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Thread: Wood River planes mn65 steel blades

  1. #1
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    Wood River planes mn65 steel blades

    I have been researching this steel. It apparently conforms to 1566 steel,which has only from .60 to .70 carbon in it. Rather disappointing carbon content. A carbon content that low is not going to have a lot of wear resistance. Years ago FWW published a study of chisels. At the bottom of the heap were Craftsman chisels made in Holland,with only .50 carbon. That's about as low as tool steel can get ion carbon and still harden. The Craftsman chisels did not retain sharp edges well. O1 steel has more like 1.00 carbon(or a bit more). 1095,commonly used on boutique saws these days,has .95 carbon. W1 also has about 1.00 carbon,but none of the other alloys of 01.

    I could be wrong about my findings. Anyone else want to take a stab at it?

    I see I typoed blade,and can't change it.
    Last edited by Bruce Page; 02-07-2013 at 2:45 PM. Reason: fixed typo

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    What are bklades?

  3. #3
    I recall a study (FWW I think) where the manager at Sear's mentioned the problem with their chisels was not that they could not make a good steel, but that their buyers would use the chisels for things like opening paint cans and other tasks better accomplished with screw drivers, etc..., and they did not want to incur the liability that would come with putting a good chisel in the hands of a very general audience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Foster View Post
    I recall a study (FWW I think) where the manager at Sear's mentioned the problem with their chisels was not that they could not make a good steel, but that their buyers would use the chisels for things like opening paint cans and other tasks better accomplished with screw drivers, etc..., and they did not want to incur the liability that would come with putting a good chisel in the hands of a very general audience.
    Sears missed a great opportunity to market paint can openers with concave ends sized to the different size paint cans.

    Maybe we need laws to prevent law suits brought by idiots who get hurt doing stupid things.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  5. #5
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    Well,at the time of the FWW study of the chisels,everyone else was using better steel. The study I mentioned was many years before any general thought of making softer chisels was in the air. It wasn't a softness issue,anyway. It was a wear resistance issue. .50 carbon steel will get hard,just not enough carbon to be wear resistant (to say nothing of other alloys).

  6. #6
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    The blade on my woodriver no.3 takes a fine edge and holds it very well. so 0.65 or not it's a good blade.

  7. #7
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    Matt, I think the #3 and other bench planes have a different metal. The only one that I know of that's marketed MN65 is the chisel planes and the side rabbet.

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    ohh.... sorry. I bought a spare blade that came marked "carbon steel" so maybe it's more like O1. At first I thought it might be A2 because it's color is brigher
    than any other O1 I've seen.

  9. #9
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    I just saw an ad for their new Preston style shoulder plane that said MN65 was used in the blade. Don't know about the others.It would be o.k. for a shoulder plane,which doesn't see steady or heavy use.

    Matthew, "carbon steel" can mean anything from mild steel to high carbon steel. It tells you nothing,except the metal has some carbon in it. How much is the question.

  10. #10
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    got it. one of the reasons I dislike marketing. but their plane blades are pretty good.

  11. #11
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    George: The Woodriver bench planes have A2 steel blades per their website. I can say from first hand experience with three of their V3 planes that they hold an edge very well, as good as my Lie-Nielsens. Their website doesn't mention the steel, but their block planes also hold up well.

    Also, this reference <http://www.castingsqd.com/products.htm> shows Chinese 65Mn to be ASTM1065. Still only 0.60-0.70 carbon though.
    - Mike

    Si vis pacem, para bellum

  12. #12
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    My recollection is fuzzy George, but 65MN seemed maybe to suggest manganese present which acts in a manner quite like carbon to promote hardening. As does silicon.

    Chrome, vanadium, molybdenum, cobalt and the like also promote hardening, but with added toughness - they mess with the behaviour of the carbon in the steel and tend to be the basis of alloy steels which are tougher than carbon steels. A2 and the like seem to be in this space, and the extra toughness is why they are harder to sharpen and more inclined to form wire edges. Very broad they are eventually designated as HSS when the alloy content gets high enough.

    A quick dig suggests that MN65 is similar to SAE 1566 which taking the high values may have up to about 0.7% carbon, 0.6% silicon, and 0.9% manganese.

    There are formulae for calculating the carbon equivalent to predict weldability and hardening characteristics: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equivalent_carbon_content The basic form adds 1/6 of the % content of both the silicon and manganese to the carbon. So the carbon equivalent of the steel is 0.7 + 0.6/6 + 0.9/6 = 0.7 + 0.1 + 0.15 = 0.95% carbon equivalent.

    Which should harden nicely - although perhaps not quite to the degree of an 01 tool steel.

    Could be though that any more carbon without the bit of chromium that's in 01 would start to get a bit more brittle and inclined to chip than is ideal - the Japanese white steel chisels seem only to go a shade more and can be brittle. The tougher Japanese blue steel has more carbon, but again some chromium in it.

    It looks like the silicon and the manganese in the 65MN may also have some beneficial effects in terms of making the hardening process less sensitive (it reduces the cooling rate required to produce a given degree of hardening), and the unhardened steel a little more machinable...

    ian
    Last edited by ian maybury; 02-05-2013 at 5:00 PM.

  13. #13
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    I knew it was like 1566,and has manganese. Glad to hear that the bench planes have A2 irons. I wonder why they are using a cheap steel in the shoulder plane? Maybe because,as I stated,shoulder planes don't get that much use.

  14. #14
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    I had to replace the blade in my WR #5. It would crumble after just a few strokes, no matter how I sharpened it. Not a well made iron at all.

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    This all based on about 5min of Googling just now - and trying to infer exact properties from metallurgical composition is probably a bit risky. i.e. It's hard to get info on the more subjective aspects of the properties of some of these steels that emerge in use.

    Some of the knife/sword making guys seem to rate MN65/SAE1566 quite highly as a material for single steel blades. (they may of course just be selling stuff made from it) John Deere it seems use it for (don't know how widely) combine harvester (?) blades too where a mix of toughness and wear resistance is probably advisable.

    MN 65 it seems hardens (tempers?) to around HRC 62, which seems (?) to be similar to 01. Maybe not having any chromium in may leave it a little more brittle/less wear resistant? Seems like it's probably slightly cheaper option than 01, but against that it's likely that poor control of the tempering and excess heat put in during manufacturing might in instances (as in any tool steel) reduce its performance...

    ian
    Last edited by ian maybury; 02-06-2013 at 6:10 PM.

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