plane blades
#9
  
My new interest  this fall will be making wooden hand planes in a variety of shapes, sizes, etc.
When I have a new interest I tend to make multiples.

Last fall I was interested in cutting boards and ended up making almost 100 in total, a variety of shapes, designs, sizes and types of wood.
Late springtime this year I got interested in mallets and have so far made up over 30, sized from small tapping hammers up to big sledge-sized.
Still going strong on the mallets, learning handle design and balance as well as head design, wood types and more.

I am interested to start a new project this fall (September is LESS than 2 months away. (51 days))  My new interest will be design and building wooden hand planes. Again in a variety of sizes and woods and also based on what each plane might be used for. 

So, I am wondering about plane blade material. I am unable to afford those $30-$40 plane blades in the quantity I will be making and also not too keen about cutting up automotive leaf springs.  So, my question:  Where would I find inexpensive blades or what steel should use?   In the end, most of these planes would end up as gifts to friends, family or some even being used by the maker.  

Thank you for your recommendations and suggestions.
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#10
  Re: plane blades by opticsguy (My new interest  thi...)
(07-11-2018, 11:20 PM)opticsguy Wrote: My new interest  this fall will be making wooden hand planes in a variety of shapes, sizes, etc.
When I have a new interest I tend to make multiples.

Last fall I was interested in cutting boards and ended up making almost 100 in total, a variety of shapes, designs, sizes and types of wood.
Late springtime this year I got interested in mallets and have so far made up over 30, sized from small tapping hammers up to big sledge-sized.
Still going strong on the mallets, learning handle design and balance as well as head design, wood types and more.

I am interested to start a new project this fall (September is LESS than 2 months away. (51 days))  My new interest will be design and building wooden hand planes. Again in a variety of sizes and woods and also based on what each plane might be used for. 

So, I am wondering about plane blade material. I am unable to afford those $30-$40 plane blades in the quantity I will be making and also not too keen about cutting up automotive leaf springs.  So, my question:  Where would I find inexpensive blades or what steel should use?   In the end, most of these planes would end up as gifts to friends, family or some even being used by the maker.  

Thank you for your recommendations and suggestions.

It all depends on your ability to heat treat the iron.  It you can do your own, that’s one thing, but it you need to send them elsewhere it’s quite another.  One A2 knife blade cost me $20 locally.  If you are doing your own, I’d recommend O1, easy to sharpen, easy to HT.  Also, maybe, 1095.  A little more exotic is A2, harder to HT, partly because of tighter temperature controls you’ll need and partly because it needs to be cryogenically treated at very cold temps.  All three steels are widely available.
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#11
  Re: plane blades by opticsguy (My new interest  thi...)
Many sources for all types of steel, in widths, thicknesses, ground both sides, etc. you will need to heat treat and draw, and there are commercial sources for that (or do it yourself).

Start your look on Amazon, or MSC or McMaster Carr, just to name a few sources.
Waiting to grow up beyond being just a member
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#12
  Re: RE: plane blades by Bruce Haugen ([quote='opticsguy' p...)
+1 with Bruce.   O-1 steel is the way to go.  Heat treat is pretty simple and cheap.  Your first decision will be thickness of blades.  Since you are making the bodies, you can select any thickness you want.   I read somewhere that 1/8 is  the optimal thickness for a bevel down blade.   I have blades up to 1/4 inch thick, and while the blade is very stiff, the lowest part of the blade that is in contact with the bed is much higher up in the plane body than a 1/8 inch blade.   Also,  I would buy a variety of width's -  if you buy 2 1/2 wide stock for your larger planes,  you could use a hacksaw to cut off 1/2 inch the full length of the blade to get it to 2 inch wide for a smaller plane, that is a lot of work.
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#13
  Re: plane blades by opticsguy (My new interest  thi...)
Another option for just getting started, and with budget in mind, is to frequent flea markets, where you can often find vintage irons from wooden planes (not transitionals), sometimes with chipbreakers. These are the old school thick tapered irons, generally forged high carbon steel, and most hold an edge pretty well. Downside is that you have to find an iron first, then design the plane to fit the iron, but since you have some time before you start the project you might want to get into the acquisition stage now. I'd have to look, but I might have one or two in the boneyard, I post them for sale from time to time for those who want to roll their own....
Elvem ipsum etiam vivere
No Evaporust was used on these tools.
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#14
  Re: plane blades by opticsguy (My new interest  thi...)
(07-11-2018, 11:20 PM)opticsguy Wrote: My new interest  this fall will be making wooden hand planes in a variety of shapes, sizes, etc.
When I have a new interest I tend to make multiples.

Last fall I was interested in cutting boards and ended up making almost 100 in total, a variety of shapes, designs, sizes and types of wood.
Late springtime this year I got interested in mallets and have so far made up over 30, sized from small tapping hammers up to big sledge-sized.
Still going strong on the mallets, learning handle design and balance as well as head design, wood types and more.

I am interested to start a new project this fall (September is LESS than 2 months away. (51 days))  My new interest will be design and building wooden hand planes. Again in a variety of sizes and woods and also based on what each plane might be used for. 

So, I am wondering about plane blade material. I am unable to afford those $30-$40 plane blades in the quantity I will be making and also not too keen about cutting up automotive leaf springs.  So, my question:  Where would I find inexpensive blades or what steel should use?   In the end, most of these planes would end up as gifts to friends, family or some even being used by the maker.  

Thank you for your recommendations and suggestions.
.........................
O1 is a good choice if you harden and temper them yourself..The problem with it is keeping them from warping in the process....

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Jack Edgar, Sgt. USMC Korea 51/52





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#15
  Re: plane blades by opticsguy (My new interest  thi...)
A2 is an air hardening tool steel and the hardening temperature between 1750 t0 1800. If going by color it is bright orange. Hang it on a wire and use a torch. I do not know if map gas will get it hot enough. Just get it to color as fast as you can so it doesn't start to decarb. If a black scale starts to form stop with the heat mediately. Just walk away and let it cool. when you can hold it comfortably in your hand put it in an oven at 400 degrees for an hour. 350  degrees if you want it harder. Harder will be more brittle.

This is how one flame hardens steel. O1 temp is 1475 and bright cherry red. The heat need to be going up with O1. it can not be starting to drop before quenching or it won't get real hard. I prefer A 2 to O1. And D2 heat treats the same as A2 except D2 is 1800-1850. and it prefers a double draw. ( tempered twice)  and a must if it is going to be cut with a wire EDM afterwards. The color is yellow.


The normal practice is to place the steel in an atmospheric furnace and let it soak for an hour per inch of thickness, one hour min. Or the steel can be wrapped in SS heat treat foil to keep the oxygen  from decarbing the steel. This holds true for all the tool steels not just A2.

On a personal note I am a retired tool and die maker and my specially was progressive dies. And I preferred to do my own heat treating if possible. The main steels used were A2, D2 M4, and S7 and at the last some of the powered steels. O1 was use very little, but it does have a finer grain structure and was used every so often in a form die for stainless. But bronze works well also. I think O1 is harder to heat treat unless the shop is really set up for it. The shop need to be able to cool the quenching oil if doing a lot of O1.

Super cooling is something that is a later development and it does give the steel some different properties. But it was not a normal practice in industry to do it. Advantage not cost effective at the present.

Personally I prefer A2 but I am bias. And on another note: the blades that were used in the plane were good enough for making a living for the last 120 years. Stop and sharpen, the rest is just marketing so you will spend more money.

Tom
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#16
  Re: plane blades by opticsguy (My new interest  thi...)
Just a little side note: Recently picked a VLine #900 by Millers Falls.......The iron is actually thicker than the earlier ones...and is labelled...Solid Tool Steel....

Sharpened to 25 degrees....no fancy stuff, just a flat bevel.    Works great!  Plane is from the late 1950s, BTW...
Show me a picture, I'll build a project from that
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