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Making Hand planes- what type of steel too use for sides and soles??

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Forum topic by derhul posted 12-19-2018 10:07 PM 1643 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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derhul

5 posts in 334 days


12-19-2018 10:07 PM

Topic tags/keywords: steel hand plane making hand plane sole tool making plane tip resource question hand tools sole steel hand plane steel

Hello,

I would like to get into making hand planes with steel sides and soles (much like Youtuber Young Je).

I’ve hand made a few knives with 1095 stainless steel(and have a lot of stock left over).

Can I use this steel for the sides and soles?

If not, what steel would be suitable while being easy to cut/drill/sand flat and of course heat treat?

I don’t have a heat treating oven, so a steel that I can heat treat with a simple coal forge would be awesome.


7 replies so far

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10858 posts in 1906 days


#1 posted 12-19-2018 10:37 PM

I see O1 a lot. Don’t think heat treating is necessary.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Don W's profile

Don W

19251 posts in 2987 days


#2 posted 12-26-2018 10:26 AM

I give a list of what I used for this plane.

http://www.timetestedtools.net/2016/01/26/making-the-2015-toted-infill-smoother-part-1/

Alao If you click on the “my builds” tab you’ll find some other build info.

You only need heat treatment for the blade if you plan to make your own.

-- http://timetestedtools.net - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View JayT's profile

JayT

6226 posts in 2631 days


#3 posted 12-26-2018 03:50 PM

I have used O1, 1018 and both 304 & 303 stainless when building planes. All have worked just fine, just some are easier to work with than others. 1095 should be just fine, as well, though this confuses me:

I’ve hand made a few knives with 1095 stainless steel(and have a lot of stock left over).

- derhul

1095 is a high carbon steel, not a stainless steel.

As Don and Fridge have said, you do not need to heat treat the sides and sole and wouldn’t want to if planning a dovetail construction. I can’t imagine trying to flatten hardened steel. Rest assured it will be fine. The Stanley’s and similar planes that most hand tool enthusiasts use are cast iron, which is far softer than even the annealed steel.

-- https://www.jtplaneworks.com - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

5571 posts in 3663 days


#4 posted 12-26-2018 07:28 PM

Once you have the sides/bottom welded up, how do you intend to make sure the bottom is FLAT? You would really need a surface grinder to accomplish that. If the bottom ends up twisted as little as 1/32”, that is too much to expect sanding to flatten.

View William Shelley's profile

William Shelley

609 posts in 1889 days


#5 posted 12-28-2018 09:44 AM

As MrRon mentions, a surface grinder is needed to get the bottom really flat. And, if you check around on Craigslist and Ebay, you might be able to find a small 6×12 or 6×18 surface grinder for a very reasonable amount of money, like $400-600. Keep in mind that they can also be used with different jigs for all sorts of sharpening and grinding operations. If you want to get into making hand planes, it might be a really good investment.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

View JayT's profile

JayT

6226 posts in 2631 days


#6 posted 12-28-2018 11:06 AM

You guys are a trying to approach woodworking from a machinist perspective. A surface grinder is not necessary to get a plane flat enough to work at an extremely high level. Using a surface grinder on an infilled plane would also cause a lot more problems than it solves with the coolant getting everywhere. Many, if not most, of the best plane makers out there do not use a surface grinder for that very reason.

With a very flat surface, some sandpaper and good technique, you can get a plane sole flat enough to produce see through shavings and reflective surfaces. My most recent plane build was flattened in this manner and I can take shavings that barely register on a caliper with half a thou resolution. If you don’t want to take my word and examples, Young Je, which the OP mentions, gets results without a surface grinder and for further proof, please check out Konrad Sauer’s work. He shows many of his process on Instagram and they don’t involve machinist’s equipment.

-- https://www.jtplaneworks.com - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View Don W's profile

Don W

19251 posts in 2987 days


#7 posted 12-28-2018 12:00 PM

I agree with JayT.

-- http://timetestedtools.net - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

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