Woodworking really is simple, despite all attempts to complicate it. Complications introduced by well-meaning folks can keep a beginner away from the enjoyable part: making things. One of the most common questions is “what tools do I need to get started?” and as the would-be woodworker starts reading he soon begins asking, “Which set of … Read more
Canadian company creates a steel combining the best of the old and new.
By Christoper Schwarz
I’ve long been suspicious of the so-called “super steels” that promise long edge life between sharpenings. That has always meant that you have to spend a long time sharpening the tool on your stones or – even worse – you have to buy fancy equipment to even get a serviceable edge.
Plus, no new steel I’ve tried has ever had the feel of old-fashioned high-carbon steel. Until now.
Veritas is using a powdered steel (a closely guarded formula) that seems to defy many of the normal laws of high-carbon and alloy steels. Powdered metal is nothing new in woodworking. During the last decade, I’ve tried out several plane irons and chisels that were made using the sintering process.
In a nutshell, powdered metals are where you take your raw materials, combine them in liquid form and then atomize them to form a powder. The powder is sifted through a screen for consistency, put into a mould and then heated to form a solid billet. This sintering process allows you to make materials with remarkable consistency that can have properties that would be impossible to make by smelting.
This week I’ve been surfacing a lot of wood by hand, from pedestrian sugar pine to funky metals that have wood-like properties (e.g. purpleheart). And all the while I have been testing, testing, testing things with my chipbreakers and the cutting angle of the iron of my handplane. Huh? You might say. Yes, there might … Read more
I can build a six-board chest entirely by hand in about 10 hours of shop time. That time starts with one 8’-long and one 12’-long board and ends with a paint job. In fact, I just did. The above statement is not a boast. Instead, it is a way to encourage you to build one … Read more
If you have attended any of the Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Events in the last year and you have a sharp eye, then you probably noticed an odd-looking low-angle jack plane on one of the benches. It’s much like the No. 62 that Lie-Nielsen has been making for many years, but its sidewalls are open so … Read more
There are still millions of excellent vintage saws in the world, and the only thing standing between them rusting or chewing through wood is a good sharpening. Many beginning woodworkers are intimidated by sharpening their saws. That’s OK. When you are ready, buy these two DVDs from Ron Herman (“Sharpen Your Handsaws” and “Handsaws: Tune-up, … Read more
Unlike many hand-tool woodworkers (and turners), I’m not much of a steel nerd. I’m not on a quest for the steel that promises the ultimate in edge life. The reason I’ve not experimented with lots of exotic steels is that every time I used CMP-10V, CMP-3V, D2 or whatever I found that these steels achieved … Read more