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Rob Cosman Planing Technique

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Devmeister

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Crossmans saw are extremely expensive! Years back, after not being able to find an English dovetail saw I stumbled on an small internet maker.

His day job was in the computer industry but he made these saws in his basement. So I bought one. I still use that saw today.

The name of his company was Independence Saw. Everything was hand made and I think he may have used a power router on the handle but I am not sure. There are some sharp interior features that just don’t lend themselves to power tools. Also there are symmetry variations, (very slight), that suggest rasps and files. The lettering is basic stamp letters and slight variations here suggest that he hand punched each letter.

INDEPENDENCE SAW 326

In talking with him, he said that this was part time to help pay the mortgage hence the name.

A few years later, he would sell the company and design rights to non other than Lie Nielsen. LN told me no worries. We will gladly support any independent saws for parts or sharpening.


Now we see all sorts of new features and spins. Crossman is using some sort of plastic on the handle. Wouldn’t surprise if it’s solid surface counter top. But his price no where reflects a viable market point for such a saw. Certainly it’s no cheap date to make one of these but at that price point esp with a plastic handle? If he can sell these great, I just will not go there.
 

Devmeister

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Another circus act. Imagine a pair of clowns working their way through those drawers looking for something, drawers popping out, bits dropping off etc. :ROFLMAO:
And 2 hours long. 10 minutes would do.
No doubt it is very well made but it's also very over designed. "Piston fit" drawers are a big mistake - they'll sieze sooner or later.
Classic Cosman.

In my research of machine tool history and the history of patternmaking I came across an interesting fact. Quartersawn white oak! It was the plastic of their day.

The machinist chest replaced the trunk style tool chest during this time frame. One of the last makers today is Grestner in Ohio.

in studying these chests, one wonders about moisture expansion. The sides, tops, backs are all designed to resist expansion issues. This is due to the use of quartersawn timber in the sides and careful use of high end plywood in the tops, bottoms and backs. Chests made 100 years ago were the same with their own form of plywood… not store bought stuff.

The drawers were poplar with maple guides. Each drawer custom fit. But there are clearances where needed. Interior was lined in green baieze not cheesy felt.

it’s a design that was was well thought out for functionality, durability and manufactureability.

yet no one in this young industry ever talked about these points. It was considered common sense knowledge.

wood will move and your not stopping it. You can work around this but your still at the mercy of the material. So if a piston fit drawer shows up in Florida, good luck getting in there!!!!
 

D_W

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I can say the same for Cosman, thanks to Steve Maskery name dropping him on a bandsaw video.:)

I've challenged some of Rob Cosman's comments in videos (though I see few of them, sometimes people send me links to them) and figuring that I'd be ghosted on his YT comments, I've been quite surprised that he gives a reply in earnest. I don't know that I could be so polite in response.

More than once, I've seen folks mention that paul's blog comments are curated to eliminate anything he doesn't agree with - especially if they may illuminate someone else who is reading them. Rob doesn't do that.

I don't need either of them and never have but I'd far rather sit and have a comparo with Rob - despite neither of us probably learning much. He's too methodical for me. I want the precise look, but precise enough, and more feel. Talking about feel isn't a great thing to do with beginners, though. It's not good for me as beginner/intermediate on everything as the current guitar build shows - sometimes you have to be willing to make errors to develop it and see where it may not lead to fine results.

I get why people like both of those guys, though. I couldn't curate an image like that where you just stay on the rails with your message and don't go off.

If you ask my wife, I couldn't curate a likeable image - period - and she might be right.
 

Craig22

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Ah, Mr Marmite himself. Or Rob Salesman as I like to call him.

I've sadly listened to one to many sales pitches from him to take him to seriously these days. Which is shame because he has talent.

As someone mentioned above - what has he actually made 🤔

I recall him talking about a full handmade kitchen design and installation in cherry that he did - traditional hand cut dovetails on the many drawers. He got around the nightmare of blind dovetails by splitting the drawer front. Did through dovetails and then glued the front back on over the top.

So in the past he came though a traditional cabinetmaking background. And also spent a year with Alan Peters across in the UK.

But he makes no secret of the fact that the transformative thing that meant he could feed his massive family (ten kids?) was getting a contract to promote tools. And who can blame him for that?
 

Craig22

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Piston fit drawers, which Cosman touts as a desirable thing are nothing of the sort at all. As soon as humidity changes they stick fast. I have read that Alan Peters stopped doing them because having delivered a piece he was endlessly called back to sort out the sticking drawers.
 

Devmeister

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I recall him talking about a full handmade kitchen design and installation in cherry that he did - traditional hand cut dovetails on the many drawers. He got around the nightmare of blind dovetails by splitting the drawer front. Did through dovetails and then glued the front back on over the top.

So in the past he came though a traditional cabinetmaking background. And also spent a year with Alan Peters across in the UK.

But he makes no secret of the fact that the transformative thing that meant he could feed his massive family (ten kids?) was getting a contract to promote tools. And who can blame him for that?

in all fairness I give him credit for that. I didn’t know about the kitchen project. The tool contract was likely the Lie Nielsen days.

Gentleman woodworking is nothing new. Even Peter the Great was into it with Rose Ornamental turning lathes. So there has always been a market in this area.

Tool collectors have not helped driving the price of some tools thru the roof such as Norris planes.

Bridgecity made a number of cool tools but did so as limited edition tools.I have one of their brace drills which is almost useless as it’s chuck is a modern jacobs style chuck that does not work well with traditional brace bits. I have a Hammler reproduction plow plane which is gorgeous but had only one cutter which was not made of tool steel and not hardened. One of 600 made. Lie Nielsen tools were made to be used. Bridgecity tried to establish a secondary collectors market for their limited edition tools.

What is the craftsman or hobbyist on a limited budget supposed to do?

The high end marking out tools are all based on a design that uses a cutter wheel. While they work OK on long grain they don’t work as well on end grain. The antique ones often used a knife held in with a wedge. A knife that is easily sharpened and produces an accurate useable cut line on a single pass. A cut line that is both visable and one that allows you to drop a chisel into the line. The fancy new ones work better on the softer woods.

The cut wheel version seems to have come from a starret design intended for metal. You paint the metal with layout fluid to do your marking out. Here the wheel merely removes the layout fluid to leave a shiny line. I don’t think it was ever intended for dovetails in wood.

There is no doubt that some of this can be done on a bench top CNC machine. I have thought about various approaches. Certainty its a bit fiddly especially when chisels are used to clean out radi. But in the end it’s more trouble and expense than it’s worth.
 

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Rob said on one of his Q&A that the reason he has the habit of removing the shavings was that when he used to be a sales rep (for Lie Nielsen i think) it was a technique he used at shows to grab peoples attention as they walked past his stand, throwing a fine shaving in front of them. He has then just kept doing it as a matter of habit.
 

Devmeister

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Rob said on one of his Q&A that the reason he has the habit of removing the shavings was that when he used to be a sales rep (for Lie Nielsen i think) it was a technique he used at shows to grab peoples attention as they walked past his stand, throwing a fine shaving in front of them. He has then just kept doing it as a matter of habit.
That makes sense. So there is no practical value in doing this. I would like to see him tackle some projects that would interest folks and leave the hard sell out of it. If people are interested they will approach him. Example! I am beginning work on a scratch built hawkin rifle. In my research I came across a tiny firm in France making rasps. Liogier. I am now tracking down some of these rasps. No hard sell involved. I am trying to resolve a personal need to solve a personal goal.
 

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In fair disclosure, I will push aside or move large shavings off of a try plane and especially when smoothing - I don't want them getting under the plane and creating more work. Different than rob's reason.

When they're not continuous, then the habit isn't there because there's nothing continuous to grab and get out of the way. When you get a little further along planing, you'll start to realize that planing away from the side the shavings are generally flowing is easier - if you plane toward them, they'll end up under the plane.
 

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That makes sense. So there is no practical value in doing this. I would like to see him tackle some projects that would interest folks and leave the hard sell out of it. If people are interested they will approach him. Example! I am beginning work on a scratch built hawkin rifle. In my research I came across a tiny firm in France making rasps. Liogier. I am now tracking down some of these rasps. No hard sell involved. I am trying to resolve a personal need to solve a personal goal.

Here's my thoughts on rasps, having made a gaggle of planes and using them on guitars - you're wasting money at this point buying expensive rasps and it won't give you a better result or higher productivity. There are generally hand cut rasps floating around from china, pakistan, etc, and they are nearly as good and can be followed with a simple double cut metal file of reasonable size.

The whole idea that everyone is buying premium hand cut rasps is pretty much a matter of boutique woodworking, and early on before the idea took hold that everyone needs french rasps, one of the most active used rasp and file sellers here in the states advocated very few rasps and supplementing with quality files to do the finish work ...

.......as was the case often on older tool work.

As for the infills, at some point in the late 1990s or early 2000s, infills became popular in the US due to dealers looting your stock there and marking them way up. They have only gone sideways or down in value since then, but direct access via ebay has probably made the price you guys get go up (meaning UK sellers, which means your purchase price goes up if you're buying there). Well, ebay and other dealers.

Example - I bought a fine norris 2 off of ebay for 220 pounds. What was the going rate here at the time (this has equalized now) - $900+. Unfortunately, ebay confiscated it and gave me a refund. But, I've gotten at least 10 infills straight out of England due to the price of what they were here.

The market for infills as a collector's item has mostly tanked, though, maybe with the exception of the truly rare because it's an illusion that they can do something a stanley plane can't (the fascination was the idea that with a thicker iron and a really small mouth, they were better than a stanley). Once the cap iron is learned, a simple stanley plane is more productive and will plane anything an infill will plane - and then it becomes clear why a lot of the older infill smoothers weren't that heavy.

Everything in the US is about double what it was 10 years ago, though - except infills and stanley 55s.

Japanese tools have undergone the same thing, though there's still a whole lot of shysterism in natural japanese stones and japanese chisel resales to gaijin. The market is tiny in japan, the used market is extremely reasonable (not hard to find a superb double iron set with carbon steel, matching cap and supple kamaji for $100, often with a dai), but the distribution to europe and the US (and probably russia) has people believing all kinds of nonsense about value. Add maebiki to that (I have two that cost an average of $70 each including shipping from japan, and both are in great shape with little pitting and excellent teeth).

As with all of this stuff, it's true that you can get good rasps and use them and enjoy it as a matter of indulgence, but it's about like buying a norris 2 instead of a stanley 4. The norris is a more expensive plane, but it's not a better plane unless the making of the plane is the point and not what it can do.
 

Devmeister

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Very interesting commentary. I have three bedrocks and a few LN planes. My #4 bedrock dates back to my grand dad. The cap iron is key. I mostly work in North American hardwoods and have found much of what you say accurate.

I got a nickelsen patternmakers rasp years ago and like it. But I need some more rasps for new projects. I also do limited pattern making, mostly for woodworking machine parts and steam engine parts. The pattern maker rasp, when I could use it as its big, was quite helpful.

I often wondered if the Norris plane was that much better, why didn’t LN bring one to market?
 

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Holtey has remanufactured to Norris A13 . But his precision made dovetailed steel planes are far too hot for anyone's pocket other than the ultra-rich. We're talking typically 6k as an example for any of his planes, and I shudder to think what the A13 price might be.

This is typical of the prices Holtey A1 Jointer Plane a cool £10,560.00


And for the A13, thumb through this and you can see why his planes cost so much "Holtey Classic Handplanes A13 Technical page."
 
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D_W

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From my view as a planemaker (I've made five infills, too), if I were going to make a plane, it would be like the norris 2 (as in, design a plane so that it's stimulating to the planemaker and wonderful to use).

Norris did a great job (and others at the time, I guess) designing a plane that was heavy enough to plane anything but not too heavy. It has a wonderful even wearing ward iron that doesn't hold an edge forever, but is resistant to chipping, which is worth more than holding an edge forever to anyone with some experience. It resists sharpening only as a matter of hardness - not as a matter of introducing carbides that provide a wider advantage on a blunt angle or metal to metal contact.

The early ward style cap iron is as good as anything ever made, and just like the same type in a wooden plane, the adjustment simple with no mechanical nonsense, and as a matter of pride, the plane was made with the mouth tight and filed falling away inside the plane so the cap can be set tight, too, and the angle isn't some nonsense angle like 50+. It's a beautiful example of something nice to use and something that's nice, also.

The stanley 4 is all of those things except the tighter mouth (that's money and precision on the making part that's needed). The only other differentiator is you can drop the norris 2 on its nose and it may break a handle, and the dovetails may telegraph a little. But it's not a good idea - the broken handle is no good.

The stanley 4 is like a late 80s or early 1990s honda or toyota. If driving a person from A to B is getting the job done, it's not beatable. It won't draw oohs and ahs, but the guys working at the ford dealership will have one for themselves or their spouse, and it'll be 15 years old.

I've not found anything that a *good* stanley will not do that a good norris 2 will do, but it's undeniable to me that the norris two looks better. I also worry about dropping them, so I sold mine to a fine cabinetmaker.

I'd consider a bronze 4 LN to be the standard to beat for feel (assuming use of the cap iron is understood) if someone is building an infill. It's a fairly tall order - but it's the right feel sans nose heavy (the bronze 4s are nose heavy). I've sold my bronze 4, too. I'll make more infills at some point - they are the planemaker's plane - the stanley 4 is an industrial design that is genius - like a good quality printed circuit board.
 

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Holtey has remanufactured to Norris A13 . But his precision made dovetailed steel planes are far too hot for anyone's pocket other than the ultra-rich. We're talking typically 6k for any of his planes.


And for the A13, thumb through this and you can see why his planes cost so much "Holtey Classic Handplanes A13 Technical page."

I've seen A13s for sale here used for $6k in dollars (they were about $10k new).

Holtey's contribution is end to end control of making everything (all the way down to screws and threated parts). He's gotten sidetracked in some matters of misunderstanding, though, like thinking toughness will be innovation (S53 steel is what I'm talking about - a horrible steel for a cutting edge, but toughness is great for airplane parts where bending is OK and landing gear isn't expected to slice bread after a flight).

I asked for his permission to use an A13 style outline from one of his planes early on (i never built exactly that, but was clearing the way out of politeness) and he was quite pleasant - a nice guy. I admire the fact that he wants perfection in every part despite being more of a "i'm into the design and lines, and inconsequential bits don't have to be perfect" type of maker.

I'd bet the S53 was someone else's suggestion and not his own idea, and sometimes when you rely on experts, that's the kind of advice you get.

He adopted A2 pretty early - the only person I know of who was putting it in planes earlier than that was George Wilson for people who were planing hardwoods at CW and dealing with blacksmiths who wanted to make plane irons out of something like 1070, which lacks hardness once it's tempered back. A2 was the rage in knifemakers, and then D2 and so on - i liked it at first, too. Trying to bail out george over a steel that I don't have much taste for now (george still likes a high hardness plain carbon steel, but I don't think he has the additional distaste for A2 that I do other than to refer to the edge as a bit coarse compared to good high hardness carbon steel).
 

Devmeister

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I've seen A13s for sale here used for $6k in dollars (they were about $10k new).

Holtey's contribution is end to end control of making everything (all the way down to screws and threated parts). He's gotten sidetracked in some matters of misunderstanding, though, like thinking toughness will be innovation (S53 steel is what I'm talking about - a horrible steel for a cutting edge, but toughness is great for airplane parts where bending is OK and landing gear isn't expected to slice bread after a flight).

I asked for his permission to use an A13 style outline from one of his planes early on (i never built exactly that, but was clearing the way out of politeness) and he was quite pleasant - a nice guy. I admire the fact that he wants perfection in every part despite being more of a "i'm into the design and lines, and inconsequential bits don't have to be perfect" type of maker.

I'd bet the S53 was someone else's suggestion and not his own idea, and sometimes when you rely on experts, that's the kind of advice you get.

He adopted A2 pretty early - the only person I know of who was putting it in planes earlier than that was George Wilson for people who were planing hardwoods at CW and dealing with blacksmiths who wanted to make plane irons out of something like 1070, which lacks hardness once it's tempered back. A2 was the rage in knifemakers, and then D2 and so on - i liked it at first, too. Trying to bail out george over a steel that I don't have much taste for now (george still likes a high hardness plain carbon steel, but I don't think he has the additional distaste for A2 that I do other than to refer to the edge as a bit coarse compared to good high hardness carbon steel).

There is no doubt about the contribution made by Carl Holtey. He influenced my work years ago. For me, this type of work of combining wood and metal was what inspired me. Whether it’s a plane or a gun or whatever.

The reality of having to make a living pushed into commercial fitment and my getting involved with my girlfriend or wife took me dow the wrong rabbit hole. I am currently in a divorce but was never married. She is trying to prove we were! So I am waiting for a judge to to explain this to me even if I deny having been married which we were not!

The outcome of all this will dictate my direction. I don’t like commercial fitment and may not return to it. My personal shop has sat idle for a few years now but is equipped as good if not better than Karl’s shop.

The CITES treaty had not helped in making traditional woods hard to get.

But Holly’s work stands as an example of the work I truly enjoy and aspire to. In commercial fitment, I didn’t have the chance to work with naval brass, stainless and bronzes. Don’t even mention the issues of using stainless in these plane designs…. I know!!!!

My Wadkin PK is a work in progress and will give Jared’s a serious run for the money! It’s what a PK would look like if Holtey made it.

But that level of work and attention is time consuming and his price reflects that. We have to be fair to him and others who work to that level. On the other hand, doing this level of work in your retirement would be a pleasant exercise.

Holtey seems to have been captured by the allure of modern tool steel. There are a few alloys that are crucible steels but many are powdered metalurgy. A2 is not really a blade steel…it’s used in high wear applications like some dies. I often wondered if M42 would not be a better choice as it holds its edge better under high temperature applications. Not that planes have heat issues but the edge itself can see wear similar to an M42 cutting tool. Modern tool steels are used for a variety of reasons not just in edge retention.

My understanding is that Karl Holtey decided to retire. Not sure on this note. But he holds a ratified place for the few that truly influenced me and my thinking of the craft.
 

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Karl has been deciding to retire for a while - he's had various runs of planes - i don't know if he's truly retired, but he did slow down at one point even though he was showing blogs still on his planes. He said what a lot of people would say - that the input to the business and the time commitment, despite the price, made it so that nobody would ever get rich doing what he's doing. I can believe that.

In terms of the S53 steel, I've been in the rabbit holes looking at steels for a while, but trying to do it from a practical perspective. i find what I find from A/B comparisons or when hardening, tempering or trying to refine by-eye results, using the tools and snapping samples and looking at them. Nobody likes to hear it, but there just isn't any real improvement out there for an experienced user above and beyond a relatively plain high hardness steel that can take a good edge.

There will always be something for the beginner looking for innovation, but the one thing I haven't found a way past - well, two:
1) if you're experienced, you want no deformation of edges and you want to sharpen out only wear
2) things other than wear occur, and deformation or small edge failures occur at a higher rate with increased carbide volume beyond a point (relatively lower alloy steels that have a fine grain like O1 seem to do fine). Once the volume increases or the complexity of heat treatment increases, things go off the rails for sharpening effort

Beyond the point of something like O1 or 1095, if there's trouble with edge life, it's geometry, hardness issues, or the user (it's usually the last - though geometry and user have something to do with each other).

There are other little oddities that go beyond that - as in, 52100 is about identical to O1 in edge life. It has higher hardness potential because it has higher toughness. It's still not better in a plane iron - it doesn't wear the same way, and I have no idea why. It's so tough that it can be used untempered, but it still lacks the smoothness in wood that O1 does.

Long story short, there's nothing really there for an experienced user other than speeding up the sharpening cycle so that it's not deferred (volume of edge wear also increases as the edge wear increases - as in, the rate of edge loss due to wear increases the more dull an edge becomes). But things like 10V (an aussie planemaker uses it) at high hardness (don't know if they push the limit on hardness), chinese HSS that's similar to M2 at really high hardness - all of those are interesting. Beyond that, someone has to do an A/B test to see if the stats for a steel translate to something in use.

Hardness and toughness figures would show that M42 should make a chisel better than 26c3 (japanese white 1B equivalent), but it doesn't. It absolutely does make a better turning chisel than white steel would, though - at least turning on a powered lathe where the value of HSS starts to show up.

I've gotten a lot of advice about what's up (as in what I should be looking at with steel), but much of it comes from folks using knives, or from machinists. It's strange how what makes a good knife isn't always what makes a good plane iron, and what makes a good low cost substitute for carbide doesn't always equate to something able to hold a fine edge. People are fascinated with toughness, but toughness on woodworking tools can be a detriment because a damaged edge won't let go. very high strength, fine grain and just enough toughness is ideal - there's few other places where that's ideal other than maybe ultra high end scissors, and of course, straight razors.
 

Devmeister

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Karl has been deciding to retire for a while - he's had various runs of planes - i don't know if he's truly retired, but he did slow down at one point even though he was showing blogs still on his planes. He said what a lot of people would say - that the input to the business and the time commitment, despite the price, made it so that nobody would ever get rich doing what he's doing. I can believe that.

In terms of the S53 steel, I've been in the rabbit holes looking at steels for a while, but trying to do it from a practical perspective. i find what I find from A/B comparisons or when hardening, tempering or trying to refine by-eye results, using the tools and snapping samples and looking at them. Nobody likes to hear it, but there just isn't any real improvement out there for an experienced user above and beyond a relatively plain high hardness steel that can take a good edge.

There will always be something for the beginner looking for innovation, but the one thing I haven't found a way past - well, two:
1) if you're experienced, you want no deformation of edges and you want to sharpen out only wear
2) things other than wear occur, and deformation or small edge failures occur at a higher rate with increased carbide volume beyond a point (relatively lower alloy steels that have a fine grain like O1 seem to do fine). Once the volume increases or the complexity of heat treatment increases, things go off the rails for sharpening effort

Beyond the point of something like O1 or 1095, if there's trouble with edge life, it's geometry, hardness issues, or the user (it's usually the last - though geometry and user have something to do with each other).

There are other little oddities that go beyond that - as in, 52100 is about identical to O1 in edge life. It has higher hardness potential because it has higher toughness. It's still not better in a plane iron - it doesn't wear the same way, and I have no idea why. It's so tough that it can be used untempered, but it still lacks the smoothness in wood that O1 does.

Long story short, there's nothing really there for an experienced user other than speeding up the sharpening cycle so that it's not deferred (volume of edge wear also increases as the edge wear increases - as in, the rate of edge loss due to wear increases the more dull an edge becomes). But things like 10V (an aussie planemaker uses it) at high hardness (don't know if they push the limit on hardness), chinese HSS that's similar to M2 at really high hardness - all of those are interesting. Beyond that, someone has to do an A/B test to see if the stats for a steel translate to something in use.

Hardness and toughness figures would show that M42 should make a chisel better than 26c3 (japanese white 1B equivalent), but it doesn't. It absolutely does make a better turning chisel than white steel would, though - at least turning on a powered lathe where the value of HSS starts to show up.

I've gotten a lot of advice about what's up (as in what I should be looking at with steel), but much of it comes from folks using knives, or from machinists. It's strange how what makes a good knife isn't always what makes a good plane iron, and what makes a good low cost substitute for carbide doesn't always equate to something able to hold a fine edge. People are fascinated with toughness, but toughness on woodworking tools can be a detriment because a damaged edge won't let go. very high strength, fine grain and just enough toughness is ideal - there's few other places where that's ideal other than maybe ultra high end scissors, and of course, straight razors.

That is exactly the conclusion I came to years ago. My sorby chisels are fantastic but I was amazed at long it took me to prep and sharpen them. My LN chisels go much faster. But the sorby chisels perform a tad better than the LN chisels and hold the edge a bit longer. The LN are A2 and cryro hardened while the sorby just says Sheffield steel.

I don’t trust carbides. They make sharp edges brittle. Even in hardened steels, the carbides may be more of a hinderence than advantage. I use inserts on my HLVH lathe but they are blunt compared to a plane blade. Different problem all together.
 

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Carbides break first in a steel matrix - they crack and when they break up or the crack propagates into the matrix next to them, then the cracks propagate.

But to some extent, they're useful if they can be kept fine and well dispersed.

Carbide volume is an interesting topic - there's tungsten in O1 - I can't get much of anything to show up in a wear matrix under the microscope. There's a little more tungsten in blue steel - just enough so that the tungsten carbides are irregular and large. On paper, the addition of more tungsten seems like a good thing. In the steel, in practice, it doesn't hold an edge any longer than O1. That's something a lot of people can't handle hearing, but a blue 1 steel plane iron holds an edge at 65 hardness only as long as O1 holds an edge around 62, and the surface left by O1 is better as long as it's heat treated well and is reasonably hard.

Small carbides in an edge means only small well spaced bits where cracking will start.
 

Devmeister

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When is enough enough? It seems like we are all in this perpetual rat race to improve the past because we perceive a problem that isn’t necessarily there. The guys building and shooting flintlocks seek historical accuracy. Clearly there are better more reliable guns to chase deer with but that’s beside the point. They seek historical accuracy.

so we can improve the plane in terms of looks and tweak its performance but at the end of the day, what is the value add to seeking a magical blade alloy?

these are vintage tools and we love them. So does that not imply that we accept their short comings? An 02 blade will work as will an A2 blade. I fear that the quest for a magical super blade will never be met.
 
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