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mark w

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I've been looking at replacement plane irons or blades, (whichever you prefer) in particular Hock plane blades which are 01 tool steel and Axminster Rider blades which are 01 spring steel, would someone shed some light on which would be better, judging by the price it may be the Hock tool steel but I'm no expert in metallurgy, thanks in advance.🙂
 

CaptainBudget

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I can't comment on the metal itself, but I do have one quick one:

The Axminster blades are thicker than the Stanley/Record ones (like a Lie Nielsen), you may need to widen the mouth if they are for these...

I believe the Hock ones will fit vintage planes, and Ray Isles manufactures thin ones also.

If this is for a moderm Axminster/Quangsheng/etc. then that thickness issue obviously goes out the window...

(apologies if you know this already, I know some people have been caught out trying to source new blades before...)

My personal experience with the Axminsters (versus the vintage Stanley/Record irons) is that they take longer to sharpen/hone (some of that will be due to the thicker iron but I can't say the edge definitely lasts longer. I do find my Axi no.7 tends to chip a bit less, but then it doesn't get the same use as my trusty Stanley no.5
 

Argus

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One mundane problem, often overlooked, when substituting a more modern blade is that it may be a bit thicker and that the back-iron screw may not be long enough to catch a thread......

Happened to me once and the awfully nice chaps at Axminster came up with a longer screw which kiboshed that issue.
 

SteL

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I upgraded to a Hock iron and chip breaker a while back on my #5 1/2 and I was amazed at the difference. I use that combo for almost everything apart from heavy removal now. I wouldn't want to put a big camber on it because I'd hate to take it back out again!

I posted on here when I first bought them...


I had no issue with the mouth opening at all.

Good luck!
 

Jacob

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I've tried various over the years. There's not much in it either way. What you lose in edge retentiveness you gain in speed of sharpening etc etc. The ones to avoid are the thick ones as they take longer to sharpen.
Hock is just a brand on blades made in France which no doubt appear elsewhere under different brands. They are slow to sharpen.
If I had to choose it'd be the old Record laminated blades.
Generally cheaper to buy an old plane with a blade rather than an old or new blade on it's own.
 

D_W

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O1 is an alloy. The term "spring" isn't an alloy, but a reference to hardness. It doesn't make a lot of sense with O1 because spring steels are generally water hardening types (there's no reason to spend more for an alloy that hardens easier if the thing being made is really thin like a saw, and softer like a saw (water hardening steels are usually low toughness, but at lower temper, everything is tough, it's just not strong. Strong means stiff more or less, tough means won't break as easily even if it's allowed to bend).

Short answer, you don't know what the rider blade is and the retailer probably doesn't either. A stroke test would clear things up quickly as water hardening steels at the same hardness will only plane about 75-80% as long as O1 (except for 52100, and it won't be that).

You can ignore jacob's comment if you use a powered tool to grind the iron - O1 grinds easily. Hock's irons are good irons, but not sure what they go for there (they're about $40 here including shipping for a 2 inch plane iron, which is a fair bit more than they were a couple of years ago).

The average beginner will find them easier to sharpen because they're hard and they don't hold a wire edge that easily (And if you use the same sharpening process with them vs. a stock plane iron in most planes, you'll be able to take a thinner shaving).

Axminster also claims 63 hardness on their irons. You'd love to see someone test five of them at random and see if they're actually at as most makers chasing high hardness will just give you something chippy. Not sure where the "rider" planes are made, but O1 doesn't come too commonly out of india or china, and though it's a pretty easy steel to deal with if it comes rolled and prepped well from a mill, if you don't follow the rules, you can make anything poorly.
 

D_W

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It looks like the rider planes claim the blade is English made - that makes more sense for O1. At 3mm thick, though, I wouldn't get it for an older plane. .1" is about as thick as I'd go (2.5MM more or less).

Too bad.

Wait...

two different blades. an expensive one:

And a cheap one. The second one makes more sense given the cost of their planes.


Good O1 will cost somewhere around $7 or something per blade before making the blade. It's not going to show up in a $12 iron in most cases. Their "spring steel" is probably strip steel (lower cost processing) and probably not O1 - just my opinion. It's stylish these days to call everything with some chromium "A2" and everything without it "O1", but most of the foreign stuff is a water hardening steel (more similar to higher hardness 1095, but with some chromium and vanadium - which is OK in small amounts, but usually lower cost stuff and too often, the carbon is shorted, too, and that's not OK).
 

hlvd

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I've been looking at replacement plane irons or blades, (whichever you prefer) in particular Hock plane blades which are 01 tool steel and Axminster Rider blades which are 01 spring steel, would someone shed some light on which would be better, judging by the price it may be the Hock tool steel but I'm no expert in metallurgy, thanks in advance.🙂
I purchased a Rider, absolute junk and won't hold an edge, I'd avoid and buy something else.
 

Cabinetman

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I bought a couple of L N blades, just about fitted my Stanley nr4 but right at the end of the adjustment, I didn’t get on with them at all, the cap iron from LN is much better though, holds the blade much more firmly.
So I have two LN blades in cases for sale soon. Ian
 

hlvd

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I bought a couple of L N blades, just about fitted my Stanley nr4 but right at the end of the adjustment, I didn’t get on with them at all, the cap iron from LN is much better though, holds the blade much more firmly.
So I have two LN blades in cases for sale soon. Ian
You can buy an extended yoke from Ray Isles to counter this problem.
 
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thetyreman

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Hock O1 steel and cap iron is the absolute best I have used, but in the UK they are eye wateringly expensive, US pay a lot less for the same thing.

I have some ray isles plough plane blades that are superb O1 steel so I have no doubt the ray isles plane irons would be really good.
 

D_W

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Hock O1 steel and cap iron is the absolute best I have used, but in the UK they are eye wateringly expensive, US pay a lot less for the same thing.

I have some ray isles plough plane blades that are superb O1 steel so I have no doubt the ray isles plane irons would be really good.
If they're decent English or American or european (CV steel varieties seem to be more common in continental europe) O1 steel, they should be very good - it's just a matter of hardness.

Starrett's O1 in the US is spheroidized as delivered and you can pretty much heat it to mid orange and quench it in most oils and it will turn out to be an equal to the hock irons.

It's a shame that hock's irons are expensive in the UK, as they're just a hard temper cheaply made iron. It costs me somewhere around $15 in materials and belts to make an iron of similar quality (with US made steel bought at retail from an industrial supplier).

If there was enough of a market in the UK for a slightly thinner O1 iron, they could be made there cheaply - the same reason they're made in france instead of the US (cheaper to make them there, probably by a lot).

"Cheaply made" isn't a shot at hock, it's just a comment about the difficulty and time involved to make an iron of that style. You can make its match in an hour almost entirely by hand. No clue of the slot is milled or punched, it's a dollar different either way, but the top part of the iron being left square is a cost cut, and good O1 stock doesn't need any expensive processes to make a very good iron - so no need to waste money going further.

The hard temper is going to make most people like the hocks, though - just because of the way it drops the wire edge and harder temper generally gives better edge strength (ability to hold a somewhat finer edge) even if some toughness is ceded.
 

D_W

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(many of hocks thicker irons that I've seen and had were made in the US, though - the French talk is only in regard to the stanley replacement irons).
 

GerryT

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Ray Iles does a series of 01 irons and they’re fairly good.


Classichandtools and Workshopheaven stock them too.
 

Inspector

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Mark I am curious as to why you want to replace the blades in your planes? Worn out and too short to sharpen? Heavy pitting on the flat side making sharpening impossible? Not holding an edge? Or just because?

If you can find a seller that has the Lee Valley/Veritas replacement blades they come in O1 and a couple other alloys and although expensive are of high quality. LV stand behind them, replacing/refunding if you are not happy with them. Might be a little harder to get that from a third party seller though. You guys would know better than I.

Pete
 

D_W

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The LV blades are good blades, but there is a twist with (not in!) them - they aim for a lower temper to make them easier sharpening, so a hock iron that meets its spec and an LV iron are very different animals.

One of the reasons that I made my own iron is that I prefer something literally between the two. Hocks are hard enough that some of the initial edge life can suffer due to hardness, and then they settle in, but they are good. LV irons would make a better iron for heavier work (heavy jointing, try plane type work, or #6ish stuff).

I think LV is 58-60 or 59-60 c scale hardness or something, and hock as i recall might be something like 62-64.

61/62 is kind of a sweet spot for O1, but there's an "arms race" in hardness of plane irons, partly due to the fact that most people only smooth.

I noticed here in the states, the hock listings talk about being "better" than chrome vanadium steel that comes with some planes. That's potentially true, but there can be some really high quality chrome vanadium suitable for razors if there isn't free vanadium (V11 is actually a steel with a lot of chromium and some vanadium in it).
 

mark w

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Thanks for all the replies, particularly D_W, that was an education right there.
What a great resource this forum is.
Inspector, I'm not looking to replace any blades as such but am after some additional blades, I have Lie Nielsen and Veritas planes both of which have A2 blades which are quite expensive. Also interested to see what 01 is like.
 

hlvd

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I've tried various over the years. There's not much in it either way. What you lose in edge retentiveness you gain in speed of sharpening etc etc. The ones to avoid are the thick ones as they take longer to sharpen.
Hock is just a brand on blades made in France which no doubt appear elsewhere under different brands. They are slow to sharpen.
If I had to choose it'd be the old Record laminated blades.
Generally cheaper to buy an old plane with a blade rather than an old or new blade on it's own.
I’ve a Record No5 StaySet I purchased around twenty five years ago in a vintage rally that has one of those laminated blades, it’s a great plane.
 

hodsdonr

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I see here that there are two sorts of Hock blade offered. One is listed as A2 and the other as high carbon. For the uninitiated which one is O1 being referred to?

Thanks
O1 refers to the High Carbon Oil Hardening steel where the A2 refers to the AIR hardening steel. O1 was the first of the tool steels developed in the late 1800 early 1900's . Have a look at theis list of tool steels and the definition Tool Steel Classifications
 
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