Rumaging in the garage/workshop/store/air-pistol range last night I
found I have two no 4's, one is a modernish "made in england" stanley,
the other a century old bailey (ok its a stanley too), the old'un owes
me nothing and with the blade/iron from my later no 5 "made in england"
stanley is a user. Now what I want is to re-blade it, needs an iron too,
any suggestions on suppliers?
I have wondered about buying a 10 pound (15 dollar) new cheapie for the
parts, but it just don't seem right some how....
"Samurai" laminated irons from Axminster. Best I've found for
smoothers. They have both common widths.
For a bigger plane, Clifton's thick & chunky Victor irons, again from
Axminster. You'll likely need to file the mouth to fit these.
If you want a Hock (which I wouldn't recommend) then the easiest UK
source is Dieter Schmid in Germany. Easy web ordering by CC and they
ship to the uK quite happily, without the extra import duties we
sometimes catch from the USA / Canada.
Clifton also do a good two-piece cap iron.
Why buy a Hock ?
Because they do a wide range of blades for old Stanley patterns that
you can't get anywhere else.
Because the metallurgy is reputedly good.
Why not buy a Hock ?
Because their production quality is shameful. _Every_ Hock iron I've
bought in the last couple of years (most supplied through Dieter Scmid
in Germany) has not been in a condition fit for sale. They looked like
people had been planing nails with them. Now I can easily sharpen an
iron, but I really object to paying good money for a "new" iron that
requires major re-shaping before I can think about using it. These
needed to visit the 250 grit stone, which is what I use for
resurrecting garage-sale tools.
Because they don't even try to send them out sharp. Their own
packaging (which is a rather good instruction on how to sharpen them)
mentions that they'll need honing before use and they try to present
this as some sort of virtue. For beginners, this is not what you want
to hear - honing is tricky, let's give tools to people in a state were
they can do something useful with them straightaway. At least then
they've used it in the way it ought to be used. LV manage to do this.
Don't patronise me and say that it's deliberate because everyone likes
to hone differently -- anyone that bothered can re-hone an already
sharp iron perfectly well.
Because they're ugly. Big rectangular things, with protruding corners
at the top edge. Nearly all plane irons taper upwards or have rounded
tops, because that saves your knuckles. Stanley learned that a century
Their #112 and #12 scraper iron is far too thin and it doesn't even
fit older #112s without filing. This is an iron that will damage a
surface by chattering, not what you want on a scraper plane (the #112
is the greatest finishing tool ever - buy yourself a brand shiny new
LV or LN and use their excellent irons)
I don't _like_ Hock. I keep buying them because they're my only real
option for refurbs on obscure blocks. They're not a product I have any
great respect for though, or any brand loyalty to. They're made cheap,
not made well.
Ahhh... now that is what I wanted to [read], something "real" in experience.
everything else I've read is either hype or salesmanship. Even Joel who
owns http://www.antiquetools.com/ ("the museum") hyped Hock to me
on the 'phone, he knows the same as you do. They cost too much I think.
LV is now making their own A2 blades in limited designs (3), but a little
cheaper, with the top bevels, and I bet nicer. Now they need to come up
with replacement cap irons that are thick. If I had the necassary equipment
I would buy my own A2 stock and cut them myself!
I think you should forward your feelings to Ron Hock in an email.
Thanks for the reply,
I've decided to go with the irons from the 5 and buy a Clifton two-piece
cap, and probably a Victor iron to fit into the 5, the old 4 probably
also needs the Y adjusting lever replacing as one sides end is missing,
but it works as it is. I did buy a cheapie (6 quid!) and after a bit of
tuning it'll do for roughing (the irons slot is far too wide and off
centre for starters) when the boys are "helping", no way are they
touching my tuned fine work planes.
Going to try advancing from scarysharp to the next plane ;-) as I have
3200 diamond polishing compound at work and polishing machines with 18"
plates that we use for glass components, I'll post the result when I've
found time to do it!
Niel, at home.
How about opening it right up and using it as a scrub plane ?
I've a couple of ash logs sitting outside, which tomorrow I'm going to
split with a froe and then prepare as stock entirely by hand. Because
I have a scrubber (a recycled #4) I know I can do this, and do it in a
very short time. It's a time and cost effective way of making boards.
OK, so I'm doing medieval repro work at the minute and this sort of
tapered-thickness timber is useful to me, but 50 board feet of timber
"for free" is a good enough offer that it's worth thinking about.
It's like green woodturning - once you change the supply chain so that
you can start making use of any passing log, then it changes your
whole process and the type of work you choose to make.
I've never seen the point in that sort of finish on a plane. You need
to have glass-hard steel to even make a difference in the edge at
those levels, and that's not going to hold up on a plane iron. For
carving tools, maybe, but not for planes.
I take my plane irons to the 8,000 grit waterstone, because it's
_wider_ than my 10,000 grit stone and a bit harder, both of which make
it easier and thus quicker to use. There's no point in going any
further - I do for some tools, but not for planes and certainly not
for planes built around Stanley pattern irons.
The best plane iron I have is one of Steve Knight's Japanese irons.
Now that is hard enough to make a really top-end final polish worth
the effort, but that's just as much because I don't use that plane all
that often - it doesn't meet nasty timber and it only comes out for
the very final smoothing.
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