LATEST POSTS

laminated plane irons revisited

laminated plane irons revisited

An earlier post, bench planes – laminated vs steel blades, asked why manufacturers went to the trouble of making plane irons...

Sheffield Crucible steel, end of an era

Sheffield Crucible steel, end of an era

Crucible steel was still in demand well into the twentieth century, despite competition from the steel created by the spectacularly...

Iron and steel – part IV (Bessemer steel)

Iron and steel – part IV (Bessemer steel)

By the 1850s the best crucible steel was the standard choice for makers of edge tools and no other steel...

Iron and steel – part III (Crucible steel)

As explained in the previous post the carbon in blister-steel was not absorbed consistently throughout the metal and, since the amount...

Iron and steel – part II (Blister steel)

Bar-iron  (aka wrought iron) was the raw ingredient for creating a form of steel known commonly as blister steel, and...

Iron and steel – part I (Wrought Iron)

Iron and steel – part I (Wrought Iron)

As discussed in the previous post, plane blades from the 19th century were typically made of a wrought iron backing...

bench planes – laminated vs steel blades

If you pick up a wooden bench plane from the the last century (there are lots of them about still!)...

Bench planes – blade steel choices

Makers of edge tools, including plane blades, need to be concerned about several different properties of steel: Toughness: This is...

bench planes – thick or thin irons?

From the time they were introduced in the 1860s by Leonard Bailey until quite recently, metal bench planes were supplied with thin...

bench planes – tapered or parallel blades?

This article is about blades used in wooden planes(I originally submitted most of this research in a discussion hosted on woodcentral, with thanks to very...

bench planes – honing

Once you’ve ground the blade to to about the right angle then you need to hone it in order to create a...

bench planes – sharpening angles

Once you have established the rough shape of the bevel (see previous post) the next step, referred to as honing or...

bench planes – grinding

grinding the bevel – the mechanical approach There are two basic techniques – the first method I’ll describe is the one...

bench planes – preparing the iron

Sharpening! A quick trawl of the internet reveals a typically bewildering array of opinions on this topic, and if you look...

bench planes – flattening the sole

In the previous post we found out how to check your plane’s sole for flatness.   If you buy a new...