(Wooden) block plane blade

I've been reading recently about tempering and annealing steel. Anyone here already tried to make a block plane blade out of a file?
Seems like building such a tool would be very satisfying if it worked. You could sort of pretend to be a blacksmith for few days too.
I've got some thoughts about the "slippery slope" but this one will do for now.
Bill
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I've made a couple of planes and used a auto leaf spring for a blade. Look on my web page below.
Jerry
http://community.webtv.net/awoodbutcher/MyWoodWorkingPage
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On 11/12/2010 2:23 AM, Jerry - OHIO wrote:

Lots of beautiful projects. Thanks for sharing!
Bill
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As a volunteer with: http://www.twam.co.uk/index.html I've seen lots of things made out of old files (scrapers are favourite) including a set of turning chisels but I've never seen a plane - yet!
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On 11/12/2010 3:39 AM, Stuart wrote:

I'm pleased to learn about this organization. Thanks for sharing.
Bill
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Lengthiest part of the job is removing the teeth. If you can do that without overheating the steel, you won't even need to anneal it. Just temper to straw, and she's good to go.
Why not just use an iron salvaged from another plane?
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Father Haskell wrote:

No doubt I should probably do that. I just happened to be reading about iron, steel and blacksmithing. One of Roy Underhill's books/articles got me started, and I learned a bunch the next day after that.
Although the point might be effectively disputed, I think I am no longer as confused as I used to be on matters and terminology related to the numerous types of iron and steel.
Bill
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wrote:

It sounds like a lot of fun. Simple blacksmithing skills used to be common currency, just a normal part of a practical man's toolbox. They have all but disappeared now and it seems to me a crying shame that crafts that take years to learn well can be forgotten so fast.
I have some old wooden planes which I have used extensively in my work on historic buildings and learned to really appreciate their lightness, their warmth in the hand (on a cold morning), their adaptability and their efficiency. I would love to have a go at toolmaking one day.
Tim W
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http://knight-toolworks.com /
He makes planes, used to sell blades I think,
-Zz
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It looks like Steve Knight is no longer making planes. He has kits available on his website but those appear to be outsourced.
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Not that specifically, but files are great feedstock for high carbon steel to make new tools from. I use leaf springs for hefty green woodworking tools, but prefer files for making edged tools.
The process is broadly: * Anneal to soften * Rough shape * Remove the teeth! * Fine shape * Harden * Polish * Temper * Sharpen
This process has been the same since the post-war period, when an abundance of old files and a shortage of much else encouraged a lot of this sort of re-use. If you find old workshop manuals (or Popular Mechanics mag) from the '50s, you'll find a lot of information on how to do this, and with fairly simple tools.
Annealing involves heating to a bright red and very slow cooling in a bucket of wood ash. You can heat with a kitchen gas stove, a workshop torch or a forge.
Shaping and especially stripping the teeth is much easier today - angle grinder!
Hardening involves heating again, but followed by quenching in water. Detail of this, and of tempering, is complicated (to those who care) and you're best reading something with more detail than Usenet (Buy my forthcoming book, "Metalworking for Woodworkers" 8-) )
Start out by making a few easy pieces, like marking knives or Sloyd carving knives. Then the sky's the limit.
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Andy Dingley wrote:

Sounds like fun, please mention when your book comes out!
I made a screwdriver in high school, shaping and tempering the blade and casting the handle.
Bill
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Andy Dingley wrote:

You've whetted my appetite for your book. Can you offer any more details about it (TOC, or equivalent)?
Bill
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Earlier today on alt.binaries.e-book.technical Rockhound posted a couple books on this topic. First is Weygers' Recycling, Use and Repair of Tools. Second is "Hardening and Tempering Engineer;s Tools". I bought the Weygers series of books many years ago, and they are very good, but a bit dated in a couple areas. One of the better blacksmithing books was written by Beal about 120 years ago. It's a bit dated too, but I live with it.
Regards, Roy

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Roy wrote:

Ah, is the book you referred to on blacksmithing "The Art of Blacksmithing" by Alex Bealer (found at Amazon)? I picked up the "Recycling" book you mentioned. The links in the newsgroup were not good for the second book (hardening and tempering). I didn't know about that newsgroup. Surely a lot to read there! Thanks for the help!
Bill
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Weygers ROCKS!
-- Education is when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get if you don't. -- Pete Seeger
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