Pouring Bronze, Powdered Metallurgy?? & Demo Tools…

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Summer is alive and well in Adelaide, earlier this week 35° Celsius, and Joe & Peter are pouring a new bronze tool in their foundry without air conditioning, a certain dedication. Beer o’clock came early that day… More on the new tool soon.
These guys have been pouring sand cast bronzes for many decades, there is not much they don’t know about their trade. They are getting very close to retirement age and there is no one knocking on their door asking to be taught the craft or if they can continue the business. Sound familiar?

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Powdered Metallurgy (PM) tool steel blades – Are they any better or even worthwhile for us woodworkers? It depends, if sharpening is a necessary chore, or you do not like the interruption it causes or you live in Australia, then PM is for you. Why Australia? Many a woodworker would say that US timbers could be considered softwoods in Australia when compared to our hardwoods that blunt blade edges in a hurry. Ask plane-maker Terry Gordon about working Gidgee.
Tool steels have 3 practical properties for us – toughness (does it chip easily), abrasive qualities (does it stay sharp longer) and does it sharpen easily. Our PM tool steel, PMA11V, excels in all these attributes, particularly high in (anti) abrasive qualities doubling the time between sharpening intervals.

Those who wish to know more about the technical side of this steel (yawn), please see our information sheet here.

Our understanding is that Lee Valley / Veritas were the first woodwork specialist tool company to use PM tool steel. I know of an Australian company that makes PM tool steel woodturning chisels, but so far that is about it. Some guys make knives from PM tool steel.

Henry Eckert PMA11V plane blades are PM tool steel after market products for Lie-Nielsen Low Angle Block Planes, Adjustable Mouth Block Planes & Low Angle Jack Planes. They are thicker than Lie-Nielsen blades which decreases the chance of chatter and increases heft and also improves the centre of gravity of the plane.

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The Tool Chest has been updated with some workshop & demo/show Lie-Nielsen tools and a very nice Ray Iles mortise chisel.


We now have zipPay, buy now / pay later with no interest at all. Maximum purchase is a semi-responsible $1000.

David Eckert
Adelaide

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