Case Study #7: Wood Shaper

Tool Type: Wood Shaping Knife

Work Material: Brazilian hardwood that has a tendency to absorb large amounts of silica making the wood fiber very abrasive

Original tooling material: D-2 tool steel hardened to RC 60-62

Problem: The abrasive nature of the silica in the wood fiber caused premature wear of the cutting edge of the shaper knife. The knife would need to be resharpened after 1 1/2 hours of use. The production line would need to be shut down for 30 minutes to change the cutters. The cutting knife would then be sent out to be redressed. Four sets of knives would be required for each shift resulting in two hours of lost production during each shift.

Solution: Upgrade to PM T-15 high speed steel hardened to RC 63-65

Results: The upgrade to the PM T-15 resisted the abrasive nature of the silica in the wood fiber. The increased wear resistance and the higher hardness of the PM T-15 shaper knife kept the cutting edge sharp for 8 hours of production time before requiring a resharpening of the tool. Only one set of knives were required for each 8 hour shift with only 30 minutes of downtime.

Check out the PM T-15 data sheet for more information. Also see the Comparison charts of many common tool and high speed steels.