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Thread: I'm confused...

  1. #1

    I'm confused...

    I have been using a standard type 9 Bailey number 4 for a while. I LOVE it. I only paid $30 for it and I have restored it and I can take beautiful shavings with it. I have added a hock 01 blade and a new breaker to it and it is a beautiful tool that does a beautiful job and I believe it will last me another 100 years. A little over a year ago, I had some money saved up and bought a LN no 3. It is also a beautiful tool. Feels different in the hand but I can get used to that. I honestly haven't used it very much. Here is where I am confused... i can sharpen it with the same method as i do my hock iron. I'm using diamond stones and finishing with a strop. I am getting the same wire burr on both blades, they are both scary shaving sharp, just takes a little longer with the A2. I am sharpening a micro bevel of 35 degrees on the LN blade. Both have a small camber and I am getting light fluffy shavings that are identical from both planes. When I hold both surfaces up to the light, I get a clear beautiful finish on both. They both seem to have a matching reflection for the most part. With the LN finish, I have to look for them, but I am seeing these curvy scratches that are bothering me. I dont like sanding and I like to be able to have a finished surface off of the plane, which I have had no problem doing with the stanley. When i use the hock, they go away and it is just reflection. When looking at both surfaces, they look the same when you look at them, but when you hold them up to get a reflection, you can see the small (very small) scratches. Is this normal? I love my stanley so much, I am planning to keep using it because it works so well, but at the same time, I feel like I'm missing something with this beautiful premium tool. Eitherway, I think I'm going to stick to my trusty Stanley number 4 for smoothing. Just curious if anyone else has noticed this? Thanks!
    Eli

  2. #2
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    Something is making those scratches. Check the sole and especially the mouth for imperfections. Drag a cotton ball lightly over the sole and mouth. Check it with a loupe. Hone your blade again and check it under a loupe.

    Sorry, that is all I can think of.

  3. #3
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    Most likely your LN plane has an A2 blade. This metal is more prone to chipping than an O1 blade. The little chips are the likely culprit leaving what look like scratches or dull streaks on the surface.

    The 'scratches' will likely show up even more if used on end grain. That would be one way to identify where they are on the blade.

    What bevel angle do you have on the LN blade? Increasing the angle can help to avoid chipping.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  4. #4
    O1 is said to achieve a keener edge, as in less serrated than A2, at a microscopic level, especially when wearing.

    Itís very common to have small imperceptible imperfections at the edge that translates to very perceptible tracks on wood, as thin lines. Hitting a grain of sand stuck in a dead knot and ... back to the stones ...

  5. #5
    I've honed it at a 35 degree micro bevel.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    I figure that the scratches are most likely from the blade or from the sole. I will concede that there is an even smaller chance that a shaving gets caught between the plane and the wood, but that seems less likely to me.

    If the scratch is not from the blade, it is possible that you can produce the scratches with the blade retracted while running the base on scratch free wood from your No 4 plane.

    Looking at the blade with a magnifying loop is always a good idea if you want to see things that you did not expect. This has dramatically improved my ability to understand what is happening when I sharpen things; I do this most often with knife blades.

    If the scratch pattern is easy to produce, you might be able to cause it with a single pass of the plane and then by inspection know roughly where on the plane (left / right, not front / back) the scratches occur (assuming you are not skewing the plane).

    I have found that when I sharpen a knife blade and I test it against thing paper (such as news print) blade imperfections will catch on the paper. I found that knives from Imperial Schrade are usually pretty uniform so I was simply touching some up and the blade caught on one of the knives (I sharpened about 30 blades this morning and only 1 caught after some simply polishing). I grabbed a magnifying loop. Many people like to pull the blade over a finger nail, although I have done that, I will admit that it always makes me very nervous so I rarely every do it; but many swear by it.

    I am partial to this Loupe, which is a 15x https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009NVEM6U and as of October 2020, it is $26. I also have this style, a 10x https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EXPWU8S

    Sometimes I use a USB style microscope such as this https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DRGR6LX (about $25) but then I dropped another $20+ on the base stand holder and I prefer to just use the first Loupe I mentioned above unless I want to take pictures. Sometimes the pictures are nice to have but it takes much longer than just grabbing a loupe.


    The use of the cotton (as mentioned by Curt) seems really smart to see where it snags.

    I think that you said that the Hock blade is O1 and the Lie Nielsen is A2. I have never spent time comparing these two steels, but, it is my understanding that a general summary would be:

    O1 will take a "keener" edge and is easier to sharpen. A2 is more difficult to sharpen but has a more durable edge.

    It is also possible that the problems that you are seeing is related to the sharpening angle, the bed angle, and Lord only knows what else.... Properly sharpened and angled, I would not expect to see a significant different in the results between the two.

    I saw some of this referenced on the creek. In my mind, there was a big discussion this year, but I am old, the days merge together, and it might have been 10 years ago


    https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread....-premium-blade
    https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread....jack-pmv-or-O1
    https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread....d-Their-Blades

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    I have Hock Plane Irons and breakers on my Bedrock planes. I sharpen with diamond hones.
    I can get translucent shavings.
    Oh by the way, Johnson's floor wax keeps them from rusting.

  8. #8
    Yeah, I'm starting to think that there is something about the Hock blade with smoothing specifically. Honestly, I'm so used to my Stanley that I will probably use it more anyway. It feels better in my hands for some reason. It just stinks to pay that much for a plane and prefer the Stanley. I do love my Stanley! Maybe I'm crazy!

  9. #9
    Thank you for all the info! I will check out that Loupe!

  10. #10
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    It just stinks to pay that much for a plane and prefer the Stanley.
    The nice thing about the LN plane is you can likely sell it for close to what you paid for it. If you are willing to ship overseas some areas will pay more for a used plane than a new in order to get around 'value added taxes" or other taxes applying to purchases of new tools.

    For some without the time to rehabilitate an old plane it makes sense to purchase a new plane at a higher price. My old planes are mostly older than a century. They have backlash and some rattle when shook. They may not be as nice in hand as a shiny new plane, but the end result is every bit as good.

    To me the least enjoyable part about my three LN planes is the A2 blades.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Eli Akin View Post
    Yeah, I'm starting to think that there is something about the Hock blade with smoothing specifically. Honestly, I'm so used to my Stanley that I will probably use it more anyway. It feels better in my hands for some reason. It just stinks to pay that much for a plane and prefer the Stanley. I do love my Stanley! Maybe I'm crazy!
    Eli,

    Nope not crazy.

    ken

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    N Illinois
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    You can easily sell the LN for close to your orig purchase price..Then, stick with your proven STANLEY..
    Jerry

  13. #13
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eli Akin View Post
    Thank you for all the info! I will check out that Loupe!
    Or any other magnifier you happen to have on hand. I originally bought that one to look at fountain pen nibs but I use it for a lot of things

  14. #14
    I think it's unlikely there's something wrong with the A2 blade -- however, it is possible that you aren't sharpening it as well as the Hock blade. I find A2 noticeably harder to sharpen than O1, and so if there are any imperfections in the edge, it is harder to remove them from an A2 blade.

    There can be tiny little bits of edge damage that aren't visible to the naked eye, and barely visible with a loupe, but leave a noticeably imperfect surface. I say this from experience: I had used a 30x loupe for a long time, and I learned a lot from that, but when I started using a microscope to look at blades, it made even the tiniest amount of edge damage very and easy to see. Any time I saw or felt tracks left by a plane, I could see the edge damage in the microscope. I'm not saying that you need to get a microscope -- I'm just sharing what I've learned.


    You've said that you sharpen with a microbevel, which is good, because it minimizes the amount of material that your fine stones need to remove. Even if you do a good job honing the bevel side, it's possible that you are not working the back of the blade enough, and there may be some residual burr left on it. Or you may not be removing the burr cleanly.

    When you sharpen, I suggest that when you get to a fine stone and work the back of the blade on the stone, you do it with light pressure at first (to abrade the burr and not tear it off), and then increase the pressure right at the edge and keep going for longer than you normally would. Then work the bevel for a few strokes and then the back, with heavy pressure right at the edge.

    Plane blades wear on both sides of the blade. On the back of the blade, very near the edge, the blade will be slightly convex, and it is very hard to completely get rid of this convexity. Here's a picture of the back of one of my blades. Notice the reflection at the edge, indicating that the blade has a bit of convexity there.

    wear-bevel.jpg


    Under the microscope, it looks like this. The dark area has worn from abrasion from wood -- it doesn't have the same scratches from the stone as the rest of the blade.

    back-before-sharpening.jpg


    An aside: For those that are familiar with the Kato and Kawai paper about chipbreakers, here's an electron microscope picture from it. The worn (upper) side of the blade corresponds to the upper side of a blade in a hand plane. With a bevel-down plane, the upper side is the back of the blade (the bevel faces down, the back faces up). The wear is from the wood shaving passing over it and abrading the metal.

    katokawai.jpg


    In and of itself, the worn area is not that much of a problem. What is a problem is that, when you work the back of the blade on the stone, a burr may not be removed cleanly because the edge of the blade isn't really contacting the stone. Then when you use the blade, the burr tears off and you have an edge that leaves tracks. Pushing hard near the edge can help abrade it right up to the edge.


    Here's a picture after I sharpened the blade, with heavy pressure near the edge when working the back. I also went back and forth with the bevel, back, then bevel, then back again. This was after a Sigma Power 6000:

    back-after-stones.jpg

    Notice the little bit of burr still left on there. That was not visible to the naked eye, but after it tears off, it would leave tracks. The rest of the edge is also not as uniform as it could be. Without the heavy pressure near the edge when working the back, the burr would have been worse.

    To get a better edge, I could have gone back and forth on the stone a couple more times, and/or moved to a finer stone. Stropping would probably also help, either with a plain or loaded strop.

    What I did with this blade was to use a buffing wheel lightly on the bevel side. It removes the tiny burr cleanly and leaves a uniform edge. An edge like this leaves an extremely smooth surface.

    back-after-buff.jpg

    (As for the buffing wheel step, I'm not advocating you go and do it now, but if you're curious, you can search for "unicorn profile chisel". Note that for bevel-down planes, it takes more care than for chisels.)

  15. #15
    Wow, that's a lot of great information! Thank you!

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