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Truth about A2 vs O1?

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LuptonM

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There seem to be differing opinions of A2 vs O1 steel on the Internet. Some say that A2 does not get as sharp, but I am having problems noticing the difference.

I've just sharpened my veritas A2 iron (in my college accommodation!). I've seemed to have lost my razor, and have developed a small growth of hair on my face- hmmmmmmmm what could I use????



(sharpened using 2000/5000 grit Jap stones, 12k Chinese, then Chromium Oxide rubbed onto a flat piece of wood)

Seemed to shave fine- maybe even more sharp then the old chisels I've recently sharpened. I don't know exactly what the problem with A2 is- seems to stay alot sharper than them Stanley blades when working wood as well. Haven't experimented with grinding angles but Rob Cosman says edge retention is even good at 17 degrees. Is all the A2 stuff BS or is there some truth in it?

Is their a difference between Lie Nielsen A2 steel and Veritas A2 steel?

PS: I am mad enough to shave my facial hair with woodworking tools. One beard was destroyed in the making of this thread
 

Mark A

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LuptonM":zx0dm7y3 said:
PS: I am mad enough to shave my facial hair with woodworking tools. One beard was destroyed in the making of this thread
That's nothing - I shaved my right leg from the knee down with my axe once! Bad idea as it made me look like a poofter. And the edge chipped very easily.
 

jimi43

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mark aspin":2ufa6nob said:
LuptonM":2ufa6nob said:
PS: I am mad enough to shave my facial hair with woodworking tools. One beard was destroyed in the making of this thread
That's nothing - I shaved my right leg from the knee down with my axe once! Bad idea as it made me look like a poofter. And the edge chipped very easily.
But at least if anyone took the mickey you could chop their head off! :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Try T10 QS steel Lupton....it's rather impressive!

Jim
 

woodbloke

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I'm no expert in this area and for a more detailed metalurgical analysis, Matt from WH is your boy, but apparently A2 steel is completely different in it's 'make up' at the cutting edge, compared to standard O1 steels. I tried out my A2 LN chisels (before I sold them) with my newly acquired Jap chisels and honed both to 30deg using my SS system. I tested each edge on some nasty shed pine, taking off end grain slices. There wasn't much doubt in my mind that although each cut very well, there was some deformation of the end grain with A2 whereas there was none with the O1 and the O1 was effortless to push through the timber - Rob
 

tomatwark

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I found with my LN block plane with an A2 blade that while I could get the blade sharp enough to shave with, it did not hold a good edge for long.

Following a thread on here saying a QS blade ( which I know is not O1 ) from Workshop Heaven would fit I bought one and I have to say that it keeps a good edge alot longer.

There must be something in it otherwise the manufacturers would not be offering an alternative.

Tom
 

LuptonM

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woodbloke":3pb5s4oj said:
I'm no expert in this area and for a more detailed metalurgical analysis, Matt from WH is your boy, but apparently A2 steel is completely different in it's 'make up' at the cutting edge, compared to standard O1 steels. I tried out my A2 LN chisels (before I sold them) with my newly acquired Jap chisels and honed both to 30deg using my SS system. I tested each edge on some nasty shed pine, taking off end grain slices. There wasn't much doubt in my mind that although each cut very well, there was some deformation of the end grain with A2 whereas there was none with the O1 and the O1 was effortless to push through the timber - Rob
Which Japanese chisels did you get? The reason I ask is that I am thinking of getting a decent set of chisels for the primary purpose of dovetails - so a set of Lie Nielsen chisels (O1 or A2) might be on the books (its going to be a birthday + Christmas combination so its more of an indulgence). The problem with Japanese chisels is that the sides are too fat - unless you grind the shoulders down
 

woodbloke

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LuptonM":2xrvhvof said:
woodbloke":2xrvhvof said:
I'm no expert in this area and for a more detailed metalurgical analysis, Matt from WH is your boy, but apparently A2 steel is completely different in it's 'make up' at the cutting edge, compared to standard O1 steels. I tried out my A2 LN chisels (before I sold them) with my newly acquired Jap chisels and honed both to 30deg using my SS system. I tested each edge on some nasty shed pine, taking off end grain slices. There wasn't much doubt in my mind that although each cut very well, there was some deformation of the end grain with A2 whereas there was none with the O1 and the O1 was effortless to push through the timber - Rob
Which Japanese chisels did you get? The reason I ask is that I am thinking of getting a decent set of chisels for the primary purpose of dovetails - so a set of Lie Nielsen chisels (O1 or A2) might be on the books (its going to be a birthday + Christmas combination so its more of an indulgence). The problem with Japanese chisels is that the sides are too fat - unless you grind the shoulders down
The Jap dovetailing chisels I use are the ones from Axminster and are very good. I only use them for doing d/t's so they have a single bevel of 25deg (they're not struck with anything like a mallet or hammer) and I've also cut off the hoops and dowled on a slightly longer extension in English Walnut - Rob
 

condeesteso

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Interesting - I have been using my chisels a lot very recently on some big joints in ash. I have a couple of observations from my own experience.

First, the LN A2 chisels - very tough, but don't shave (end grain, say) like the carbon steel ones (Japanese laminated, old U.S. Stanleys and old Marples which are surprisingly good I find). I can't explain this or measure it, but I feel a difference in use.

Second, the maker. The blade (A2) in my Veritas medium shoulder is phenomenal, and seems to outperform the Lies in all respects - particularly the fineness of edge and its durability. I allow for the fact that the shoulder doesn't work as hard as the blades in the Lie planes (a 3, a 62 and a 7 1/2) but it does feel like a good match for fine carbon steel blades.
I am now considering trying an O1 blade in one of the Lies.

Wonder if anyone has any subjective views on Veritas v the LN A2s??
 

mtr1

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Jimi is right, the T10 steel is a different class, and knocks spots off my LN A2. So much so I might convert all my planes to the T10, matthew told me its hardened to about RC63. I don't own any O1 so can't compare.
 

bugbear

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mtr1":2r869v3a said:
Jimi is right, the T10 steel is a different class, and knocks spots off my LN A2. So much so I might convert all my planes to the T10, matthew told me its hardened to about RC63. I don't own any O1 so can't compare.
I think "straight" O1 is actually quite rare - many of the old woodie plane blades are W1 (which can be very nice indeed).

BugBear
 

woodbloke

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mtr1":2uz6abc0 said:
Jimi is right, the T10 steel is a different class, and knocks spots off my LN A2. So much so I might convert all my planes to the T10, matthew told me its hardened to about RC63. I don't own any O1 so can't compare.
Matt from WH does a replacement T10 blade which will drop straight into a LN block plane (mine is the low angle) - Rob
 

Modernist

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bugbear":3o8en2qj said:
mtr1":3o8en2qj said:
Jimi is right, the T10 steel is a different class, and knocks spots off my LN A2. So much so I might convert all my planes to the T10, matthew told me its hardened to about RC63. I don't own any O1 so can't compare.
I think "straight" O1 is actually quite rare - many of the old woodie plane blades are W1 (which can be very nice indeed).

BugBear

IIRC my Veritas LA and block planes came with O1 when specified. Some of the comments above again confirm the inferiority of A2 for sharpness and resistance to edge crumbling, although we continue to debate it, but just to confound the position my LN 4 1/2 from about 8 years ago uses A2 which has never been any problem at 30 deg and holds it's edge longer than any. I too find the Quangsheng blades outstanding in all respects and reasonably priced.
 

woodbloke

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Modernist":3rf502rd said:
... but just to confound the position my LN 4 1/2 from about 8 years ago uses A2 which has never been any problem at 30 deg and holds it's edge longer than any.
...and my LN block plane, bought at the last Ax show was also supplied with an A2 blade, which at 30deg crumbled and the resulting debris left nasty scratches in the sole. Doesn't affect the way the plane works, it just looks awful :cry: - Rob
 

Modernist

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woodbloke":2yo4bf4y said:
Doesn't affect the way the plane works, it just looks awful :cry: - Rob
Surely that is preventing the plane from working!

My LN140 A2 wouldn't cut end grain Douglas Fir at 30 deg without breaking up - useless. I sold it in disgust (it not being cheap) and replaced it with a Veritas Skew Block O1 which is better in every respect not least the absence of flex in the sole. As stated previously I have found I can sharpen Veritas O1 at 27 deg and deal with hard end grain (eg Am Cherry) without problems.
 

LuptonM

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Apparently Veritas do not cryogenically heat treat their A2 blades but Lie Nielsen do. Most people seem to be complaining about Lie Nielsen A2 steel. Interesting
 

jimi43

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I'm in trouble now.....

Annie came back from work at lunch today and found me on the outside steps, shaving the hairs off my thigh with my Ward and Payne axe.... :oops:

She was about to have me committed but when I said I was trying something I read on UKW she said "oh...that lot...that explains it...." :mrgreen:



jim
 

condeesteso

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Wow! I have tried that kind of thing with plane blades before now (with mixed results) but never with an axe. I assume it's quite sharp then?
 

markturner

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Which replacement irons on the market are in A2 and which are 01? Looking at the Hock irons I can see they are "high carbon" or A2 cryo treated choice. Is this yet more variation? Cosman IBC irons seem to A2 cryo as well.

Cheers, Mark
 

woodbloke

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markturner":3rnzrrui said:
Which replacement irons on the market are in A2 and which are 01? Looking at the Hock irons I can see they are "high carbon" or A2 cryo treated choice. Is this yet more variation? Cosman IBC irons seem to A2 cryo as well.

Cheers, Mark
All the ones that are sold at Workshop Heaven are either O1 (Cliffie's) or the QS oil tempered blades (T10) with one or two Ray Isles blades as well... no A2 - Rob
 

Mark A

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jimi43":31chm1qn said:
I'm in trouble now.....

Annie came back from work at lunch today and found me on the outside steps, shaving the hairs off my thigh with my Ward and Payne axe.... :oops:

She was about to have me committed but when I said I was trying something I read on UKW she said "oh...that lot...that explains it...." :mrgreen:

jim
:lol: :lol:

"Ward and Payne - The Best a Man Can Get"
 
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