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Thread: A2 Steel - Cryogenically Treated versus Not

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    A2 Steel - Cryogenically Treated versus Not

    Does any one know if Veritas treats their A2 plane irons cryogenically as does Hock and Lie Nielsen. It doesn't seem to be in their advertising write-ups. Has anyone here done a comparison between treated and untreated A2 and found there to be a discernible/significant difference while hand planing?
    Thanks

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    I have quite a few years experience with A2 and cryo irons for the same few planes. In practical use (meaning I've never setup any sort of experiment) if there is a difference it is not significant enough for me to have ever noticed. PM-v11 in the area of edge retention, conversely, requires no special skill to notice. I'm not trying to steer you; just adding info to the mix.
    "The Danish government believes that if we train 5,000 designers, and produce
    one Hans Wegner, the money is very well spent." - Ole Gjerlov-Knudsen

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    Do you think the cold treated irons are any harder to sharpen? How about brittleness. Any difference there? Just asking for your opinion Thanks

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    I have IBC cryo's in a shoulder, bull nose and a small block. I ordered them with A2 and swap them pretty much without looking. I have not noticed any brittleness but, all of these planes are used for more detail oriented (gentle) work than something like a fore or a smoother. I just mention this to qualify my use experience.
    "The Danish government believes that if we train 5,000 designers, and produce
    one Hans Wegner, the money is very well spent." - Ole Gjerlov-Knudsen

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    Understand Thank!

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    Mark, if anything the cryo treated tools should be less brittle. Cryo treatment eliminates retained austenite (we want something called martensite in our tools) which is brittle. Retained austenite is austenite that did not transform into martensite upon quench (quench being an encompassing term for air cooling here). Last I checked (a few years ago) Veritas does not do cryo treatment. Lots of studies and tests for the knife world, not so much in ours. I haven't used A2 irons in a while but I did not notice differences in Veritas vs Lie Nielsen; I never used the tools in a side by side environment though.

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    Thanks Vincent

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    In my opinion, this method is not state of the art.

    A2 is still more difficult to hone than fine O1 yet nowhere near so keen (or durable) as powdered steels.

    As a lifetime user if vintage O1 irons I can say Veritas PM V-11 and Carpenter XHP are worthy of the hype and cost.

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    Thanks Jim

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    Jim Matthews could you clarify your comment "In my opinion, this method is not state of the art."

    what were you referring to?

  11. Quote Originally Posted by Mark R Webster View Post
    Does any one know if Veritas treats their A2 plane irons cryogenically as does Hock and Lie Nielsen. It doesn't seem to be in their advertising write-ups. Has anyone here done a comparison between treated and untreated A2 and found there to be a discernible/significant difference while hand planing?
    Thanks
    Cryogenics and tempering steel has been around for decades and your question has been asked over that time many many times. Conclusion is there is no conclusive evidence. Some studies say yes, and some say no to there being any real benefit. For the hobby woodworker, you'd be very hard pressed to notice a benefit other than to the manufacturers wallet when they charge extra for it.

  12. Quote Originally Posted by Jim Matthews View Post
    In my opinion, this method is not state of the art.

    A2 is still more difficult to hone than fine O1 yet nowhere near so keen (or durable) as powdered steels.

    As a lifetime user if vintage O1 irons I can say Veritas PM V-11 and Carpenter XHP are worthy of the hype and cost.

    I replaced my O1 block plane blade with a PM11 blade and there was quite a noticeable difference in how it stood up to old paint when cleaning up joints onsite by comparison to the original O1 blade. It also stands up well to aussie hardwoods by comparison to the old blade. Had to trim some mitres in some god awful gumwood and it kept a useably sharp edge through out. Whereas most other steels die a quick death on gumwood.

    However, probably the best steel I have come across has been D2. Many years ago I bought a few D2 blades with the notion of: you never know... I ended up pulling out one to make an eliptical blade to plane shutter blades. I hand planed over 300 of them from 5/8" finger joint pine into curved blades. It crashed through knots and glue joints many times and I think I only rehoned 3 times. Mostly because I thought I should, not because the blade was dull as it would still grab the nail when checked. It just wouldn't go dull.

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    Thanks for our response I appreciate the input.

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    Very helpful thanks. Never used D2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Frank View Post
    Jim Matthews could you clarify your comment "In my opinion, this method is not state of the art."

    what were you referring to?
    Powdered steel formulations for woodworking applications produce a durable, keen edge with standard honing methods.

    A2 tool steel gives great edge quality for the money but is nowhere near so durable as XHP from Carpenter of Pm V-11 from Veritas in a blade honed to the same cutting angle from a blank of uniform thickness.

    My experience with XHP hardened to Rockwell 60 is that it grinds slowly (longer time on the Coarse India stone) but hones quickly (on a Lily white *medium* Arkansas stone).

    My experience with ECE Chrome vanadium steel and LN A2 steel was the opposite - quick grinding, slow honing with the blade requiring more frequent sharpening.

    The powdered (sintered) steels are that good.

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