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Making Plane Irons out of 0-1 Tool Steel

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Forum topic by andy6601 posted 94 days ago 533 views 1 time favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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andy6601

75 posts in 1066 days


94 days ago

I am wondering if anyone has made their own plane irons on LJ and what I am looking to do is make replacement irons for a Stanley 104 tongue and groove plane that I have and also I have some neat wooden moldign planes that are missing the irons. I am looking to do it because I really don’t have an alternative I check on St James Bay Tools they carry Stanley parts but they do not have anything. So I was wondering where is the best place to buy the steel and once it is formed the process to heat treat the steel. Any advice would be great, thanks!


6 replies so far

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lwllms

535 posts in 1879 days


#1 posted 94 days ago

Tapered molding plane iron blanks are available from Lie-Nielsen but they need to be heat treated after shaping them. You can buy O-1 tool steel from Enco . Heat treating is actually pretty easy. Here’s a short video of what to look for when bringing the steel to critical temperature after preheating. BTW, I have made a lot of plane irons.

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andy6601

75 posts in 1066 days


#2 posted 93 days ago

lwllms,
Thanks for the advice I saw Lie-Nielson sells them but I have a metal band saw and metal files I think I can fashion my own cheaper than buying it already cut. I will check out your video, Thanks!

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Ocelot

457 posts in 1236 days


#3 posted 93 days ago

So, you don’t just make ‘em out of old mower blades?

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Don W

14622 posts in 1165 days


#4 posted 92 days ago

I’ve bought from Mcmaster Carr as well.

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

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andy6601

75 posts in 1066 days


#5 posted 92 days ago

lwllms,
I watched your video and have a question, once the metal burns off a little bit of carbon and you remove it from the heat, do you quench it in water or oil or just “air” quench it by leaving it to cool down on its own?

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lwllms

535 posts in 1879 days


#6 posted 92 days ago

We were using O-1 steel in the video so we quenched in oil but this works with water hardening steel too. I first read about watching for the small pools of iron to form on the steel in a 1938 Machinery’s Handbook in a section on heat treating high speed steel which is air quenched. I’d read similar descriptions in other old texts but they were always vague in what to look for. They described it as things like “when the steel opens,” “when it sweats,” or “when the flux rises.” The Machinery’s Handbook was the first one I read and thought “I know what that is, I’ve seen it.” The video was done just to show the visual indication of the phase change to austenite which is when you want to quench. There’s more involved.

To get the pools to form on the surface everything has to be clean. To make it dependable and repeatable you need to preheat the steel to a uniform black color and you need a torch that puts out enough heat to heat the steel uniformly.

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