Plate runner steel


Who has made a set of plate runners?
What steel has worked well?
Anyone make a set with 304 steel?


Bob Gray:
I've made several sets. The advantages are 304 is relatively inexpensive and easy to find. It is fairly easy to work with (as compared to 440C ), doesn't require heat treating and doesn't rust. The down side is that they don't hold an edge as well as 440C or steels like found in Sarnes runners. However they do sharpen easily and are easy to hone. Wet dry sand paper works best to hone them but they seem to resist sharpening stones.
Bob, US 65

I made a set out of 316.  The place where I had the blanks cut offered both 304 and 316 and 316 was within a buck or two per blank.  I paid something like $55CAD per blank (square-edged water-jet cut), materials included, two years ago.  It would be tempting to try 17-4 PH stainless as a compromise between 316 and 440C, but I suspect it would end up being easier and no more expensive to go 440C.

I have used the 316 slipper bow runner a couple of times in light airs and the set of three a couple of days in snow (one day at GWC and one day in PEI on salt-water ice).  I didn't have any sharpness issues, but in neither case were we on hard ice.

I have built several sets of plate and insert runners out of wear plate 1/4".It rusts and must be dried and oiled after use.It is cheap .can't remember but I think less than $ 50. for a set of plates. It can be cut with acetylene torch and drilled carefully with cobalt drills as it is already hardened .  they hold an edge very well . 1" aluminum bar for stiffeners and 3/8 aluminum rivets .cheap alternative but a lot of people may not like the extra care required cheers wayne matheson


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