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Veritas PMV-11 plane blade curling up


Ranala

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I recently bought a new block plane after I figured my old one was beyond fiddling with and decided to go for a veritas. I am very pleased with the plane body and feel like I should have done this way earlier. The one thing that I do not understand is that after using it a bit the plane blade edge started curling towards the back (as if I rolled up the edge for a scraper). I usually grind the blades to 35 degrees, but did not do it to this blade yet as I remembered reading that it is not needed for PMV-11. 

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I have a plane with this steel. It's bollocks. Mine does the same thing. If you like your tool edges *very* keen, then PVM-11 ain't it. It's as if the edge just kind of peens or crumbles after a few strokes. The Veritas Stuff is geared towards general woodworkers, where the idea of sharp is kind of loose. 

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2 hours ago, Nick Allen said:

 The Veritas Stuff is geared towards general woodworkers, where the idea of sharp is kind of loose. 

I'd say that's nonsense. Their block planes (and blades) are the best I've ever used. 

Howeverrr......I suspect that their quality control for the PMV11 blades might not be all that. I have a couple of block plane blades that have been great, and a bench plane blade that is generally fine, but has an area of the edge that persistently chipped out until I'd used it long enough to grind past this suspect area.

But like Dwight says, I bet Veritas would send you a replacement if you complained to them.

Finally, by the way, I've found that powdered metal steels in general (not just Veritas) work best with higher bevel angles. Not less than 30 degrees or so. Same for A2 steel. If you want to use lower angles, best stick with O1 blades.

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Ah, I’ll try it a bit more and hone it again.

2 minutes ago, Bodacious Cowboy said:

But like Dwight says, I bet Veritas would send you a replacement if you complained to them.

Finally, by the way, I've found that powdered metal steels in general (not just Veritas) work best with higher bevel angles. Not less than 30 degrees or so. Same for A2 steel. If you want to use lower angles, best stick with O1 blades.

Since I am in Europe I am not sure how happy they will be to supply me a new blade if this one seems faulty.

I’ll try to grind it to higher angles as I am anyway working with the harder stuff and it likes higher angles better to prevent tearout...

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With new plane blades, I've often found that they didn't hold their edge well initially. But when ground back after numerous sharpenings, they did, as long as the blade wasn't overheated during the grinding.

My guess is that this is due to most of the cutting angle being ground in prior to heat treating, and the heat treating and tempering acting differently on the already-thinned portions.

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OP keeps referring to "grinding to 35 degrees," and "I'll try to grind it to higher angles." I'm assuming that you mean "honing," and not grinding. There's no reason to grind the blade to high angles. It just makes honing harder, unless you're relying on the bevel grind to stabilize the honing angle on your sharpening stones in lieu of using a honing guide. 

Anyway, I agree with what others have said. There's likely just a bit of softness at the end of the new blade and it will pass as you hone beyond it.

Does your block plane have a 12 or 20 degree blade bed angle? Personally I think that 12 degree block planes are somewhat oversold. They're originally specialist tools meant for end grain and can require a high honing angle to prevent that tear-out that you referred to, and that makes for more resistant cutting. A 20 degree bed angle with a 30 degree honing angle yields a 50 degree cutting angle, and you're well on your way to controlling tear-out.

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5 hours ago, Bodacious Cowboy said:

I'd say that's nonsense. Their block planes (and blades) are the best I've ever used. 

Howeverrr......I suspect that their quality control for the PMV11 blades might not be all that. I have a couple of block plane blades that have been great, and a bench plane blade that is generally fine, but has an area of the edge that persistently chipped out until I'd used it long enough to grind past this suspect area.

But like Dwight says, I bet Veritas would send you a replacement if you complained to them.

Finally, by the way, I've found that powdered metal steels in general (not just Veritas) work best with higher bevel angles. Not less than 30 degrees or so. Same for A2 steel. If you want to use lower angles, best stick with O1 blades.

Amen.

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I have both the 12 and 20 degree Veritas block planes. I think the 12 degree one is specifically best suited for end-grain work. That doesn't mean it can't be ground to higher angles. It can also be fitted with a tail ball or handle. But the instructions in the box say "The 18 deg. micro-bevel that the low-angle block plane comes with may not be strong enough to withstand the added forces that can be experienced when using the ball-and-tail and tall knob. If you get edge failure increase the bevel angle . . . . . . . ."

Other information in the box says the blade bevel is ground to an average roughness to 16 microinches or better. The face has been lapped to 5 microinches or better . . . . . . . 

One thing you need to watch is that the adjustable mouth is wide enough to accommodate a low angle blade. It is easy to damage the edge when fitting the blade or adjusting it.

I've got a few Veritas planes and I changed the blades from A2 to PMV11. I would say that PMV11 is better by far. I haven't seen any failure like chipping in any of them even honing to an angle of about 20 deg. I suspect that honing to 18 deg. any modern steel might crumble or bend though.

 

 

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On 11/4/2023 at 5:38 PM, David Burgess said:

With new plane blades, I've often found that they didn't hold their edge well initially. But when ground back after numerous sharpenings, they did, as long as the blade wasn't overheated during the grinding.

My guess is that this is due to most of the cutting angle being ground in prior to heat treating, and the heat treating and tempering acting differently on the already-thinned portions.

I had this experience with a set of very expensive chisels.
On ebony, the edges just crumbled away in moments.

I contacted the manufacturer, and they were aware of this issue, yet still shipped them out knowing this. The answer was to grind back the ends, which they did for me. Since then, the chisels have been excellent in every respect.
I wrote about this in more detail previously, but I do not know how to find and quote my old post.

FWIW I have several Veritas planes, and find them to be excellent. The blades are A2 and the powdered metal stuff. 

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I purchased a Veritas block plane about six months ago. The sole wasn't flat, so they sent a replacement. The second wasn't flat either, so they sent me a third one. The third one also wasn't flat, so I gave up and flattened it myself. :angry:

Somewhere during that process, they sent pictures of how they check flatness. They place the sole on a surface plate, and check that a feeler gauge cannot be inserted around the perimeter.

The problem with this method is that it will not catch the issue my planes had, which was that they were dished, or hollow toward the center. :lol:

Oh well. :(

I haven't ground my PMV11 blade back far enough yet to know if the durability will improve by doing so.

Anyway, I'm not impressed with Veritas so far. The joining plane and blade I got from Lie Nielsen were vastly better, in my opinion.

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Maybe I just got lucky, or they were better finished in the past.

Lie Nielsen make some very fine tools. If I had to buy everything all over again, I would buy Lie Nielsen.
In the past, I have wasted many hours truing and adjusting planes. The quality control of some Stanley and Record planes left a lot to be desired, so it was necessary. An old Norris is just as likely to be wonky by now too.

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19 minutes ago, Dave Slight said:

Maybe I just got lucky, or they were better finished in the past.

It's also possible that I've been spoiled by my old Stanley block planes, which I had spent considerable time and money modifying to get them working the way I like.

Aside from the flatness of the sole, I thought the rest of the machining and fit on the Veritas was excellent. I still don't like the blade adjustment mechanisms on the Veritas as much as I do on the Stanleys, but a lot of that might come down to what has become habit for me.

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2 hours ago, David Burgess said:

I still don't like the blade adjustment mechanisms on the Veritas as much as I do on the Stanleys, but a lot of that might come down to what has become habit for me.

+1 for me too for the Stanley block plane blade adjustment mechanism, especially for the lateral adjustment. I've never understood why no other manufacturer of even very expensive planes uses it, or anything similar.

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Many iron planes, block planes in particular, are designed so that the stresses of clamping and supporting the blades cause the soles to distort. It's kind of inevitable and you must lap them with the blade clamped in place but backed up. (I doubt that any manufacturers do that with the blade in place.) It's good to make a habit of not over tightening the blade clamping mechanism to prevent this to the extent that it can be prevented.

I also bought a Veritas 20 degree block plane many years ago, likely one of the first ones they made, and because I had other planes going on at the time I didn't deploy the Veritas for a few years. When I did attempt to set it up, I too found the sole significantly out from flatness, and I had to lap it. I admit that I was surprised by this, but now from your shared experiences, I see that I wasn't alone. Good plane ever since.

+2 for the vintage Stanley/Record 9 1/2 block plane blade adjusting mechanism. Very sensitive and intuitive. I have two Records and they are favorites.

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1 hour ago, Davide Sora said:

+1 for me too for the Stanley block plane blade adjustment mechanism, especially for the lateral adjustment. I've never understood why no other manufacturer of even very expensive planes uses it, or anything similar.

The Veritas looks like a nicely engineered twiddely design, but perhaps in their enthusiasm, they somehow missed the step of running their brilliant design by real, professional woodworkers who aren't all that interested in wasting their time twiddeling. :lol:

As long as I still have my Stanley block planes, I don't think my Veritas will get much use.

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Seems a common thing here, to dislike anything new. But if you can cast the rose tinted specs aside, it’s quite likely that a new Stanley had just as many flaws, rubbish blades etc. 

They were, after all, utility tools for the masses. I’m sure the efforts you expended made it better, but out of the box, I doubt it was amazing either.

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30 minutes ago, Wood Butcher said:

Seems a common thing here, to dislike anything new. But if you can cast the rose tinted specs aside, it’s quite likely that a new Stanley had just as many flaws, rubbish blades etc. 

Heck yeah, the Stanleys had plenty of problems! But they also had a quick and effective blade clamping and adjusting system, which I think the Veritas lacks. Once all the days of needed machining or hand-fitting were done on the Stanleys, they were done, and all that continued to matter was the simple convenience and speed superiority of their blade clamping and adjusting system.

So what the Veritas seems to be most lacking (in my opinion) is this blade adjusting system, and taking the final step of getting the soles flat. This isn't difficult to do by having a blade (or a surrogate) clamped in during the sole machining process, unless the flatness is off for some other reason. Even automotive manufactures use surrogate cylinder heads clamped in place when doing the final machining and honing of cylinder walls, realizing that the unstressed shape of the cylinder walls will be different from what they will be when the cylinder head bolts or studs are tightened. Some even bring the cylinder block up to operating temperature by circulating hot water through them before doing the final machining and honing, because the operating temperature will alter the shape from that when at room temperature. It's all basic, well-understood stuff.

But Veritas didn't ask me, or Sora, so we get what we get, and try to make the best of it while passing on our experiences. :)

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