Here is a letter we had from a Guy called Paul a couple of years ago…
“I came across your website recently and any time I have a few spare moments I have a wander round your site and have found lots of interesting bits and pieces.
Just by way of introduction I am a very late arriving wannabe creator in wood. I’m in my fifties and despite having had many diverse hobbies and pastimes over the years Ive always hankered for a place where I can tinker around with wood and hand tools.
Over the last year I’ve been putting together a collection of tools most of them from flea markets, car boot sales, eBay etc. Many are quite old and have taken quite a bit of restoration, cleaning, flattening, honing etc.
Recently I picked up a Stanley Bailey pattern no 6 Plane that was about 15 /20 years of age in pretty poor condition for £10.50. I’ve spent about 30 – 40 hours refurbishing and tuning it. However there is a rust pitting problem on the iron (both side) extending 50mm back from the bevel edge and despite my best efforts to flatten and hone it I cannot get a reasonable edge along that part which is pitted.
I’ve more or less decided it is probably best to replace the blade. Having read your comments on blades I looked at the prices and thought a bit rich for my blood I dabble in the evenings and at weekends not make my living from my tools.
So checking out other sources I found that there are both Stanley and Record plane irons available
Tungsten Vanadium Irons With Unique Quality Assurance Specially Developed For Record. The Special Steel Used In These Irons Will Take A Razor Sharp Edge And Hold It Longer Even When Used On The Hardest Woods. Every Blade Is Subjected To Quality Control Testing. Type. Single Iron. Cutter Size. 2.3/8in – 60mm. To Fit 04.1/2, 05.1/2, 06 06c 07 07c
All Stanley Replacement Plane Irons Are Made From Chrome Carbon Steel Which Has Excellent Edge Retention Characteristics And Allows A Razor Sharp Edge To Be Honed. All Cutters Are Fine Rotary Ground To Give A Flat Surface That Is Easier To Sharpen.
Just wondering if you have a view on good plane irons for the more cost conscious woodworker who doesn’t use his tools all day every day.”
Great Question. These Stanley and Record blades are what we replace, they are usable and may well suit your requirements for a few months. You will certainly get the hang of honing a new edge because they don’t hold an edge for long. However they are true carbon steel which means they do take a good very sharp edge which is critical, I had issues with A2 steel which held an edge for aaaaaaaages but was never sharp sharp in the first place. Yeh they are inexpensive but maybe will be fine for you. When you are making a bit more you may want to replace with a better iron from Ron Hock.
hope this helps,