Grades of High-speed Steel for Manufacturing Molding Knives
Moulding Knife Grinding & Moulding Knife Steel Video
Mirror Reflections manufactures all our high-speed steel and carbide profile knives on a
Rondamat 960 profile grinder, it is our opinion that this model machine is superior to
all other manual profile grinders available in the industry today. This time-tested profile
grinder has superior accuracy and is a favorite among some of the most prestigious milling
shops around the world. There are several custom options on our R960 knife grinder that
allows us to manufacturer cutters with superior results, these options along with our
disciplined approach, make’s our machine the “Technician's Choice” amongst professionals.
Our most widely used high-speed knife steel is sixty-degree corrugated, with one-sixteenth-
inch between each corrugation and a five-sixteenths thickness dimension. Our two-piece,
three eighths thickness European style carbide has a
one-quarter-inch thickness backer
plate and a one-eighth-inch thick solid carbide piece that interlocks with one another using
micro corrugations. Our V2+rw
Williams and Hussey or Shop Fox
high-speed steel retains a
one quarter-inch thickness measurement, it is non-corrugated steel with one inch on center
holes for securing the knives to the cutter head on the machinery.
Which quality of knife steel should you use?
Mirror Reflections uses some of the highest quality high-speed knife steels and carbide
available in the industry. We offer three different grades of steel to choose from, V2+RW,
Black Nitride, Endurance and a European style carbide for profile knives with some inlay
carbide for straight planer knives. The choice of options and grades are summarized below.
is about 58-62 beneath the coating, this is a good
quality product that was designed for short runs roughly between one and one
thousand lineal feet of high-quality millwork. This steel is flash coated with a
special hard chrome coating (.002") thick to help provide very long wear on the
cutting edge. It will outlast any standard uncoated M-2 steel, it is relatively
straightforward to grind with a
rough vitrified and a borazon finish grinding wheel,
it is also easy to joint the knives on high-speed molder machinery.
- Our premium quality steel offers longer run times than standard M2
or M3 high-speed steel, one thru two-thousand lineal feet between sharpening.
Adding pure carbon to the surface of the knife steel hardens the cutting edge to
about .010" deep to obtain about a seventy-two Rockwell on the surface. Our
steel has a black oxide coating to reduce pitch build up and rust, it also gives the
steel uniform color due to case hardening color differences, this steel is a bit
more brittle than other non-case-hardened steels. Excellent for stubborn
hardwoods and softwoods, but not recommended for woods like knotty Alder, the
abrasive planing techniques of rough lumber mills on this species of wood leave
abrasive particles in the face of the lumber and chips the cutting edge of the steel
while milling, if you have profile jointers on your molder this steel will work
perfectly for your application.
Endurance - This is our superior quality grade of high-speed steel for making
molding cutters. Starting with Vanadium base steel, we then apply Physical
Vapor Deposits (PVD) coating in an Ion sputtering magnetron chamber. These
deposits consist of a five-layer film of Aluminum, Chromium, Molybdenum,
Nitride, and Titanium. This forms an extremely hard and heat resistant cutting
edge twice as hard as C2 grade carbide. Because the coating is so thin (.002”),
normal vitrified rough grinding wheels and cubic boron nitride
wheels can be used on this product. Special care must be taken not to hone the
face of the knife with anything but a block of wood. Tool life is increased up to
600 percent (subject to one’s opinion) over normal high-speed steel. Small
amounts of medium density fiberboard (MDF), five hundred lineal feet or less can
be milled with this grade of steel.
Tungsten Carbide -
Expensive in cost (see pricelist), this application requires
diamond grinding wheels to sharpen the knives. Excellent milling life from one
thousand to twenty thousand lineal feet between sharpening. Used on products
fiberboard (MDF) and plastic composites, exotic wood
species such as Anigre, Teak, Ironwood and Monkey Pod to name a few. We
offer this in precut lengths of European style backer plate & solid carbide for
profile knives, and inlay carbide for straight planer blades.
Every woodworking company has their own quality standards for the lumber they process;
some shops will mill a wider range of lineal footage than others in the estimates given above.
Many factors come into play when trying to determine the amount of actual footage of lumber
you can mill between sharpening of the knives. Things such as design of the knives, quality
of wood, whether the lumber was pre-surfaced or rough sawn before the milling process,
whether the wood was abrasive planed rather than surface planed. If you hit a staple in the
ends of the boards it will chip the steel or carbide regardless of the grade. As a woodworker
we hope you realize the scenario and the points we are addressing, if we can be of any
further assistance please feel free to contact us, we would be happy to help you.