plane. Unless you are vying for world champion cheapskate status tibi, I say chuck the pitted blade in the garbage & get a new one. Unless things are very different in Europe, even cheap blades are generally the equal or better of any Stanley or Record I've ever met. A blade will easily last the average weekend warrior a lifetime unless you are in the habit of re-grinding weekly, so even an expensive blade will cost you little spread over 40 or 50 years!

And Jacob, if you find your Hock blade difficult to sharpen, maybe it's time to think about upgrading your sharpening routine. I don't find either of my Hocks take much effort at all to sharpen, they are far easier than A2 or some of the other fancy alloys that have appeared in the last 20 years or so. They are thicker than bog standard Stanley/Record blades, so for those who refuse to use a bit of mechanical help to knock the rough off, I guess there is a bit more work re-forming bevels....
;)
Cheers,
I have thought it through and I have finally both Hock O1 blades and chipbreakers for both planes. Buy once, cry once. Hopefully, they will last.
 

Ttrees

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Obviously there's a limit but I think it's good to make things work even if it's against the odds!

Being a scrimper I agree with this.


Just noting that I've not read of many folks or gurus mentioning this to git rid of a bump
or convex profile of the cap iron, but here goes.

If honing the underside of the cap iron which has a belly, then to keep going with lengthwise strokes along the hone will only make this problem worse.
Instead, stick a wee bit of abrasive down which is say half the width of the cap iron
and concentrate with targeted removal only, and don't go near the edges until it looks good paired and looking under the hump.
I've done this with the corner of my cheapie diamond hone a few times, a little strip would likely be much nicer to use.

Depending on the intended use for this cap iron, it may still have its place,
should it be too short and the use is fine work, then honing it to say 55 degrees or more even might still be totally effective, as the steeper the cap, the further it can be set away from the edge.

I read an interesting post on the Auzzie forum recently where @D_W mentioned a noticeable difference with cap iron humps, so be interesting to read what he might suggest, should it be needing a bit more persuasion.
 

tibi

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Being a scrimper I agree with this.


Just noting that I've not read of many folks or gurus mentioning this to git rid of a bump
or convex profile of the cap iron, but here goes.

If honing the underside of the cap iron which has a belly, then to keep going with lengthwise strokes along the hone will only make this problem worse.
Instead, stick a wee bit of abrasive down which is say half the width of the cap iron
and concentrate with targeted removal only, and don't go near the edges until it looks good paired and looking under the hump.
I've done this with the corner of my cheapie diamond hone a few times, a little strip would likely be much nicer to use.

Depending on the intended use for this cap iron, it may still have its place,
should it be too short and the use is fine work, then honing it to say 55 degrees or more even might still be totally effective, as the steeper the cap, the further it can be set away from the edge.

I read an interesting post on the Auzzie forum recently where @D_W mentioned a noticeable difference with cap iron humps, so be interesting to read what he might suggest, should it be needing a bit more persuasion.

I am just doing something similar with the plane soles. I had a hump on both palnes, but I turned them upside down in a vice and with a block of wood I sanded out the high spot ( an idea from David as well) Because while flattening on a granite stone I was just riding the bump. Now both planes have the low spot at the very end below the tote, but the rest of the plane is within 0.04 mm. Once I have more time for this, I might use the granite stone again and get it whole flat.
 

Doug B

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I have thought it through and I have finally both Hock O1 blades and chipbreakers for both planes. Buy once, cry once. Hopefully, they will last.
Hopefully you’ll be happy with them, I’ve a couple of Hock blades & chip breakers & have been pleased with them.
 

Tony Zaffuto

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Started working wood in the 70's. Started reading internet forums around 2002 or 4. Prior to the internet, I did not know I was doing so much wrong. I remember getting my LN low angle jack, and how the fluffies just flew off the board before the plane touched wood (just kidding).

Yes, there are better blades, better chip breakers and better level caps. Some of them were made many decades ago and then cheapened. Some are still made today. Learning to use a tool is the first order of business (including learning to sharpen). Only then will you be able to tell if Leanord Bailey/Stanley/Record etc. were off their nut and really should have had thicker blades, chip breakers, etc.
 

tibi

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Started working wood in the 70's. Started reading internet forums around 2002 or 4. Prior to the internet, I did not know I was doing so much wrong. I remember getting my LN low angle jack, and how the fluffies just flew off the board before the plane touched wood (just kidding).

Yes, there are better blades, better chip breakers and better level caps. Some of them were made many decades ago and then cheapened. Some are still made today. Learning to use a tool is the first order of business (including learning to sharpen). Only then will you be able to tell if Leanord Bailey/Stanley/Record etc. were off their nut and really should have had thicker blades, chip breakers, etc.
The issue is that I have no one to learn from here in person. If I wanted to attend a full week course in the UK or US, I would need to pay 1-2 monthly salaries for that (including the accomodation, tution fees and transport). So I can watch tons of videos, buy online courses, but I will not get in person feedback from a seasoned pro. It might take years of trial an error for that aha moment in sharpening/plane refubrishing, planing, sawing, etc. that will teach me by experience. Many times I am doing something as shown on the video, but in fact I am doing it wrong, but I have no one to give me the feedback.

So having a good modern blade from a manufacturer who aspires to deliver great products ( with a very low rate of quality issues) might help me see what a good blade/chipbreaker is. Then I can try to match my 100 year old stock Stanley blade to it as close as I can. But at least I will know how a good blade should perform. If I only had a stock blade, I would never know what the difference is and then I would think that my blade is at its peak performance, but in reality it might be only a half way so.
 

Jacob

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......If I only had a stock blade, I would never know what the difference is and then I would think that my blade is at its peak performance, but in reality it might be only a half way so.
There isn't much difference except thicker/harder takes longer to sharpen.
Hence the attraction of fast freehand sharpening - the expensive blades lose any advantage they might have had.
 

thetyreman

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agree with jacob they take slightly longer to sharpen but are good, they seem to stay sharp a bit longer too if sharpened correctly.
 

Vann

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...So having a good modern blade from a manufacturer who aspires to deliver great products ( with a very low rate of quality issues) might help me see what a good blade/chipbreaker is...

I've had similar experience. When I started my apprenticeship in 1973 I bought a brand new Stanley No.4. ($7.92 NZD - the box still has the price tag on it). I could never get it to work well, and as we mainly used machinery for woodworking, I put it aside thinking I just couldn't handplane. Over the years I occasionally tinkered with it - I bought a second blade but this made no difference - I couldn't plane without tearout and worse.

Around 2008, wanting to get back into woodworking, I bought a brand new Veritas LAJ. Right out of the box I got full length, full width shavings. What a revelation!

I now know what standard to aim for and have fettled and use maybe a dozen handplanes (I also had to learn to sharpen them).

Cheers, Vann.
 

Ttrees

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Trouble is, well for anything bevel down anyways...

Those cap irons aren't honed steep enough to begin with, so you still run into the same issue!,
and if one isn't used to how well a decent profile works in the first place
( not something you can buy, as far as I'm aware of )
folks might be very nervous of doing such a thing and shy away from truly learning how it should really work.
 

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