Magnacut Iron - first thoughts

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D_W

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this iron is 2 3/8ths, so comparing to the $45 10V iron, about $5 of the difference can be attributed to size. Especially with the cost of magnacut bar stock.

The iron is well finished, it comes with a bevel that's (I didn't check the literature) probably 30-35 degrees. The marks on the back are extremely fine and rotary type. What little out of flatness that it has is handled completely by finger pressure and I had a uniform pattern from a broken in fine india stone within the last bit of the edge (no need to "flatten" and polish the whole iron - that gets done with subsequent sharpenings)

So, translation - it's flat. Is it the same flatness as optical lapping? No, but what was the elapsed time for me to work the back edge on an india stone? less than two minutes.

I also did what I always do and went to the belt grinder to chase the bevel shallower. The way it grinds, it's noticeable that it's got less abrasion resistance than 10V. I would put it dead center about between 10V and O1, and I would guess the abrasion resistance is slightly less than V11 from grinding. The catra tests also say the same thing, but I don't remember them exactly.

The feeling is very fine. The micrographs show fineness, too, but it's nicer to see it for sure in the good you get rather than it being potential that you don't get.

It hones fine on an india stone but is icy on an oilstone - V11 is also that. It doesn't have the "no thanks" attitude toward an india stone like the huge volume of vanadium carbides afford in 10V. If the 10V iron were top end hardness, it would be entertaining on stones, but even at 60, you can feel the greasy feel.

The arm hair test with this one on "regular stones with kicker" is very good without yet going to the all diamond regimen. It does remind me of V11 in that you can hone it on an oilstone, but it feels like maybe you're not really going to get the scratches from the india out of it, but partially burnish them.

Great initial sharpness by perception, though - will be interesting to see how the first honed and then all diamond edges do with the thin shaving test and feel over the same edge as other stones.


...


But I can't help but think "ouch" over the $96 total bill for one plane iron. It's not that the cost is out of line for the cost of the stock and having it made on a small scale, but that I know there's nothing about it that I would like in use - at least so far - better than 80crv2, which is at least as fine or finer.
 
I saw a post on another forum about choosing irons based on their flatness out of a box. That's mind boggling.

I think XHP (V11) is a good choice if someone just really thinks they need a near stainless or high abrasion resistant plane iron, but to choose - for example - between it and 80crv2 (which would be half the cost - the steel is less than half) based on five minutes to half an hour of flattening....

.....ouch. I couldn't make that trade - convenience for conceding something else longer term.

Whatever the case, the 10V iron was ultra flat, and the magnacut iron was imperceptibly out of flat, and for my purposes, not at all. No part of it would need additional honing.
 
oilstones "with kicker" just means charging an oilstone with some cheap diamond powder. 2.5 or 1 micron stuff in a stone that's already slow or marginal.

Anything with a significant volume of carbides that aren't iron carbides benefits from this if using oilstones.

In setting up the edge of this on cast, I was reminded one of the reasons I have a distaste for irons like this. A cast or mild steel surface is absolutely intolerant of anything - even a burr that comes off and rolls under the edge will spoil your efforts.

So to use something like this day to day would depend more on being able to use it on regular stones.

Comparing this to 80crv2 or O1, one minute for a fully dull iron on india, light finishing on an oilstone and a buff strop. The little screw ups on more fiddly systems add time, even if it's just that you forgot to cover a cast hoing lap and there's a little dust on the surface. A little dust, even if it's wood dust, will spoil your efforts.

Top side of the iron isn't so stylish for the magnacut iron - bad combination of straight lines leading to a wide radius curve, but we've lived with looking at hock's irons which adds yet another straight line with curved corners, so this isn't quite as ugly. I don't know if these are being waterjetted out, but if they are, something a little more interesting on the top would be nice.

What irons sharpen well on oilstone "with kicker".
* The chinese M2 irons
* V11
* A2 probably does (but it doesn't like washitas - I can't think of a reason to get anything at all in A2 - ever)
* Magnacut and now 10V, both will sharpen on a charged oilstone - it's diamonds, anything will sharpen on it.

is there anything that any of the above improve over basic plane irons for woodworking, though? No. I can't think of a single thing that I've done in 16 years where any of those provides a legitimate advantage in productivity.
 
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I forgot one somewhat humorous thing about this iron as it was delivered.

It was wrapped thoroughly in what looks to be anti-rust paper.

Stainless steels are not all equally stainless, but magnacut is "very" stainless in corrosion tests.

Force of habit, I guess.
 
Nearly forgot the pictures of this:

Magnacut off of the stones "with kicker".


Note that this doesn't look as gritty or powdery as the 10V - but I'm not completely sure that the 10V wouldn't be made as pretty just with more time on the stones. that's one of the things to figure out here, should I make it pretty and count the time even if it's 4 minutes, or should I do something reasonable and see what it yields.

I guarantee in productive work, nobody is going to do a four minute process. I try to keep the actual sharpening activity on "easy" steels to one minute, with grinding every 5 hones or so no more than a minute. There shouldn't be dawdling unless you're mapping things out to learn to take waste out of the process later.

This is in the context of using hand tools for most of the hours in the shop, though, and not just for tidying up or prepping for sandpaper.

The edge was sharper than 10V here, but again, the carbides are smaller and the volume much lower, so I don't know for sure that I couldn't have honed out the 10v types. I also can't confirm that the 10V edge would get further refined either as I've had experiences with stones not getting along with steels before where the condition of the edge never really improves. A2 notably just hates washitas in some cases- it may not be all washitas, but I've seen and felt washitas pulling chunks from A2s with more than one a2 iron and more than one washita. Doesn't seem to happen on regular

I do like to compare edges like the one shown above - finished on a "smiths hard" with diamonds - to an edge finished on a slurried 8k grit waterstone:


Notice how the slurried waterstone is a practical solution, but the edge is less fine. It also takes longer to use and doesn't leave a tool protected from rust - not that Magnacut needs it.

And after prettying-up with an all diamond setup, the edge looks like this on cast iron - 0.5 micron diamonds:



The thin shaving looks like this - I couldn't really get one that looked different either way from either edge shown here, but there may be some reasonable limitation to what I can get out of the adjuster on type 20 plane. This is a test to see sharpness, which will yield some correlation with longevity (0.5 micron diamonds will provide edge life better than any natural stone and better than the 8k waterstone by about 20%), and easier plane use through the dulling cycle.

A picture of a thin shaving is shown, and then also something else I like to see - how clear a planed edge looks with the exposure shut way down so that you don't just see bright white. The dots are individual LEDs on a light from overhead.

20221114_174220.jpg20221114_174659.jpg
 
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Impressive sharpness from magnacut, though - better than the 10V with routine sharpening. Not any better than 80crv2, though, and we haven't addressed what happens when the edge gets nicked.
 
follow up on the magnacut - of the two irons, I figured that this one was the one with the most promise as it felt sharper.

I've used it a little bit this week making a bed, and yesterday dimensioning wood for a ladder, realized it would be a good opportunity to do "same work" vs another iron. I didn't think that I would have anything to compare, so two different planes (O1 in a heavy cocobolo smoother and magnacut in a stanley 6).

What I found is the same issue that I have with V11 - V11 does spectacularly planing clean wood - it will outlast old plane irons easily in a test. When you put it to actual work where you can use a cap iron and you're working through rough sawn wood, it underperforms good O1 (I don't mean veritas O1, which is probably OK, but it's underhard - so if you use LV's O1 iron and their V11 iron, you'll get a lot of feel things from the two that are really a difference in hardness, and not a difference in steel. I don't know why they harden their O1 irons as soft as they do - there's actually a technical reason why O1 may not have any improved attribute when it's tempered below a certain level whereas most steels will give you additional toughness. We don't really need it for woodworking).

So, I planed some runs and some of the ladder side out of rough cherry after ripping the board in half. This isn't demanding work, but because the wood isn't clean and continuous, I guess it does hammer the iron edge a little until you get clean and continuous wood. Both of these irons have done about the same amount of work, maybe slightly more for the O1 iron.

Magnacut's edge after maybe 10 minutes of planing - pictures are 150x, which is .019" tall for scale - except one noted of each iron will be 300x to see if the carbide matrix suggests anything untoward - neither of these steels should have large carbides):


looks OK, but I had lines on the work, one substantial -just not from this section.

As I looked up and down the edge, there were lots of these - little nicks several thousandths large, and the plane was starting to feel more dull than it should


If I went end to end, there would probably be 50 of these, some visual spans like the first with no defects. The point of these is that now instead of a routine sharpening to remove them (routine sharpening takes about a thousandth off of an edge), you have a bigger obligation and the abrasion resistance wasn't realized - the same as V11).

Here is a picture of the large nick that was leaving a line:


The fact that this deflects but doesn't leave is an artifact of toughness. Strength prevents the edge from moving, toughness prevents it from leaving once it does move. I don't think additional toughness past a relatively small amount is a positive attribute for woodworking tools. Actually, I know it's not.

You may be thinking "but the V11 steel says it's very fine grained and tough in the ads". It's not either - it's relatively coarse carbide and it's not a high toughness steel. Coincidentally, O1 is also not high toughness for a reason called "plate martensite formation". 1095 is the same. 52100 is a knife steel that's similar in alloying content to O1 and is very tough - it doesn't make a very good woodworking steel - I wish it did. I have a lot of bar stock from thinking I'd be able to make something out of its toughness by driving up hardness.

So, that leaves us trying to find carbides, as they should be very small - magnacut at 300x.


It's *very* fine, I don't know that I see any visible carbides, but maybe it would just take more wear to find them. I should be able to see a matrix of tiny ones, but visually, I don't see it yet. You can see more of the little nicks. We don't want to see any of these in woodworking tools at all.

Comparison of a house made O1 iron next post.
 
There is nothing special about the house made O1 iron - I made it. I think it's starrett O1 and I gave it some thermal cycles and ground a tapered plane iron out of it with a hollowed back so that I could see how it is. It's fine. I think it's probably as good as any commercial O1 iron you'll ever find and it's better than most, but it's what all of the commercial ones should be. It has no special attributes above and beyond using good stock and then not doing anything wrong or cutting a penny of effort out of it and losing a dollar in the process.



This is through more planing - you can see the wear has sort of smudged the edge. It's clear that the steel abrades off of this faster even if it's not that clear from the pictures in this case. Rough planing is never going to challenge abrasive wear of anything - if you plane continuously and use a cap iron, you will always be ready for a break to sharpen, and then if you can get through everything without a bunch of nicking, the sharpening will be unexciting, but quick and pleasant.

You can at least see that I've worn off anything that would've resembled honing artifacts from the beginning. The cap iron is set off just a little because this isn't fine work, but it's doing its job in the actual act of planing. How far? I don't know - 2 hundredths maybe. The more characteristic steep scoop isn't at the edge of the blade (these are pictures of the backs) like it would be in a smoothing test.

So, what does it look like at 300X - are there carbides? (I rarely see much in O1, which has some tie in to plate martensite - the carbon stays in the steel grain/matrix and doesn't form carbides like it should. In higher toughness steels, the carbides form more readily and the steel is tougher. This is a little bit counterintuitive, but it gives an idea that you can't necessarily look at a micrograph or visual view of fineness like these pictures and just assume that finer will always be tougher. It might be, and it might not be).



It looks like there were some original deep scratches that didn't get fully honed or even worn out. What's left of them doesn't really matter. I don't think I always hone out every single small artifact on the back of an iron, but if it's not denting or screwed up it doesn't matter.

This plane iron wears in a wear test about 60% as long as magnacut. If I did a smoother test, we'd find that to be the case.

In regular work beyond just smoothing, it will probably match or outlast the magnacut iron and when you factor in sharpening time and dealing with nicks, it's just better.

The only real attribute I contributed when making it other than understanding thermal cycles and keeping grain fine is that I know what hardness O1 seems to perform at best in hand tools. It's harder than veritas/LV and softer than hock. Or about as hard as ashley iles chisels.

There are a few small carbides to be seen in this picture, but they're hard to observe - again, maybe continued planing would cause them to stand out a little more.

I scrolled the edge of this iron up and down about half of its length and didn't find any nicks. There may be one in it, but i didn't notice them from the work, either and my scroll bits on the microscope only go up and down about half the length of the blade. I made a video of it, but didn't post it here as imgur won't accept it.

I'm surprised to see nothing at all.
 
sharpening method for these (buffer wasn't handy) is just oilstones and then I worked the very tip with diamonds on wood, freehand.

When I tested plane irons in 2019 and diligently lengths of wood and weighed them, V11 lasted twice as long as O1, except in end grain, it only slightly outlasted O1. I found that a little odd.

I also remembered testing the custom plane against a try plane if mine with a Butcher iron in it and it didnt' make sense that the try plane always got more work done in volume because the vintage try plane type irons last less long than even O1 does in an abrasion test. But they are very resistant to nicking if they aren't soft.

So, something didn't seem quite right, but I did the planing length test honestly and felt obligated to provide the results and then went and made a bunch of XHP irons.

And then found out that they couldn't do in regular work what they did in the test - the results under the scope were similar to what's shown above for magnacut, and then I saw the same thing in my chisel test when I was making an article for the "unicorn method". Two of the four chisels stopped chipping and could be accomodated, but V11 couldn't with the same reasonable measures. Translation, a good O1 chisel (again, not LVs - theirs are too soft) or any decent japanese chisel is far better in regular work. A bad chisel (like a new sorby) is not as good as v11.

It has caused the LV fanboys some problems that I keep explaining repeatedly. "you said it lasts twice as long".

It did in the planing test. I think if you were LV planing MDF, it would. If you put the irons in a catra tester, it would.

If you do more than smoothing, it won't, and if you're working by hand, there's not much smoothing compared to the rest of the work. There is a lot of jack plane and try plane work.

----------

I did think based on the fineness and lower carbide volume of magnacut, that it might be a "premium" iron that would turn this around and show plain-steel-like edge stability with higher abrasion resistance, albeit for a very high price.

So far, it's not doing that.
 
TLDR for the folks considering a good basic plane iron (which is getting harder to find) - so far, the expensive techno whizz stuff isn't working out in regular work.

It's unlikely that the wood is the cause of differences here since it's the same wood, same shaving thickness, same pace, same activity. But there's plenty of time and stuff to work on to continue to find opportunities to compare A/B and I'll use 80crv2 in the same 6 next time, or O1 so that I have same everything.

It still is the case that if you want to get more out of the tools, the focus probably needs to be more on the tool and speeding up sharpening than it is buying competence and confidence in the iron.

But the conundrum is left of who is still making a good basic iron that will match the O1 that I've made. It's a low bar, but convenience in either using something modern that's easy to heat treat, and easier to sell because it's different clips that away from the top end of the market. On the low end, there doesn't seem to be the incentive to make something consistent quality in the hardness sweet spot where strength is good and edge stability is good, but toughness isn't too little (too hard can mean too little toughness and chippiness).

I can safely say I would also prefer a stock stanley iron to the magnacut so far even without regard to cost sharpening.

But also honestly add that one of the reasons I say "I don't know if these things pan out better if someone is just smoothing wood that just came out of a planer" is legitimately that - in very undemanding work of taking out planer chatter marks vs. starting with a rough surface, I don't know that there would be the same damage that we see here.

I did think about two years ago that I could get people interested in making some of their own tools. The cost to do it in terms of heat treatment is about the cost of two magnacut irons. but that didn't really pan out, either. At some point, if you are going to do more than make things you see other people make in youtube videos with tools that they refer to, you will be making some kind of specialty tool for a project - and beyond a scratch stock, etc. It becomes much faster to make something in that case than it would be to even find router bits or already made hand tools that will do what you want.
 
oh, forgot - carbide volume. What's different between the fineness in these irons (the magnacut carbide fineness is very impressive- it's not common in highly alloyed steels and it's finer than some plain steels, even though the fineness doesn't seem to translate to greatness at least to this point).

Magnacut again from above for comparison -notice the smooth look:


And XHP, which is or is close to what V11 is - for the purposes of any discussion here -same thing. I didn't know this trick of finding carbides when I still had V11 irons, but micrographs of the steel show that these carbides are about as fine as they'll get:


Notice the difference in structure at the edge. What looks like a million little worms is round carbides and the steel protected behind them - they are the reason that V11 can wear slowly. Magnacuts carbides are generally vanadium and niobium, and they're in there like these are, but they're a lot smaller and harder.

As far as I can tell, the large carbide volume doesn't really have a consequence for V11 other than edge stability vs. plain steels. By that, I mean I don't see anything that makes magnacut any better so far - the fineness is academically interesting, as is the additional toughness.

If you "have to have" a modern steel iron, so far, I can't see a reason to spend extra for magnacut above and beyond V11.

That doesn't negate the view that think V11 is a step backwards against good plain steels for most users, either, but no matter how much that's true, people will have irons that dull and they will buy something else no matter what instead of just accepting that wear occurs and there's more to the equation than just wear.
 
I did a second test yesterday, planing edges of boards to make slats for son's bed. Combination of maple and poplar edges - junk shorts left from prior purchases) and 80crv2 compared this time instead of O1 to the Magnacut.

The edges were either rough sawn from the mill, or I ripped the boards with a cordless circular saw and no track instead of by hand to make sure there'd be wander/swirls to remove.

80crv2 is just a 1080/1085 with chromium and vanadium added, probably for manufacturing convenience, but it does make a better plane iron than those. The version I have is 0.85% carbon (starrett O1 is 0.9%, and bohler here is 0.95%).

Long story short, it's a different steel than O1, but the concept is simple - will it show better edge stability in regular work even though in abrasive and toughness (snapping steel and measuring the energy removed without considering amount or shape of deformation). the other iron that I used (O1) was also tapered, so no go in this plane, and I'm not sure which of my O1 plane irons are good ones (more recent) vs. OK and "just solid, but not great" ones earlier on. I started labeling irons last year and haven't made much O1.

Oh, and this time, I honed on same media with same guide (i don't love guides, but if you're testing A/B and you're me - you know that your hand honing is consistent, but nobody else does)----final angle of 33º, 1 micron diamonds.
............

The results..
* magnacut has a lot less wear on it after ten minutes of fairly heavy planing in edges
* again, magnacut showed significant defects and edge movement. the planed edges by the end of 10 minutes left very large ridges on board edges.
* 80crv2 wore more, but literally had one tiny nick about 1 thousandth of an inch deep or less that left a tiny visible mark.

It's hard to expect in rough work, interrupted, an edge will be microscope perfect from edge to edge every time, especially if dirt is possible. So the performance of the 80crv2 iron is good. I was maybe a little rougher with it just to make sure i didn't favor it.

This is the factory bevel ground just once to lower the angle.

I don't know that the average user will know enough about what to expect to be able to tell that this is unacceptable. The average good user will probably figure it out quickly, but most buyers aren't really doing that much with their tools.

---------

In terms of the other important part of this - the labor component - if you're using a guide and the iron doesn't need to be reground, fairly vigorous rubbing on 400 grit for a minute (broken in diamond hone) and then 1000 grit will not remove 3-4 thousandths of an inch of length from an iron, and it will become difficult to ever have a good fresh uniform edge in regular work. This kind of vigorous work to remove nicking along with the nicks themselves take away any good attribute for this iron so far other than that it's stainless (which is not valuable to me).

There is probably an element to planing rough wood that is like chiseling as the edge goes in and out of cuts. When I just planed already clear wood continuously 3+ years ago, to my surprise, I could hardly find anything for defects in good irons, but then V11, which was the subjective winner in that test (numerically second, but more pleasant to use than CPM M4) could not prove better than old irons and house made O1 irons in regular work and the edge consistently had more nicking left in it despite more sharpening effort.

The next step of this is to grind off about 1/8th-1/4" of the edge and see if the hardness is uniform. This would normally be a huge pain, but with a belt grinder and ceramic belts, it won't take that long and there won't be a risk of significant heat ruining temper.

If the nicking behavior is only in the first few grinds of an edge, that's forgivable.

the 80CRV2 iron here is a mule and probably has not been ground more than once, so it is also in its initial steel. But, too, I know it wasn't overheated when ground because I'm the manufacturer.
 
Pictures of what's mentioned above - finally transferred them to this PC.

Magnacut - undamaged edge section - 150x (note, this wasn't really that much planing, but planing maple in a less than continuous cut is a bit rough on edges).

magnacut 150 wear but undamaged.jpg

you can see the edge is torn a little bit, but it didn't feel bad. the defects from other parts of the edge made it impossible to tell what the actual finish from this part would look like. the little pits are wear, Kind of odd how the metal wears the way it looks untouched near those areas. The length of the wear area is probably 7 or 8 thousandths (cap iron set around 2 hundredths of an inch - this isn't smoothing). Maybe 50% of the edge looks like this - but realistically, in a good iron, this needs to be very close to 100%.

This picture is typical minor nicking. it probably doesn't translate to any cutting issues because the defects can't become large deflected areas.

magnacut 150 typical edge.jpg

more typical edge damage - the deepest a couple of thousandths thick.
magnacut 150 typical edge2.jpg

The worst of the damaged areas - nothing on this wood should cause this (no big dirt or grit). 80crv2 will confirm this. Note that there was one deflection like this. I *think* that when an area begins to deflect in either overhard or over-tough (and not that hard) steel, for two different reasons, the area will propagate until all of the damage or deflection lets go.

magnacut 150 large dent.jpg

10 minutes of skilled and not intentionally rough edge planing really shouldn't be that big of a challenge.

And a closer look at the wear and carbides (300x optical - twice the pictures above and about .009" of edge length shown. )

magnacut 300 wear and carbides.jpg

What magnacut promises is very fine grain, but also very fine carbides (grain is the matrix of the steel and carbides are the element combinations that make up hard "marbles" between them. If you look very close at the edge, you'll see tiny dots. I doubt anything is much larger than a micron vs. XHP where the carbides may be 3-5 microns and may be close enough together in some places to not have much matrix between them. Technically, magnacut is "tougher" than XHP (V11), but I don't see any evidence that it's better and maybe not even as good. Tougher just means if you put it in a vise and whacked it with a hammer, it would take more hammer energy to break magnacut than V11.

Next post, 80crv2 pictures. This is a dirtbag toolmaker's (that's me) forge heat treat special. should be junk, right?! The iron that I used is marked A/T which means that it got a poor man's anneal in vermiculite (not as slow as a real anneal) and then some near critical/subcritical cycling (three or four cycles) before quench. other than letting the iron sit in the vermiculite and fetching it out later, the rest of this takes about 5 minutes in open air.
 
A segment of 80crv2 edge - note the wear looks like more (it probably is - in an abrasion tester, 80crv2 would only last a little more than half as long).
80crv2 150 wear but undamaged.jpg

A second section:
80crv2 150  typical edge2.jpg

And the worst damage (the only real perceptible damage in the entire edge length):
80crv2 150  worst damage - no other damage.jpg

And a closer look at the wear and carbides at 300x optical. The other pictures above are 150x like most of the rest:

80crv2t 300 wear and carbides.jpg

80crv2 also has tiny carbides, but it achieves that by composition and no by being PM. it's inexpensive. You can jus make out /find the tiny dots here and there.

When the cap isn't set as close, the wood doesn't bear against the iron as directly and really expose a lot of carbides by wearing the matrix right at the edge. That's OK.
 
This difference is why I did a planing test several years ago and then came along later and said "those findings don't really bear out in actual work".

It's also why I sometimes say, I don't know if it really matters if all you do is smoothing (which people perceive as an insult). What I mean by that is if you never plane wood that's interrupted, maybe the damage doesn't happen this way. At the same time, this is just routine edge jointing, it's not abusive.

80crv2 and O1 both tolerate an easy freehand sharpening - you just give up (if you're me, at least) on the idea that you'll find some long edge life dream and it's fairly easy to see why I suggest that you'd be better off learning to sharpen faster than trying to chase edge life with some magic steel because you can't stay ahead of damage without consciously removing it.

No real damage is going to accumulate on 80crv2 that doesn't come out with regular sharpening unless you hit silica or something that you shouldn't be planing.
 
Of course, too, the whole thing could turn around after grinding off some of magnacut's length. Maybe the issue is just in the tip of the factory bevel.
 
It looks like the edge is severely damaged pretty quickly. It'd illuminating to see if its performance improves after you grind the factory bevel.
 
Just a bit ago, I expedited taking a look at the edge after grinding and ground off 3/16ths or so of the length of the iron and then established a new bevel.

I'm a little suspicious of the average person being able to do this without burning these, but with a belt grinder and a bucket of water, these never get hotter at the tip than boiling water -and not even that - with about 5 minutes of work.

when I got the iron back to the diamond stones, it immediately felt harder than it was at the factory bevel. I'm shocked a little at this, but it's better to find the gold in the middle than not at all.

Progression through the stones and then tracking down some remaining maple shorts and intentionally bungling their edges with a cordless circular saw and following up with jointing those and cutting them off and jointing again - 8 minutes of continuous edge planing after excluding the time to saw the edges rough again.

And the result is enormously different.

Most of the edge is relatively clear and undamaged and none of the damage is deep.
mag3 typical undamaged.jpg

mag 3 minor deflection.jpg

I perceived some dullness at 8 minutes, but it doesn't show in wear. It could've just been the wood, my imagination or perhaps the small deflection though it didn't seem like there was enough of that.

the only area of any significance is here:

mag 3 worst damage.jpg

that may look bad along with other pictures above, but notice how shallow it is. the actual line of the edge is not that far out and it may just be a small angle deflection - it doesn't take much to prevent light from being reflected back into the scope's tube.

It would probably come out in a typical honing session and there were no perceptible lines on the work from any of this.

A huge relief - it won't make me broke to keep a bad iron, but it's nicer to be able to unload it after testing.

I have a now deceased uncle who did some interesting things, but always referred to himself as "some dummy". It seems odd to me that "some dummy" in a garage can establish a bevel that doesn't get overheated, but somehow either in tempering or grinding, the "professionally" cut edge is overheated.

There are some other things it could be, but the old days' problem aside from heat (decarb) shouldn't be the case here.

I'm curious now to find the array of carbides and will do that to see if they are all dense and tiny like the marketing micrographs for the base steel.

I sent a question after the first two tests to Larrin Thomas, who developed the steel. His dad is one of the least desirable people I've ever come across and I think steers what larrin likes or dislikes to some extent *larrin's a big boy, but you know what i mean when you have a dad who rails against things - you tend to learn at least some of the bias*. Larrin doesn't like forge heat treating, so I don't think he has a dislike for me, but he doesn't like the way I heat treat steel and thinks it's a waste of time.

Not a risk to buy any of this and heat treat it - the soak temperature is just too high. I'd bet with enough heat in the open atmosphere and a cold tail, it would actually heat treat just fine in a shop, though. My setup is good for steels that need to get to 2000F or so, but this stuff likes 150F more than that and it's expensive.

Now that I got to the full hardness core, it also is icy on the stones and not very pleasant - diamond stones and loose diamonds are the only real practical sharpening medium for it.
 
Interesting, it certainly cryo treated any hype. I'll keep using the stock irons.
 
Interesting, it certainly cryo treated any hype. I'll keep using the stock irons.

that's a fair way to put it. Now that I think I'm in the heart of the iron, it will probably do what it says, but the way it dulls reminds me of AEB-L.

Different steels have slightly different properties as they dull - I have no idea why, but they do. You'd expect 52100 to be a lot like O1, but they're not similar in entering a cut in wood.

80crv2 maintains sweetness during the cut like O1 does, and 1095 also does it, but 1095 is marginal - not better than O1 and the stock is often low quality with retailers not wanting to say what mill it comes from. It's the only bar stock I've ever gotten where I can see visual defects in the actual steel.

Long story short, I can't think of a practical need for the iron and it cost about the same as my type 20 iron. But it will fill the category for someone who just has to have everything, and it might be interesting to test it in its now "good" form against V11 both in smoothing cuts (both will do well) to get a feel for edge sweetness and in rough wood, which magnacut now handles, and i'm less sure that V11 would as well.

If I had a furnace and a dewar, I'd "do up" AEB-L to compare to the two at the upper end of its hardness range but I'm guessing that without a dewar, I'm coming up about 2 or 3 c scale points shy.
 

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