Tool Steel Question
After getting an email from a fellow Witherby, Ruggs and Richardson jointer owner off the OWWM website, I kind of got a boot in the rear to continue with the restoration of this 1865 machine. To make a long story short I finally got the old blades out of it by using the heat and water trick, and now its time to order steel to make the cutting edges.
Now in looking through Mcmaster Carr, I got a ton of options, but mostly it boils down to A1 Oil Hardened Tool Steel and A2 Air Hardened tool steel. Both come in the annealed state so I must harden it after I machine the steel into the proper cutting edge configuration. I am thinking the A2 Air Hardened steel would be easier to heat-treat after the machining, but the price is about double than the A1 Tool Steel.
So I guess the question is pretty simple. What is the best choice for steel to make the cutting edges for this 18" jointer? Unfortunately I cannot get m2 tool steel in the thickness I need.
(Cutting edge dimensions: 18" long, by 3" wide, by 5/16 thick for this machine)
I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"