I ordered in a piece of O1 flatstock 3mm (⅛”) by 15mm (⅝”) by 500mm (19 ⅝”) just in case. That way, when I need a piece of tool steel it’s there ready. Today, I needed it. You never know when you might need a new cutter, customised 1/16″ chisel or maybe a small knife blade you can’t buy off the shelf or on eBay, do you?
The plough plane cutter of 9/32” didn’t exist for my Record #044 so I took a hacksaw to the steel, cut the width plus a bit and then filed the rough side straight and true and then trapezoidal just a hair. To cut the steel with the hacksaw took three and a half minutes. To file the 25º bevel took 50 file strokes with a 10″ flat file so about a minute and then to double up two hacksaw blades in the hacksaw and slide out the grooves for the adjuster was a minute a piece, no more. Technically, I only needed the one groove, remember, but I went ahead anticipating I’ve got at least 30 more years of woodworking in me as I am only 72 years old yet. Joking!
Anyway, the hacksaw trick worked fine and I had a blade made ready for hardening with the blow torch.
Steel that size heats up to a good red in less than a heartbeat and before I knew it I had a blade made in not much more that 15 minutes tops.
It looks to me that the steel I bought is enough to make 12 different-sized cutters for a set. That’s under £20. It will likely take you 15 minutes a piece so that’s three hours of work altogether or you could just make one a week for twelve weeks if that’s what suits your time allocation. Personally, I think it’s worth it. Cutters go for between £8-12 plus shipping.