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Iron swap in A Lie Nielsen No3

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condeesteso

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I'm sure this will have come up before but couldn't find reference. My LN No3 still has the original A2 in it and I want to swap to an O1. I emailed Ron Hock as I have one of his in my LN No62 (and it is mighty fine, but don't think he does them any more). He doesn't do irons for LNs now - I suspect he was leaned on by that Tom.
I wonder if his 1 3/4" does kind of fit, just not officially.
Makers I would go to are Hock, Clifton, maybe Quangcheng. And I'd need to swap the cap at the same time as my No3 has the original thin cap. It looked to me that the depth adjust slot in the LN cap was non-standard.
Anyway, I bet someone out there has done this successfully - any advice welcome please.
 

Blackswanwood

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I‘d drop Matthew at Workshop Heaven an e-mail or give him a call but would expect any 1 3/4” iron to be okay though.

I put a Quangsheng iron in a Record No3 that I rescued and am pleased with. It’s not O1 but the irons in my other planes are and I cannot tell the difference in use.

Cheers
 

D_W

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ok, you can put anything in it that has a wide enough slot for the wheel BUT...

the cap iron slot is sized for an iron of the thickness of the LN and if you put a thin iron in, you may want to build a spacer to go on the top of it or something. I had a bronze four at one point and did a large test of various irons and ended up just buying a second cap iron and dremeling the slot to sit lower on the adjuster. You can't file the cap slot - something happens to it in manufacture such that it hardens and it will demolish files.

Once you modify the cap iron, it'll no longer be low backlash on the original (thus the second).

Once I had two cap irons, I had zero trouble running anything, including the <.08" thick japanese irons.
 

condeesteso

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Thank you for responses. Re the Quangcheng Blackswanwood - I agree - use them in a couple of old Records and they are good, I'd be happy to try one in the LN. I expect Matthew will know a solution.
D_W - the cap may be the thing, the adjust slot seems higher than the Records etc... I think, would need to check more closely. And I do need a heftier cap. I'm partial to the SS / 2 part caps and happen to have a spare Clifton 1 3/4.
I think I'll start with a new iron anyway - ultimately I may abandon the depth adjust in the LN if I have to, just remove the Y lever and hammer tap for depth.
Odd isn't it, I have an old Record No3 with SS cap and a hock iron in, and it beats the LN hands down.
Be nice to get the LN up to that standard.
 

D_W

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You don't want to remove the yoke/dog if you can help it. To some extent, that's your backstop for fine adjustment (and holding it).

Not sure what you'll find with other caps, but some of the LN planes at least don't have the slot in the same place as stanley/record counterparts (I know for sure the #8 doesn't as LN once held a stanley 8 cap of mine hostage for several months when I got a replacement cap that didn't fit. It was strange to me at the time that nobody ever noticed previously that it didn't fit, but LN made caps for years that didn't reach the edge and adjust and everyone "who already knew how to use the cap iron" properly didn't notice.

People don't seem to notice much!

But whatever you try, post the results. I never said much about slotting an LN cap iron a little wider to fit thin irons because I figured most people just won't do it, and parts for LN planes over there are probably prohibitively expensive whereas they're not cheap, but not too bad here.

(given that QS appears to have copied their first plane from LN, maybe they'd be a good source of a cap iron to mangle for thinner irons).

Something is wrong if the LN doesn't match a record. For thin work, plane show type things, the LN generally will not be functionally beatable by anything that I'm aware of (including infills). But there can be small things off kilter with them once in a while.
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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Hi Douglas

For the ultimate LN #3, get a Veritas PM-V11 blade - they make one as a Stanley replacement. It is a little thinner than the LN blade, but also a little thicker than the usual Stanley blades. You can close the mouth down by moving the frog (that is what they are designed to do).

The PM-V11 blades are fine steel like O1, but hold an edge about twice that of A2.

You need to use the LN chipbreaker, or get a modern LN chipbreaker. The slot in the LN chipbreaker is 1/4" away from all other makes.

Here is mine set up this way (with a modified #4 handle) ...



Regards from Perth

Derek
 

D_W

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V11 lasts about 60% longer than A2 and twice similar hardness O1. it's not as good at fine edge toughness as O1 or other more plain steels, but its carbides (even as a PM) are far larger than the grain sizes of older steels that don't have a lot of chromium or other stuff in them (they're around 3-5 microns in the steel that is V11 based on XRF data relayed on the blue forum in the US). particle sizes can be seen on micrographs on the knife steel website - compare A2, O1 and V11.

A2 has less carbide density, but it's ingot (not powder) and some ingot steel can be normalized to tiny particles (like AEB-L) despite lots of alloying, and others ends up with big random carbides (Japanese super blue, and blue, and A2 and D2)

There are strays on the knifesteelnerds website (stray carbides) in A2 that are up to 10 microns, which may correlate with the unusual nicking that people see in A2. if one comes out, it's not out of the realm of possibility that it would leave a nick of a thousandth, which will split a fine shaving (brian holcombe suggested he saw the same, so did I. I think he ultimately gave up on it, but the fix is to hone to a higher angle - like 35 final - to reduce it).

That same site did a catra test about a year after I posted footage planed and the catra machine (a robot that cuts sand-filled cards) matches my results almost exactly (not a surprise - it's not hard to plane repetitively and figure out when a plane won't stay in the cut on its own). Fortunately, his results were released the next year or I'm sure the same people who accuse you of being a high paid secret employee of LV would accuse me of copying data from someone's website and claiming to do a test.

In regular planing with rough wood, though, I haven't been able to get V11 to resist nicking well enough to stick with it and have gone back to O1 and older plane irons - they need sharpening more often, but not twice as often, and if V11 picks up nicks several thousandths deep, you often end up going back to the wood with an iron that still has nicks in it, even if you hone twice or three times as much as usual on a medium stone. it takes a long time to hone several thousands off of one.

It can achieve what it claims in ideal situations, though, and it doesn't have bad habits with natural stones like A2 does. But the shine wears off if planing isn't similar to the test (continuous wood that's already planed - maybe the average person prepping with power tools can do that more, but then they're probably not doing that much planing, either).
 

D_W

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(I think what I just nerded out there is that if costs are remotely similar, I'd buy V11 if chasing an alloy and O1 if chasing a less alloyed alloy, but with another caveat that I wouldn't buy O1 <60 hardness for a smoother. there's no good reason for it to be softer in a finishing plane).

I have no use for A2 at this point, but made an iron out of 26c3 yesterday and after grinding the effect of warping out of it, I get it why manufacturers love A2 (it hardly moves. V11 is also very well behaved even though the flat stock to make things out of it is really expensive. I seriously doubt LV makes any more on V11 than they do on an O1 iron - it costs me a lot of money to make comparable irons when I buy stock and don't count my time. Like $30 or so for a stanley replacement iron, which is exorbitant.

brazed chinese irons are also excellent (not that uniform as far as the steel goes, but uniform enough and will last almost as long as V11) but the hardness and flatness are both hit or miss. Bill T had one of the batch that I used for testing versitroned at 65.5 on the C scale (spec from the listing was 61), and A subsequent order resulted in irons that were an order of magnitude harder than the tested iron and unusable due to being overhard (yes, that actually happens - an iron that hard is so hard that it won't hold its edge, even after rewarding the user by being difficult to sharpen).

if quangsheng doesn't make their T10 irons hard, then that's by their choice. It's almost identical to 1095, which can be driven to really high hardness if desired (despite the fact that we generally see it in saws), but sometimes the processing of water hardened steels isn't so great (they're dirt cheap - it costs me about $5 to make an iron out of 1084 or 1095).
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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David, “nerding out” is a good description! :)

Your interest is making blades, while mine is making furniture. You test steel to destruction. I just use the steel and re-sharpen - likely earlier than you - then continue using it. I do not experience the quantity of nicked edges as you do. Perhaps you have a different objective and different set of criteria to me. The wood I work is abrasive and O1 steel does not last long. PM-V11 produces the same finish as O1 and remains sharp several times longer.

Regards from Perth

Derek
 

D_W

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If you're planing abrasive woods, you'll have problems with nicking. V11 is less nick resistant than O1 at same hardness, and O1 is probably slightly less nick resistant than water hardening steel, but hardness is a key factor.

If you're not noticing nicking in V11, it may be because it's not a tough steel and it's relatively high hardness, and whatever comes out as nicks just leaves without leaving behind a fanned out deflection.

Interestingly, yahoo aggregator recommended a pop wood article to me this morning - it was about V11 and replacing block plane irons, and the sample piece of wood had a big line up the side from the iron nicking.

The last picture in your unicorn article shows a large amount of nicking, too, but I think the iron is A2 (V11 and A2 are probably similar, except that the grains responsible are generally more dispersed in A2, so it could seem more random). A2 is tougher than V11, but I don't know that anyone ships it at really high hardness (like 63 or so where V11 is - which is a surprising difference in deflection vs. chipping, just two points from LN's 61 average and where the LV irons seem to be - one of the chisels or irons struck above 63 on a versitron when W-B-W on youtube did a test).

Here's what V11 (this is an LV iron) looks like after it hits silica in a bark inclusion in hard maple (maple is a pain - you can have several boards that don't have any of this and then one that does, and they just appear:

this is XHP, same magnification *my iron instead of LVs*, silica in cocobolo.


Predictable conclusion - the iron was dull quickly. And then the same iron "with unicorn", same piece of wood, far more shavings (enough to leave a wear stripe).


It's fair to say I didn't rehone and do as good of a job on the iron after removing damage from picture 1 and then getting the iron in wood (there's a stray scratch or two going to the edge, which should be a failure point).

Point of this case of nerding it up - if wood is difficult, there are three things, in order of importance:
1) edge geometry (The failures shown above occurred at 35 degree final bevel done with a honing guide as part of a test)
2) hardness (harder irons nick less deeply ,and they also do a better job of not holding on to a folded over foil)
3) alloy - the smaller and more even the grain given 1 and 2 above, the less unexpected nicking you'll get

I can make a $3 buck brothers iron from home depot stand up to cocobolo in silica with modified geometry, though.

For a long time, we've been told to solve "difficult wood" with 3, and then 2 is sometimes mentioned. It's not good advice, but until someone experiments and documents, it's understandable why people think "tough alloys" would do better (usually, those "tough alloys" are steels that aren't tough, they're just sold at a higher temper).

The iron that did the best in that silica inclusion was a blue steel tsunesaburo - reasonable fineness (blue steel has a problem with tungsten carbide dispersion, though, so it's fine, but not as fine as it should be) and high hardness.


(I sharpen a whole lot more often when making something than I do in a test when the point is to find a similar failure point, though, but to the extent that I can, I also try to eliminate damage because you'll never get more than a thousandth of wear to remove, but 4 with minor nicking after little planing isn't uncommon.

That's the reason I went back to finer grained irons than V11 - they nick less. Not big nicks we're talking about, but the little ones that will split a very thin shaving and spoil a planed surface in raking light.

If people aren't finish planing, then I get that the latter doesn't' matter to them, but it drastically reduces edge life.
 

D_W

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Here's the result of the nicked vs. not pictures above. The shaving on the left was after something like 75 feet of cocobolo planed (the bark inclusion in the maple was harder on the edge, thus the deeper nicking, but the cocobolo has more silica and more evenly dispersed, so it didn't make much difference overall - notice the nice crack in the XHP up from the damage - that's another failure point even if you sharpen out the half moon. It may fail, it may not, but it's much easier for that to fail).

The shaving on the right was after something like 150-200 feet planed (thus the wear strip on the second iron).


I stopped planing because the piece of wood is valuable. I wouldn't have been surprised to get 400-500 feet of planing on wood with visible silica particles, but I wasted enough of it.

The shavings are both about 3 thousandths thick.

Needless to say, the shaving on the right was far easier to get consistently, and the volume planed was far more (the right shaving probably weighs 2 or 3 times as much). I think the hobby community doesn't grasp this well (and the pro community doesn't do much of it, either, maybe less than hobbyists) - "the edge doesn't need to be perfect, we'll sand". Well, OK, if you're doing all of the work with power tools and sanding after the planing, you may not notice. If you want to work wood by hand for pleasure, this kind of thing becomes a source of displeasure, but what you learn, you take to wood even when you're using a power planer and everything is faster.
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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The last picture in your unicorn article shows a large amount of nicking, too, but I think the iron is A2




The blade is A2 from a LN #60 1/2 block plane. Honed at 25 degrees and unicorned. Not PM-V11 steel.

Regards from Perth

Derek
 

D_W

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V11 should do about the same, though it may be more uniform.

like the saturday night skit about cowbell, "needs more unicorn" at 25.

Could also be that the wood is hard enough to be past the strength threshhold at the edge (but see prior cowbell comment).

uni made the cheese irons from stanley (for the 18) able to cut that cocobolo stick that I have. That I guess I"m saving to test more planes - at some point, I"ll plane it all away and say "it should've been resawn into guitar fingerboards now that cocobolo brings as much as it does).

At any rate, my comments above remain about chipping - it's something I sort of collect information on (/todd hughes), but I recognize that small nicking doesn't bother a lot of people, and I also recognize that when I was a beginner, I'd have taken the V11 because the sharpening process was going to be 4 or 5 minutes, anyway.

Partial apologies for really nerding out a lot lately -some of this will be TMI for most.

Basic idea remains, still. I like plain steels better, but if I was going to buy an alloy iron, it would be V11 (or if I was going real cheap, I'd chance the HSS irons from china - there's about a 1 in 2 chance of getting a good one that also doesn't require a human surface grinder to flatten by hand. They are what I used eons ago when I "solved" the abrasive wood issue - assuming that the alloy was tougher (M2 -ish) - little did I know, they were just a lot harder than they said they were.

When I want to make a stainless slicing knife, XHP is it. Period, the end. AEB-L may make something just as good, and it's dirt cheap, but it requires a normalization cycle that cannot be done in the open atmosphere. XHP has particles so small that they're smaller than the final post-HT carbides - so you can completely break the rules with it (not normalize the chromium carbides into the steel, which would lead to disastrous decarb in the open atmosphere) and still get a great result. AEB-L has no spare carbon (whereas XHP has so much it makes white steel look like it could use more carbon). XHP also stays straight in the quench, which is an odd thing to observe for someone who dabbles mostly in plain steels.
 

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