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zberger7646

The Pros and Cons of A2, O1, and PM-V11

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I am in the market of purchasing my first hand plane. I have decided that the Veritas low angle jack is a good start for where i am in my woodworking. Knowing that, i have to understand the benefits of the different materials that make up the plane itself as well as the blades. I can buy the plane and blades constructed with A2, O1, or PM-V11, but i am unsure of what the better material is. Any insihgt would be greatly appreciated!

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If you can afford it PM-V11 by all accounts is worth it, best of both, 01's easy honing and razor edge and A2's edge retention. You will no go far wrong with any of them.

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The PM in PM-V11 stands for powder metallurgy. It is a very fine uniform grain structure which allows it to hold a nice sharp edge and sharpen easily. Keep in mind that sharpening should be done with ceramic sharpening stones. 

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The PM in PM-V11 stands for powder metallurgy. It is a very fine uniform grain structure which allows it to hold a nice sharp edge and sharpen easily. Keep in mind that sharpening should be done with ceramic sharpening stones. 

 

Actually, sharpening may be done with any type of media. Some, however, just take longer than others. 

 

Technique and method of grinding and sharpening also play a part here. I work with hollow grinds, and this means less steel to hone. The same could be said for a secondary micro bevel. There is a problem only when you use oils tones and hone a full face. It will still work, but very slowly.

 

PM does stand for powder metallurgy, and it does create a finer grain, which leads to a finer edge. Now where does the "11" come from? :)

 

Regards from Perth

 

Derek

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 Now where does the "11" come from?

 

Probably Lee Valleys 11th attempt at getting the formulation correct. V = Version ??

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Actually, sharpening may be done with any type of media. Some, however, just take longer than others. 

 

Technique and method of grinding and sharpening also play a part here. I work with hollow grinds, and this means less steel to hone. The same could be said for a secondary micro bevel. There is a problem only when you use oils tones and hone a full face. It will still work, but very slowly.

 

PM does stand for powder metallurgy, and it does create a finer grain, which leads to a finer edge. Now where does the "11" come from? :)

 

Regards from Perth

 

Derek

It is a number that refers to the alloy composition.  Now it could be their rebranding of a common alloy like CPM 3V or such. Probably not CPM 11V the higher the number in that series tends to correlate with more abrasion resistance and thus would be harder to sharpen.

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Actually, sharpening may be done with any type of media. Some, however, just take longer than others. 

 

Correct that it can be done with whatever kind of stone you want, however you're gonna wear your stones out by using them more since they aren't going to abrade the PM-V11 like Shapton stones. 

 

As for the V, I believe it actually stands for Veritas since the metal formulation was actually made for them based on their specifications. We'll go with 11 because 42 was taken.  :rolleyes:

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Correct that it can be done with whatever kind of stone you want, however you're gonna wear your stones out by using them more since they aren't going to abrade the PM-V11 like Shapton stones. 

 

As for the V, I believe it actually stands for Veritas since the metal formulation was actually made for them based on their specifications. We'll go with 11 because 42 was taken.  :rolleyes:

The PM-V11 blades are about the same difficulty to hone as A2.

The V does stand for Veritas, but that is easy to work out.

The 11 ... ? Here's a clue .. watch Spinal Tap. :)

Regards from Perth

Derek

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There is actually a PM-V11 website http://www.pm-v11.com/that has the story and loads of graphs :) . I think the next Veritas product I get will have to have some of this in it. I could do with another blade for my Veritas jointer plane.

 

I love turning Marshall amps up to 11.

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Wow, two pop culture references in one thread and neither is Monty Python related  :)

 

PM = Powdered Metallurgy
V = Veritas
11 = I forget -- but it’s not volume :) and I suppose it depends on the question :)

 

 

O1 permits a keener edge that’s easier to maintain – full stop. O1 (along with the rest of the high carbon group) also permits lower bevel angles without rapid breakdown – this is a benefit for paring operations.

 

When you start comparing the harder steels (in this case A2 –vs- PMV-11 –vs Cryo-A2) it can get tricky. I maintain edges in all three metallurgies using Naniwa Chosera stones… With my stones and my workflow, I find PMV-11 a bit easier to maintain than the A2s, but considerably more effort than O1 (and the rest of the high-carbon gang).

 

I’ve never done a side-by-side test of the various metallurgies… My observations stem from project use… In the species I work (figured Hard Maple, Cherry, and Genuine Mahogany) and the operations I perform, I find PMV-11 and A2 wear about the same. I find Cryo-A2 a bit harder wearing. Same for edge breakdown… Note: I occasionally work in hard exotics, but mostly for accents, pulls, etc. If your typical stock is Snakewood, Narra, Katalox, Kingwood and the rest of the Brazilian club, then your results may differ… I suspect edge-breakdown would take precedence over edge keenness…

 

One important note: I bang-out mortises with D2, and I remove dovetail waste with a coping saw – so I don’t do a lot of ‘whacking operations’ and or prying with A2, PMV-11 and/or Cryo-A2. So I really can’t judge those operations the way others might…

 

One other note: The majority of my chisel work is paring and/or hand push… I have found that the high carbon and laminated steels consistently give superior paring results over their harder brethren. But a good deal of the result is due to lower bevel angles involved…

 

==>PM-V11 website

Yea, I’ve seen the ‘test data’… Creative at best… PMV-11 is a good metallurgy, but it’s not Kryptonite... And more telling: There are around six or seven 'hard-steel' metallurgies in common use by hand-tool mfgs plus several more by speciality shops. Notice how the Veritas testing only includes O1, PMV-11, A2 plus twenty other steels not in use by competitors --- but failed to include the five or six (V3, D2, cryo-A2, etc) steels that are in use by competitors' products?  I wonder why??? Could it be that if you include D2, PMV-11 might not show such skewed results? :)  But don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of PMV-11 -- I've got a set ot two of chisels in PMV-11 and a plane iron or three. But (and it's a big but), it's not so superior that I'm going to eBay my Hock, LN, BlueSpruce, et al just to get PMV-11... Nor would I consider PMV-11 to be a purchasing decision factor over fit-finish, how the tool feels in my hands, etc...  Like I said, it's good, but not that good...

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Wow, two pop culture references in one thread and neither is Monty Python related

One important note: I bang-out mortises with D2, and I remove dovetail waste with a coping saw – so I don’t do a lot of ‘whacking operations’ and or prying with A2, PMV-11 and/or Cryo-A2. So I really can’t judge those operations the way others might…

One other note: The majority of my chisel work is paring and/or hand push… I have found that the high carbon and laminated steels consistently give superior paring results over their harder brethren. But a good deal of the result is due to lower bevel angles involved..

Total hijack but how do you find the D2 to sharpen. I've not ever considered the Ray Iles pig stickers because I'm not familiar with that steel.

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I’ve got some pretty fast-cutting stones so, for me, D2 is not terrible… But to be clear, D2 is noticeably tougher to sharpen than the @OP’s A2, PMV-11, and O1…

 

I’ve never tried to sharpen D2 on clay-matrix stones, but I imagine it would be slow going… Some lapping films cut pretty fast and many diamond plates cut quickly, so YMMV.

 

But still, we’re talking mortise chisels – which don’t have to be all that sharp, nor have large edges or a wide back that needs flattening… So D2 or not, mortise chisels are not a tough hone…

 

However, I suspect flattening the back on a #8 bench plane iron in D2 would not be much fun… :)

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Total hijack but how do you find the D2 to sharpen. I've not ever considered the Ray Iles pig stickers because I'm not familiar with that steel.

We use a lot of A2 and D2 in our dies at work.  D2 would have better wear resistance but poorer impact resitance.  Better wear resistance means both staying sharp longer and longer to sharpen.

 

Of course the exact heat treatment regime is important as well, and simply comparing alloy types isn't going to tell the whole story.

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==>exact heat treatment regime is important as well, and simply comparing alloy types isn't going to tell the whole story

That's a really good point. Same with the cryo-treating... I remember an article by (or maybe with) Iles -- one of his big problems was heat treating the D2 (actually it may have been on CS's blog)... I don't remember the exact issue Ray was trying to overcome, but it was along the same lines as Japaneese chisels -- where the first 1/16 or so of the tool ends-up very brittle and subject to breakdown... I'll have to find the article and post a link...

 

==>not ever considered the Ray Iles pig stickers because I'm not familiar with that steel

His chisels work really well... I'm not sure how much of the performance is actually down to D2... The English pattern mortiser was certainly available for a long time before D2 :)  Also, I don't do out of my way to give mortise chisels a keen edge. Basically, the more I whack the tool with a mallet, the less I worry about the edge...

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O1 does just fine for me.  I sharpened it for probably two and a half decades with oilstones up through the translucent black.  I like to get edges as sharp as possible, and like the sharpest possible edges.  When toolmakers first started talking about A2, I bought a chisel to see how I liked it.  I couldn't sharpen it with the oilstones to suit me, so I bought some Norton waterstones.  I still didn't like the A2, but found that the waterstones could sharpen the 01 about ten times as fast as the oilstones. I gave away the A2 chisel, and never looked at another A2 tool.  Just at the end of last year, I needed to spend some deductible money, so I bought some better waterstones, and sharpening speed on the 01 went to the point that it's almost a non-issue to sharpen my 01 edges to the point that I like them. 

 

I have hundreds of planes, and the only modern, expensive plane I have bought is a LV Shooting plane.  They still make irons for people like me.  If they hadn't offered 01, I would have bought an old Stanley for a lot more money.

 

It should be noted that I rarely work with really gnarly woods, and never with the stuff that Derek does.  I keep a 4-1/2 set up for curly woods, and it doesn't need sharpening any more often than any of the others.  We hand plane hundreds of square feet of lumber a year-mostly old Heart Pine.  A smoothing plane can go for a good half hour before it needs to be honed on the finest stones.  We don't let one get dull enough to have to drop back several steps.  That's a half hour steady at it, except for restaging boards.  I don't mind stopping to hone after that anyway.

 

The PM iron may have been better for the shooting plane. I don't know.  If I could get it sharper than 01, I would have been willing to buy it, but it looked to me that it would likely cost me another 45 bucks, or whatever an 01 iron costs, to be satisfied with the plane if I had to order another iron, so I didn't try the PM.  I never heard anyone say they can get PM sharper than 01.  O1 and I are good, old friends, so I stuck with that.

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==>the stuff that Derek does

That's a really good point... When considering steels, what stock you’re working makes a big difference. I've got a decent stash of tough/hard exotics, but I use it for accents, drawer pulls, applied beading, etc -- all small stuff… I work it with small rounds, small gouges, scratch beading tools, inlay tools, etc, etc... If I had to work with mesquite as my primary, then I’d probably look at my kit very differently…

 

All mag articles, tool reviews and talking heads aside, O1 is probably preferable for the vast majority working in Cherry, Mahogany, etc. … For those with a FWW-online membership, it’s worth looking at the older entries in the Video Workshop series – about half are shot in the craftsman’s own shops using their tools – you see a lot of O1, laminated steel, old-school saws, bevel-down planes, etc. And these guys certainly aren’t being held-back by their old-school kit…

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I was reading a review of the PM-V11 steel from the Fine Woodworking site recently here -> http://www.finewoodworking.com/tool-guide/product-finder/veritas-pm-v11-tool-steel.aspx Not sure if it needs a sub for that page. The bottom line is that it depends on what you are doing but if you can afford it it is well worth the extra money.

 

The steel appears to sharpen as easily as the other tool steels but the edge remains longer due to the fine consistent grain pattern. Oh, and remember that the finer you hone the longer the edge will last so to take full advantage of the steel you probably need to hone to the highest grit you have.

 

As for the V11 I get the impression that it can mean whatever you want it to mean. Spinal Tap reference, Veritas version, 11, fill in the blank with your own answer.

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Sorry Yanis, but the "11" is very specifically a reference to "we go to 11" from Spinal Tap. This was explained to me by Rob Lee. It is just an inside joke.

With regard how this steel compares with others, I have done a number of comparisons with other steels. Here is one to read ..

http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ToolReviews/FourChiselSteelsCompared.html

Regards from Perth

Derek

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Sorry Yanis, but the "11" is very specifically a reference to "we go to 11" from Spinal Tap. This was explained to me by Rob Lee. It is just an inside joke.

With regard how this steel compares with others, I have done a number of comparisons with other steels. Here is one to read ..

http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ToolReviews/FourChiselSteelsCompared.html

Regards from Perth

Derek

 

Don't apologise,  as you say, inside joke, which is what I heard. Your analysis makes very interesting reading. I know what you mean about the wood and it is probably the best test since it it the very wood which would test your chisels. Beautiful fire wood ;)

 

John

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... What exactly are you folks doing with all the time you're saving?

For me it is matter of convenience, not of saving time. I edge joint all the parts of the same width in a batch, and match joint them against each other. So I put a PMV11 blade in the plane I use for edge jointing. So that I can hold off on sharpening until I am done, and not have to sharpen in the middle of the process.

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