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I'd like to make a chisel plane.


Ron Benson

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I'm looking for a tempered piece I can use to make something similar to this Blue Spruce chisel plane. It needs to be in the range of .75" to 1.25" wide and thick enough that 2 holes can be countersunk on the bottom so I can attach it to a wood handle, but I'd prefer at least .125" thick. Length should be around 4" to 6", but not it's not critical. I'd like the hardness to be around 60. I'm hoping someone has a cutoff that will work. I can pay or trade for handle material. I have some exotics including bubinga, rosewood, and 3/4" macassar ebony as well as some domestics. None are stabilized.

 

Is anyone interested? You can answer here or PM me.

 

Thanks ~ Ron

 

plane.jpg

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It's not a difficult build, pretty much any carbon steel should work.  I've got some 10xx stuff that would work and a bunch of L6 pieces.  I don't have any time for the next month or so, but if no one else steps up, contact me then.  I probably have a piece of damascus scrap that would work, if that catches your fancy.

 

Geoff

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"The worst day smithing is better than the best day working for someone else."

 

I said that.

 

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.

- - -G. K. Chesterton

 

So, just for the record: the fact that it does work still should not be taken as definitive proof that you are not crazy.

 

Grant Sarver

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A plane of that type has no relief at the edge. it's not really a chisel plane, but rather a trimming plane like for glue and the reason you don't see them historically is because a chisel would've been used for the work. 

 

As the folks above said, anything you get that's decent and hardened and tempered is fine. 

 

You don't need stabilized wood to make planes. it's a marketing gimmick when the wood doesn't have to be that dimensionally stable, like on handles of chisels and planes, and detrimental to toughness of wood if stabilization is by thermal treatment and not resin. Even the latter is a gimmick for woodworking - we don't expose tools to water like knife handles will see. 

 

O1 is sort of the standard for easy to heat treat wood on planes. The abundance of A2 and other things used in tools is for ease of heat treatment and follow up grinding more than it is for anything practical for you as a user. 

 

I'd choose rosewood or macassar ebony of the two you mentioned. If the wood you have on hand is a year old or so, it'll be fine. If it's brand new and cool to the touch from wetness, it may still even be OK, but i wouldn't chance it cracking. 

Edited by David Weaver
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17 minutes ago, David Weaver said:

A plane of that type has no relief at the edge. it's not really a chisel plane, but rather a trimming plane like for glue and the reason you don't see them historically is because a chisel would've been used for the work. 

 

As the folks above said, anything you get that's decent and hardened and tempered is fine. 

 

You don't need stabilized wood to make planes. it's a marketing gimmick when the wood doesn't have to be that dimensionally stable, like on handles of chisels and planes, and detrimental to toughness of wood if stabilization is by thermal treatment and not resin. Even the latter is a gimmick for woodworking - we don't expose tools to water like knife handles will see. 

 

O1 is sort of the standard for easy to heat treat wood on planes. The abundance of A2 and other things used in tools is for ease of heat treatment and follow up grinding more than it is for anything practical for you as a user. 

 

I'd choose rosewood or macassar ebony of the two you mentioned. If the wood you have on hand is a year old or so, it'll be fine. If it's brand new and cool to the touch from wetness, it may still even be OK, but i wouldn't chance it cracking. 

You are correct about the use, although there is at least one other use for this type of plane and I agree that stabilizing is not necessary for this application. 

 

 I was offering to pay or trade wood suitable for knife handles for the blade. And I forgot to mention that I also have some maple burl that I have had for ~ 40 years that would be suitable for knife handles.

Edited by Ron Benson
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If I remember correctly, I posted this before, but as it shows how different steels perform, it's worth repeating.

 

Lie-Nielsen Tools used to sell both O-1 and A-2 chisels. Because of the differences in edge performance, they recommended a 25 degree primary and 30 on the secondary edges for the O-1, and on the A-2, 30 and 35. They explained the O-1 would take a sharper edge, but would need to be sharpened more often, where as the A-2 wouldn't take as sharp of edge, but the edge would last a long time. They no longer sell the O-1 :-(

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The issue with A2 is that it has relatively disparate chromium carbides. I doubt that bothers most users, but in a smoothing plane, if a small carbide leaves the apex, little lines are all over the planed surface. 

 

Both will take the same sharpness of the edge at a similar hardness as long as the sharpening media being used can cut chromium carbides. Almost all synthetic stones will. But the A2 edge will wear less evenly. Their irons are as good as any A2 irons I've ever tested, but it's still A2 and if someone likes O1, it'll never satisfy. 

 

They lost the heat treater who did their O1 irons. On the blade forum, obviously, people might be shocked that a heat treater wouldn't do O1, but I don't know the circumstances. A2 with a cryo tail is really hard to screw up and it's relatively insensitive to tempering temperature, and very stable (low warp). 

 

You're probably also aware that Ron Hock lost his heat treater for O1 in the states, too, and I guess the timing was favorable for him to sell his business to Lee Valley. 

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Ron, how much encouragement would you need to make and harden the O1 iron yourself? If you can drill and countersink the blade, I can coach you through heat treating it without issue. The very first thing I ever hardened was a replacement blade for a bullnose infill plane that someone was literally just going to throw away. 

 

I watched a DVD from Larry Williams (we're fast forwarded now, there's no reason to buy a video) and the first one turned out well. Last year, I finally got a hardness tester and was curious to find how hard it is - 61.5 after a 400F temper. 

 

if finding a small blank suitable to try this is a problem, I can just send you a cutoff of Starrett O1 - it's amenable to just being heated and quenched in vegetable oil for something as simple as a plane iron. all you need is a decent torch and a can to hold heat around the iron being heated. 

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59 minutes ago, David Weaver said:

Ron, how much encouragement would you need to make and harden the O1 iron yourself? If you can drill and countersink the blade, I can coach you through heat treating it without issue. The very first thing I ever hardened was a replacement blade for a bullnose infill plane that someone was literally just going to throw away. 

 

I watched a DVD from Larry Williams (we're fast forwarded now, there's no reason to buy a video) and the first one turned out well. Last year, I finally got a hardness tester and was curious to find how hard it is - 61.5 after a 400F temper. 

 

if finding a small blank suitable to try this is a problem, I can just send you a cutoff of Starrett O1 - it's amenable to just being heated and quenched in vegetable oil for something as simple as a plane iron. all you need is a decent torch and a can to hold heat around the iron being heated. 

I wouldn't mind - if I had any way to heat the steel. All I have is a map gas torch and a kitchen oven...

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if your mapp gas torch is a TS 4000 or something of that sort, you have enough heat to literally bring the entire iron up to temperature. you just need a steel can to buffer the heat loss a little. Eventually, if you like doing the heat treatment, you can get something more insulated and a better burner, but I've used a single TS4000 and an insulated paint can to heat something like a #7 sized plane iron - the small size and smaller heat source gives you a lot of control that's harder to get in a larger forge. 

 

the only issue you'll run into is if you have an electronic ignition, doing this a couple of times can knock the igniter out, but it's a small price to pay to start making your own tools. 

Edited by David Weaver
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On 9/23/2023 at 12:04 PM, David Weaver said:

if your mapp gas torch is a TS 4000 or something of that sort, you have enough heat to literally bring the entire iron up to temperature. you just need a steel can to buffer the heat loss a little. Eventually, if you like doing the heat treatment, you can get something more insulated and a better burner, but I've used a single TS4000 and an insulated paint can to heat something like a #7 sized plane iron - the small size and smaller heat source gives you a lot of control that's harder to get in a larger forge. 

 

the only issue you'll run into is if you have an electronic ignition, doing this a couple of times can knock the igniter out, but it's a small price to pay to start making your own tools. 

Thanks David, but I've got a number of woodworking projects in the pipeline, and don't want to mess with this at this time.

Hey @Gerald Boggs - let me know when you have the time to do this and we can work out the details ~ Ron

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I am, but it will have to be a couple of weeks.  I've got a show upcoming and I have a couple of pieces to finish.  Hit me after 15th and I should be able to fix you up.

 

Geoff

 

"The worst day smithing is better than the best day working for someone else."

 

I said that.

 

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.

- - -G. K. Chesterton

 

So, just for the record: the fact that it does work still should not be taken as definitive proof that you are not crazy.

 

Grant Sarver

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7 minutes ago, Geoff Keyes said:

I am, but it will have to be a couple of weeks.  I've got a show upcoming and I have a couple of pieces to finish.  Hit me after 15th and I should be able to fix you up.

 

Geoff

 

I am not in a hurry - thanks.

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