Friday, December 30, 2016

Ebonized Beech

Ralph asked for a photo of the ebonized Beech. It does not fit, closer to fitting but still about 1/2 mil too wide. I'm still surprised at how much such a small piece of wood expanded, guess I shouldn't be because a lot of water was used to ebonized it.

IIRC the Beech lid had three apps of tannic acid (boiled White Oak shavings), then one of vinegar and steel wool followed by one more app of both.

The box has a well fitting lid of Cherry that looks good, who knows other than MsBubba which one it will end up with.

On to other things:

The house, in other words MsBubba, is sleeping in this morning so I'm finding things to do that do not make too much noise such as sharpening iron. I have a number of Veritas PM irons both plane and chisel. I decided to A&B a couple of the PM chisels on water and oil stones just because. 

I'm still undecided if the PM is worth the extra cost and effort. After working several of the chisels on both oil and water stones this morning I have not changed my mind. PM is not a lot of effort to sharpen on oil stones if you start with a hollow grind. Problem is I'm lazy and do not like to take the time to hollow grind unless the iron is damaged or the bevel needs changing. Both oil and water on the hollow ground chisels quickly gave a very sharp edge, not enough different from O1 to change the world but I would not go to the effort to change from PM to O1 like I do with A2. 

Bottom line, for day to day work I'll stick with O1 and save the PM irons for use with things like Teak. BTW, I have most of a 8/4 Teak plank that followed me home back in the 70's. It's been around so long I hate to cut it up.

Enough free association for one morning, back to the stones.



  1. Thanx for the pic Ken. Along with the pics I'm keeping notes on how it was done.

  2. I have taken a bit of your experience with A2 and purchased a Hoch blade for my LN #4 bronze smoother. I get a much cleaner cut with less chatter.I repurposed the A2 blade to my Bailey #5 jack and it works like a champ for general duty abuse. The PM blades I have are not in bench planes but specialty like the shooter rebate and others.

  3. Ralph,

    I try to keep it simple....I noticed from your posts that cross contamination makes no never mind...I've the same observation, so it is one brush for the job. Get the wood soaked in tannic acid and let it dry. add the iron and let it dry, Buff, make note of the holidays, do another round of tannic acid and iron, and that will usually do the job.


  4. Matt,

    There is a thread on SMC about PM iron that comes close to giving a "nerd" justification for what I've found in the real world from using the irons. I think either PM or A2 should work ok in "rough" planes, in fact may work better than O1. The problem with A2, in whatever use, is it and my preferred stones do not play well together.

    I expect to post something on that subject soon, maybe today, even though it has been beaten to death and I have nothing new to add. It is just what I've been playing with in the shop.