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Thread: Interesting Discovery

  1. #1
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    Interesting Discovery

    I was sharpening a Type 16 Stanley #5 that I picked up a while back tonight. I use a Tormek which allows a very nice hollow grind. As I finished and got ready to flatten the back, I noticed that the iron was laminated. I couldn't believe my eyes as the blade was the standard Type 16 with the notched logo and Made in U.S.A underneath made starting in 1936. I confirmed my suspicion by testing on my Rockwell Hardness tester. The laminated side measured right at 60C. The back (bevel side) was mild steel. Very surprised to see laminated irons made this late. Recorded here for posterity.

    laminated.jpg

  2. There used to be a Dutch tool company called Nooitgedagt and they made laminated plane blades and chisels as well. I think they stopped doing it somewhere in the late 60's. The quality was of the laminated blades was very good.

  3. #3
    Pete,

    I take it you are referring to what Stanley called "composite" blades.
    THIS LINK is to a flyer, apparently from 1937, which describes them.

    I came across one just last week, stamped with the 3-digit code "335" (3rd quarter of 1935?).
    It too, had the notched rectangle logo.

  4. #4
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    Pete,

    Very interesting. I did not know, and still don't, when Stanley stoped making the composite irons for their planes. I would love to know, and would also love to know if there was a way you could recognize the composite irons at a glance. From the link Joe attached, there were some very good reasons for making the composite irons.

    Good post, thanks.

    Stew

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Stew Denton View Post
    Pete,

    Very interesting. I did not know, and still don't, when Stanley stoped making the composite irons for their planes.

    Stew
    Most of the literature puts the end of production date at 1941 -- the start of the war.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Taran View Post
    I was sharpening a Type 16 Stanley #5 that I picked up a while back tonight. I use a Tormek which allows a very nice hollow grind. As I finished and got ready to flatten the back, I noticed that the iron was laminated. I couldn't believe my eyes as the blade was the standard Type 16 with the notched logo and Made in U.S.A underneath made starting in 1936. I confirmed my suspicion by testing on my Rockwell Hardness tester. The laminated side measured right at 60C. The back (bevel side) was mild steel. Very surprised to see laminated irons made this late. Recorded here for posterity.

    laminated.jpg
    Pete; you must have forgotten to include the following link in your opening post.

    regards Stewie;

    Posted on August 30, 2016 by Birch

    https://galootopia.com/old_tools/pla...-swedish-iron/

    Last edited by Stewie Simpson; 02-11-2019 at 7:30 AM.

  7. #7
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    Stewart,

    I didn't forget, and know that Stanley made laminated irons and have even suggested recently why flipping some pitted irons and regrinding the bevel is not a wise idea if you have an iron that was laminated. The main point of my post was being surprised at how late this iron was in the production cycle.

    I mean by the late 1930s, tool steel production was pretty commercialized. Hardly a reason to economize and use the laminated approach. I wonder if Stanley really felt it was superior, or if it was akin to the methodology Disston used by marking the top of line saws with "London Spring" long after that steel was made in America. The only rationale that makes sense to me is their point that a body of mild steel is easier for the lever cap to flatten out and bed.

  8. #8
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    I have a 4 1/2 with a laminated blade. It most definitely holds an edge longer than a non-laminated Stanley blade. I had no idea when I bought the plane dirty & dull, just a happy accident. I'm pretty sure the plane is a type 12 or thereabouts, but can't be sure without looking

    I suppose that steel temper and edge holding ability could vary widely in pre-1930s production though?
    Last edited by brian zawatsky; 02-11-2019 at 9:44 AM.
    ---Trudging the Road of Happy Destiny---

  9. #9
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    One if my friends brought a Stanley over from that period, I was also surprised to find the blade was laminated. I was tempted to offer trade for one of my own non-laminated blades.
    Bumbling forward into the unknown.

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