A2 finish really good!
#11
  
I have only been working with hand tools for about a year and a half. When you are first starting out the amount of information is overwhelming. One of the discussions that I have been confused about is the a2 vs 01 steel. I have a variety of Stanley's, all with original cutters except my no4 which has a hock 01 replacement. It has been a long time coming with my sharpening skills but in the last several months I really feel like I've gotten the hang of it. I am getting burrs and consistent beautiful glass surfaces. I recently purchased a Lie Nielsen no 3. I actually called Ron Hock to get an 01 replacement for my LN and he recommended that I keep the A2, that it wasn't worth replacing. Then I was visiting KY and I was close to Covington so I contacted Megan Fitzpatrick to she if I could stop by Lost Art Press while I was there. I was able to meet her and Chris and they are awesome people! They are both using A2 blades in their LN smoothers. So, I took my Hock 01 and my LN A2 blade. I sharpened them both on diamond stones and a Strop. I am getting the exact same results from both blades. The finish coming off of the LN and the Hock 01 both are a reflective mirror finish, no sanding needed. I tried this on maple, red oak, and pine. Maybe this is just my experience but if anybody is confused about this subject like I was, do your own comparison. I'm not sure about all A2 blades but the Lie Nielsen blades seem to be amazing!
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#12
  Re: A2 finish really good! by Elijah A. (I have only been wor...)
IMO it is a tradeoff. I hone freehand on stones. O1 just takes a few swipes, whereas A2 takes me quite a while to get as sharp as I like it. But once honed, A2 edge outlasts O1 by a big margin.

I like A2 for planes that are a pain to set up, like my low angle jack, which I use for shooting and needs to be dead square. With A2, the blade comes out a lot less often for honing, which means a lot fewer times to fuss around with alignment. On the other hand, my smoothers are all O1. Granted they are Krenov blades and I don't think Ron offers an A2 alternative, but even if he did, I wouldn't buy it. I like how quickly I can re-establish the edge. I don't mind going to the stones more frequently.
Best,
Aram, defying laws of geometry

"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery


Web: http://awacs.smugmug.com/Woodworking
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#13
  Re: A2 finish really good! by Elijah A. (I have only been wor...)
+1 to what Aram said. There's a small consensus that says you can get O1 sharper than A2, but I believe that those folks don't take enough time to sharpen A2. It does take longer to sharpen - for the same reason it holds an edge longer. It's tougher steel with a lot more carbides in it. Those carbides are what gives it the toughness for edge holding, and the resistance to sharpening. For smoothing, I don't think the difference between O1 and A2 is that noticeable. For planing end grain, I do notice a difference. Seems O1 gives a better surface on end grain. PM-V11 is the best of all worlds, IMO. It sharpens about as easily as A2, holds an edge much longer than A2, and gets very, very sharp.
Still Learning,

Allan Hill
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#14
  Re: A2 finish really good! by Elijah A. (I have only been wor...)
Wood does not care what cuts it. The difference between the two types of steel is ease of honing and edge wear. PM-V11 is almost as easy to hone as O1 and wears better than A2. When hones to the same level, they will produce identical finishes.
Thanks,  Curt
-----------------
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards."
      -- Soren Kierkegaard
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#15
  Re: A2 finish really good! by Elijah A. (I have only been wor...)
I have A2 irons on many of my planes, including a number of Stanley Bedrocks with LN A2 replacement irons. I could never get the same quality edge on the A2 irons that I got on my 01s. I sharpen with oil stones and, while they cut A2 steel OK, it's a slow process. I could get an adequate edge, but not the real hair-popping edge I was looking for. In desperation I bought a big chunk of cast iron and had a good friend surface grind it for me. I charged it with 3 micron diamond paste and finished my A2 sharpening routine on the CI plate and a leather strop charged with .5 micron diamonds. FINALLY, I got the edge I was looking for. A2 is very wear resistant, which means it's hard to sharpen on traditional stones. Diamonds are the key. They cut fast and don't care if A2 is wear resistant. They cut it without breaking a sweat. If you really want to get a fine edge on your A2 irons, I don't think you can match diamonds for that fine finish. Try it, you'll like it.
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#16
  Re: A2 finish really good! by Elijah A. (I have only been wor...)
I agree hank I got a better edge when I switched to diamonds on my a2. I think the "problem" with a2 is the sharpening media not the steel. Heck my bs pairing chisels are a2 and they get stupid sharp as does everything from LN.
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#17
  Re: A2 finish really good! by Elijah A. (I have only been wor...)
I started with diamonds and a strop. That is what I learned on so it is all I know how to use Smile
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#18
  Re: RE: A2 finish really good! by Hank Knight (I have A2 irons on m...)
(10-04-2019, 08:24 PM)Hank Knight Wrote: I have A2 irons on many of my planes, including a number of Stanley Bedrocks with LN A2 replacement irons. I could never get the same quality edge on there A2 irons that I got on my 01s. I sharpen with oil stones and, while they cut A2 steel OK, it's a slow process. I could get an adequate edge, but not the real hair-popping edge I was looking for. In desperation I bought a big chunk of cast iron and had a good friend surface grind it for me. I charged it with 3 micron diamond paste and finished my A2 sharpening routine on the CI plate and a leather strop charged with .5 icon diamonds. FINALLY, I got the edge I was looking for. A2 is very wear resistant, which means it's hard to sharpen on traditional stones. Diamonds are the key. They cut fast and don't care if A2 is wear resistant. They cut it without breaking a sweat. If you really want to get a fine edge on your A2 irons, I don't think you can match diamonds for that fine finish. Try it, you'll like it.

Hank illustrates an important point here: modern steels benefit from modern sharpening media (not necessarily diamond - which I tend to avoid - but stones such as Shapton, Sigma and Spyderco). Further, the more abrasion-resistant the steel, the greater emphasis on reducing the surface area to hone. This is where microbevels (via secondary or hollow ground) come into their own. 

Regards from Perth

Derek
Articles on furniture building, shop made tools and tool reviews at http://www.inthewoodshop.com
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#19
  Re: RE: A2 finish really good! by Hank Knight (I have A2 irons on m...)
(10-04-2019, 08:24 PM)Hank Knight Wrote: I have A2 irons on many of my planes, including a number of Stanley Bedrocks with LN A2 replacement irons. I could never get the same quality edge on the A2 irons that I got on my 01s. I sharpen with oil stones and, while they cut A2 steel OK, it's a slow process. I could get an adequate edge, but not the real hair-popping edge I was looking for. In desperation I bought a big chunk of cast iron and had a good friend surface grind it for me. I charged it with 3 micron diamond paste and finished my A2 sharpening routine on the CI plate and a leather strop charged with .5 micron diamonds. FINALLY, I got the edge I was looking for. A2 is very wear resistant, which means it's hard to sharpen on traditional stones. Diamonds are the key. They cut fast and don't care if A2 is wear resistant. They cut it without breaking a sweat. If you really want to get a fine edge on your A2 irons, I don't think you can match diamonds for that fine finish. Try it, you'll like it.
..................................
I charged it with 3 micron diamond paste and finished my A2 sharpening routine on the CI plate and a leather strop charged with .5 icon diamonds. FINALLY, I got the edge I was looking for............

I haven't found anything that can compare to the edge you can get with diamond in the same amount of time...other methods work but..diamond is much faster....The only thing that can cut a diamond is another diamond..The hardest steel is no match for it..Put that lapping plate or power strop into motion and you've got a sharpening machine...
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#20
  Re: RE: A2 finish really good! by Timberwolf ([quote='Hank Knight'...)
(10-05-2019, 09:08 AM)Timberwolf Wrote: ..................................
I charged it with 3 micron diamond paste and finished my A2 sharpening routine on the CI plate and a leather strop charged with .5 icon diamonds. FINALLY, I got the edge I was looking for............

I haven't found anything that can compare to the edge you can get with diamond in the same amount of time...other methods work but..diamond is much faster....The only thing that can cut a diamond is another diamond..The hardest steel is no match for it..Put that lapping plate or power strop into motion and you've got a sharpening machine...

I would love to be educated. I use 3 water stones, 1000 grit, aoto stone (probably 4k?), and a fine stone I got at Japan Woodworker (8k? Dunno). If I used diamond paste for my A2 blades, what grits would I want, and how would that fit into my waterstone routine?

Thanks.
Best,
Aram, defying laws of geometry

"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery


Web: http://awacs.smugmug.com/Woodworking
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