Making A2 Plane Blades


Hi,
In the MSC catalog the price of 3/16" x 1 3/4" x 18" of A2 steel bar stock is $35. This is enough to make five Krenov type blades (3 1/2" long).
One A2 blade from David Finck is $47 (with cap iron)
So that made me think maybe I should make my own blades. Maybe it is a lot cheaper?
Does anyone have any experience working with A2 bar stock? Does the bar stock need to be heat treated after shaping it? Are cap iron's hardened?
Thanks, Peter
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You can read http://www.hocktools.com/ (makes krenov type blades) on how A2 is treated for hardening. I know a local machinist that is experienced working with A2, he says it's tough stuff, hard on bits and slower to cut through, probably generates more heat.
In my experience it is not as hard to sharpen as a finished plane blade than is tauted to be. But it does take a longer, and takes a fantastic edge that lasts.
You want Krenove style blades, this site does not list them but is a much cheaper site to buy them from, Canada: http://www.spehar-toolworks.com/index.html as well as http://www.leevalley.com/ , both for standard handplane irons in A2. (giggle)
--
Alex
cravdraa_at-yahoo_dot-com
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It was somewhere outside Barstow when snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Don't start with A2.
Get some O1 ground flat stock, go read the rec.knives FAQs, and learn to heat treat by making a couple of small knives, tenon rounders or something. You can heat treat this with a torch and firebricks, A2 needs a more serious furnace.
I wouldn't recommend A2 to anyone making their own edged tools unless they'd worked easier steels before, they were making something that needed it (plane iron good, firewood spill plane bad), and they were either sending it out for heat treat or had a reasonable muffle furnace to do it themselves. Unless you work A2 quite competently, it will have no advantage over simpler steels like O1 or 1095.
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If you buy the plate, check your yellow pages for a water jet cutter. For under $100 you could have all the blades cut out, with holes and notches if you need them. Your cost per blade is still way under individual costs.
Alan
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