laminated and tapered Butcher plane blade

  • Advertise with us

« back to Hand Tools forum

Forum topic by planeBill posted 08-28-2013 01:41 AM 1305 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View planeBill's profile


506 posts in 3019 days

08-28-2013 01:41 AM

I know someone else had to have seen these on ebay. I bought an old Butcher (yes the chisel maker) plane blade that is both tapered in thickness, thick at the front and tapering towards the rear of the blade, and laminated. I hope to use it in a plane of my own construction someday so I thought I would give it a sharpening, NOT!! It is as hard as $#@&!! I finally had to resort to a 140 grit diamond plate and all it did was scratch the surface like everything else I tried. It is laminated just like a Japanese chisel or plane blade. I GROUND ON IT FOR THREE HOURS AND IT STILL HAS THAT PERFECTLY LITTLE SQUARE EDGE WHERE THE 0 BEVEL IS SUPPOSED TO BE, THAT IT HAD WHEN I STARTED SHARPENING IT. Sorry about the caps.

-- I was born at a very young age, as I grew up, I got older.

3 replies so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 4322 days

#1 posted 08-29-2013 02:59 AM

That sounds very hard; is it brittle? Could that be an artifact of surface hardening from some unusual use? On an inconspicuous spot can you try scratching it with a tungsten carbide tooth?

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1315 posts in 2323 days

#2 posted 09-27-2013 06:58 PM

How old is it?
If it is made from ordinary tool steel, what you describe is way too hard and it will chip or crack as soon as you use it.
Is it possible that it has been re-hardened at some time?

Try tempering the blade for 1 hour in your ordinary oven at 200-205 degrees celcius. This should releave any stress in the blade and give you a good, hard edge that grinds slow but keeps an edge a long time

Hope this works!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View SRRieman's profile


65 posts in 2796 days

#3 posted 09-29-2013 04:16 AM

Butcher was a fairly large steel producer. They manufactured many things…ranging from steel ice skates to cutlery knives. I’m sure that they would have produced all their blades knowing that they would need to be sharpened and that it would need to be done …how to say it, not using some extraordinary methods. Best advice I can think to give you is to use waterstones or I would even try sandpaper. Remember laminated irons are different, microbevels and the ruler trick are your best bet, personally I would avoid the diamond stones. They take too long and will wear fast when sharpening hard steel. The square edge is throwing me off though…shoot some pics, upclose will help.

-- Scott Rieman

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics