Is your plane iron too soft?


It seems my heat treaters seem to have let me down. I have found atleast a few soft irons. I know they started around 10/1/05. This last batch of irons I found they had warped almost my batch of irons. Someone really messed up since I bet I have not had 10 warped irons in 3000 irons or so. Then I got a couple of complaints about soft irons. So I bought some hardness testing files and I found a few more. I have not had a chance to check my whole supply to see how bad I stand. But since 20 or so irons are too warped to use I am low on irons. If you think your iron is soft try running a file on the top and see if it digs in. seems if they are soft they are around rc45 or 50. I will replace the irons as soon as possible. I just ordered more steel and hope to have another heat treater within three weeks.
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Steve knight wrote:

I don't understand... 'course, I have a primitive idea of heat treatment.
Is the temperature too high during the tempering phase?
er
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Carbon steels are quenched and tempered to produce a product with a certain amount of hardness without being too brittle. It's possible that the material was brought up to temperature and quenched properly. It's more likely that the tempering process was at too high a temperature. I suppose it's even possible that the steel wasn't the correct alloy to begin with.
If I was Steve, I'd consider either picking up a used Rockwell tester to check my stuff or get my heat treater to submit sample test results.
todd
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I don't know what they have been doing. since they do test a bunch of blades and give me a report. they used to not have a problem. makes me wonder of they temper in a bunc hof batches or what. I got some hardness testing files. they were cost effective and I can check a lot of irons fast. so far I have only had two complaints.
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Where did you get them and what did they cost??

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On Wed, 22 Mar 2006 01:55:15 -0500, Bradford Chaucer

I bet I paid a bit too much but I got them from mcmaster.
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Steve knight wrote:

Oh, your heat treaters are made of meat.
Never mind!
er
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todd wrote:

That's why I'm asking about tempering, and not hardening. But I was hoping, and fishing for, an explanation (or link) that would include a juicy description of a machine that does all that and a bag of chips, where you just put your blades on a cookie sheet and pop it in the "oven".
er
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There was no indication in your earlier response that you were seeing info on a do-all machine. As always, Google is your friend. I don't know if commercial heat treaters have their production automated to the point that parts go in one end, get heated, quenched in oil, tempered and finished parts come out the other end. I would especially wonder about it when they do what I assume is a relatively small batch that Steve would have. My suspicion is that it would be somewhat more manual.
todd
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O

the process is not automated with my irons. yes I do maybe 100 pounds at a time every three months.
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By the way, anyone notice the proactive, do-right-by-the-customer, not-hiding-under-a-rock customer service going on here?
"Chip"

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Chip Chester wrote:

Now you mention it. :)
er
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Only own 1 of his planes, waiting on his next sale to get another. The planes are beautiful, the man behind them has an equivalent attitude.
Many thanks Steve, you're one of the good ones!
Tom
On Wed, 22 Mar 2006 22:26:48 GMT, "Chip Chester"

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I have 3 of his planes - they and he are first class all the way!
I never realized how much fun it could be to plane wood until I used one of Steve's planes.
Thanx Steve!
Vic
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Steve knight wrote:

Ouch!!! I think I'll keep files away from my iron, Steve. :)
dave
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Steve knight wrote:

ah, I was making a joke about my "iron", Steve. <g>
Dave
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