How hard are jointer/planer knives?


I have an Inca 410 jointer/planer and I would like an extra set of knives. They are no longer made, and are a strange size (8-5/8" by 1" by 3/32" thick). I haven't been able to find anything compatible, either.
McMaster sells D2 tool steel that is 3/32" thick by 1" wide by 18" long for about $28. They say it is "Wear-Resistant Air-Hardened D2 Tool Steel." Hardness is specified as "B89-B102" with a maximum attainable hardness of C62-C65. I have found a local sharpening shop that will cut it into two knives and sharpen them for less than $20.
My question is whether the initial B89-B102 hardness is enough, or if they would require additional hardening. If B89-B102 is enough, then $50 doesn't seem too bad for a custom set of knives. But if additional hardening is required, I imagine that would be expensive and extra complicated.
McMaster also have a 4140/4142 steel that they say is hardened to C28-C32. However, I have seen D2 mentioned for planer knives but never 4140/4142, so I don't know if this 4140 steel is appropriate?
Any opinons?
Thanks, Phil
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D2 is a tool steel. 4140/4142 is a different beast entirely. I would use D2 and I would get it hardened to C61-C65. That would ensure maximum life for the knives. Jim
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Hi, thanks for the reply.
Have any idea where I can get this stock hardened? Is this something I can find a local outfit to do, and would it be very expensive?
Thanks, Phil
Jim wrote:

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If you look hard enough, you might find a small machine shop that will harden for you. Good luck. The place that does ours has a minimum charge of $300.00. We do small stuff in house but send out larger quantities.

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On 5 Jun 2006 15:01:31 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Have you asked the sharpening shop? They're usually pretty savvy about this sort of thing- you're just getting opinions that are sometimes great and sometimes crazy here. If you don't know, you can't pick the right ones!
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Try Global Tooling @ http://globaltooling.bizhosting.com/index.html . Their web site says that they will cut to size. The prices are pretty good at least for standard sizes ( I got a set of 15" carbide tipped knives for $174.00) and I had no troubles with my order. BC PS The usual disclaimers, don't work for them, don't get any kickback from them etc., etc.
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bc wrote:

I get all my knives from global. Very easy people to work with. They stock 3/23 knives but not in the size you need. They can cut a balanced set any length you need.
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