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When to replace the iron?

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Forum topic by SamuraiSaw posted 03-17-2013 11:23 PM 736 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SamuraiSaw

452 posts in 617 days


03-17-2013 11:23 PM

I recently picked up a Stanley #4 from ebay. The plane was pretty rusty, but cleaned up fairly well. There was some pitting on the sole, but nothing I can’t live with.

The iron and chip breaker were in worse shape. The iron had been badly ground and wasn’t square. I got the cutting edge square and polished the back, but I’m wondering how well it will hold an edge with the pitting. At what point do you just buy another blade?

The blade is stamped 339, so I’ll definitely keep it for posterity!!!

-- Artisan Woodworks of Texas.... www.awwtx.com


23 replies so far

View paratrooper34's profile

paratrooper34

760 posts in 1604 days


#1 posted 03-17-2013 11:31 PM

SamuraiSaw, if you have pitting on the back that cannot be removed, throw it away, it is junk. If you can lap out the back to a point where it has no pitting and the thickness has not been compromised, you’re good. Once you grind a bevel on it, the pitting on the opposite side has no bearing on the cutting surface.

If you can, show some pics and we can help you out better by seeing where the pitting is.

-- Mike

View Don W's profile

Don W

15029 posts in 1220 days


#2 posted 03-17-2013 11:38 PM

Mike is right on. You can also use the ruler trick to gain some advantage.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2950 posts in 939 days


#3 posted 03-17-2013 11:55 PM

A brief walk through an antique store will probably yield a few good irons, planes are rarely any good, but if it’s got a good blade, I’ll buy it for that. Look for the sweetheart, not easy to see.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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SamuraiSaw

452 posts in 617 days


#4 posted 03-18-2013 12:10 AM

I tried taking some pictures and my camera won’t cooperate (I’m a carpenter, not a photographer!!). The pitting is pretty deep on the back, so I’m gonna call it toast. Is this a decent replacement?

I have another #4 coming that I believe is in better shape. I’m considering grinding this one into a scrub plane if the next one is in better shape.

-- Artisan Woodworks of Texas.... www.awwtx.com

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SamuraiSaw

452 posts in 617 days


#5 posted 03-18-2013 12:21 AM

Finally got the camera to cooperate.

-- Artisan Woodworks of Texas.... www.awwtx.com

View Don W's profile

Don W

15029 posts in 1220 days


#6 posted 03-18-2013 12:25 AM

I’m not sure how much you’ve taken off already, but if its not much, I think its salvageable.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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SamuraiSaw

452 posts in 617 days


#7 posted 03-18-2013 12:28 AM

The pitting at the top of the picture is fairly significant. Are you suggesting I continue to lap the back until I get through the pitting? Or are you saying to grind back towards the hole?

-- Artisan Woodworks of Texas.... www.awwtx.com

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

5299 posts in 1251 days


#8 posted 03-18-2013 12:33 AM

Hard to tell how deep they are. I would lap the back some more, nothing to lose but time. Doesn’t look too bad.

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paratrooper34

760 posts in 1604 days


#9 posted 03-18-2013 12:34 AM

I would try to lap it out, it looks like it is salvageable. Couldn’t hurt to try. At the least, you will get some practice and learn what will or will not be salvageable. Only thing it will cost is a little time. The pitting goes back far enough that grinding back is going to remove an awful lot of the blade, especially on the side on the top of the picture. Keep lapping it out and give it a shot, it may work out for you. I know I would try it.

-- Mike

View Don W's profile

Don W

15029 posts in 1220 days


#10 posted 03-18-2013 12:36 AM

Do you know how to do the ruler trick. It would work on that iron unless the pitting is worse than the picture looks.

Use a thicker ruler or another iron. Search on ruler trick and let use know if you need help.

Some use the ruler trick even without pitting. I will only use it if I have an iron like yours.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Tim's profile

Tim

1267 posts in 614 days


#11 posted 03-18-2013 12:44 AM

If you can’t lap it out, personally I’d buy a Hock, Lie Nielson, or Veritas blade before buying that new one from Stanley. You’ll get better, thicker steel from them, but I didn’t see the price on the Stanley. Otherwise like Russel said, you can get a good blade on a cheap vintage plane for less than the cost of a new blade.

View Don W's profile

Don W

15029 posts in 1220 days


#12 posted 03-18-2013 12:48 AM

+1 for what Tim wrote. I think yours is salvageable, but if not, get a decent one.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View SamuraiSaw's profile

SamuraiSaw

452 posts in 617 days


#13 posted 03-18-2013 02:03 AM

Thanks guys. I’ll do a search for the ruler trick and let you know.

I’ll spend some more time lapping the back to see if I can get past the pitting.

-- Artisan Woodworks of Texas.... www.awwtx.com

View sikrap's profile

sikrap

1017 posts in 2012 days


#14 posted 03-18-2013 03:14 AM

If you’re not happy with it, PM me your info and I’ll send you an iron. It’ll need some work, but it won’t be pitted.

-- Dave, Colonie, NY

View Don W's profile

Don W

15029 posts in 1220 days


#15 posted 03-18-2013 11:39 AM

I’d take Dave up on his generous offer, then put a camber on the pitted blade. That minor pitting would be to bad for a jack plane. I have a 604 I use for a jack all the time.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

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