Full Chisel Blog

June 2, 2008

A Dream come true, a new laid steel blade

Filed under: Laid Steel Tools,Uncategorized — Stephen Shepherd @ 7:47 pm

I must pause again in my discussion of making holes in things and talk for a moment about a new tool I got today.  I nearly fell down two different flights of stairs and buttoned my haversack under my vest while examining my brand new  laminated plane iron (I never in my wildest dreams ever thought I could actually buy a new laid steel blade).

It is a thing of beauty (and I bought the economy model, damascus backing too fancy for me) and the pictures will not do it justice.

Laid Steel Blade

The steel goes up almost half way on the back side, the line between the hard steel and backing is evident, the yellow on the sharp end is the polished surface reflecting overhead light.

Thin veneer of steel

A view from the edge not only shows the steel, but also the thickness of this blade, it is 1/4″ thick and 2″ wide.  It is a handful and will be easy to fit to a proper plane.  The workmanship is excellent and the blade just feels good in my hand.  I have handled old blades and they do have a different heft to them.  So does this blade and it looks great.  I can do an early style plane with this and I am looking at a miter plane.

Oh, now where did I get this well, over on the right in the Blog Roll is www.galoot-tools.com and Chris Sholtz sent me this fine blade (after I sent him the money).  So this is a totally unsolicited endorsement of his fine blades.  And I haven’t even used it yet.  I have no doubt.  The tool is hard but not brittle, the blade actually had a bit of damage on one corner, a minor burr turned on the very tip.  A couple of strokes on the stone and it looked fine.  I will put it to my hard stone tomorrow and determine just what best to do with this blade.

This is the kind of blade that a craftsman would have put out good money for in the nineteenth century, most often already installed in a plane.  But this is what a new blade would have looked like, because it is a new blade.  But it is different in that it is laminated, and the combination of hard steel and a softer backing produces the finest cutting edge ever created.  And my contention is that it is not a matter of economy, it is a matter of what can produce the hardest cutting edge without breaking.  And this combination got it right.

I am sorry that I am going on and on about this, but it is something that has never happened to me before, I have had blacksmiths make me a blade or two but it is difficult to get consistant quality and also availability.  Galoot Tools has offered the only Western style laid steel plane blades on the market and I thank them for that.  Now I can order more and tell people where they can get real traditional plane irons. 

Building a new plane or need a decent iron for an old one, get one (or more) of these blades.  Thanks Chris.



  1. You know, they are offering pretty decent prices. I know I would sure hate to make them for what they are asking.

    Be sure to update us after you have installed it in a plane and used it a bit. I may buy one or two maybe around the end of the year when I get around to making a plane body.

    Comment by Luke Townsley — June 2, 2008 @ 9:10 pm

  2. Full Chisel:

    Does your photograph accurately reflect the amount of flattening that you typically do to the “back” of the blade? If so, the effect is remarkably similar to results using David Charlesworth’s method, of which you seemed critical recently (i.e., the so-called “ruler trick”). Would you please clarify or comment further?


    Phil Lang

    Comment by Phil Lang — June 2, 2008 @ 11:17 pm

  3. You just gave me a new way to spend some money

    Comment by ron — June 3, 2008 @ 2:56 am

  4. Luke,

    Yes they are resonable in their price and I know the Blacksmith I use would charge a lot more. I will keep you posted on the progress.


    The photograph accurate reflects how I got the blade, I just took the burr off from the minor damage that occurred during shipping. I will be flattening the back of the blade. And I am still critical of the ruler truck.
    I got the blade last evening when I left work, so I don’t have any real sharpening stones at home or I would have been flattening that back.


    Sorry about that, don’t think of it as spending money think of it as making an investment.


    Comment by Stephen Shepherd — June 3, 2008 @ 5:58 am

  5. I worked the blade over and it needed some attention. I worked it over on a coarse then fine stone then took it to my very fine Arkansas stone. It will need some more work when I get ready to install it on what ever I make to hold this fine blade.


    And after sharpening it today, I like the way it feels, and looks. (I couldn’t get the camera to focus on my face.)


    Comment by Stephen Shepherd — June 3, 2008 @ 7:49 pm

  6. […] I put the fine laid steel blade I got from Galoot-Tools and it was almost too thick, but left just enough mouth to cut, and cut it […]

    Pingback by Full Chisel Blog » W.W.Richey, Louisville, Kentucky Coffin Smoother — July 25, 2008 @ 9:08 am

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