Sunday, February 26, 2012

New sharpening stones......

It was a kind of ho-hum day. I didn't do much in the way of woodworking, instead it was a maintenance kind of day. I did some sharpening, made a tool holder, picked up a saw, and wasted some gas trying to get an estimate on an upholstery job. Nice to have one of these days once in a while.

First up on the hit parade is a toy I got after watching the sharpening DVD by Paul Seller.  In it he uses 3 diamond plates for his sharpening followed up with some stropping. He said he has been using them for years and is happy with them. You can use them wet or dry. The stropping you can really go nutso on with grits available all the way up to 10000 and beyond. And they come in rainbow colors too.

 I got the fine (600 grit) and extra fine (1200 grit) diamond stones from DMT.  As soon as I get enough pennies in the sock drawer I'm adding the extra extra fine (8000 grit) . I'm undecided about the coarse one (325 grit). That would be used for chip removal and reshaping a bevel. I have a Tormek so I really don't need it, for now.

diamond sharpening stones - 8x3 size
I tried to free hand sharpen my plane iron from my #3. It didn't go well for me. I tried but I just couldn't get the feel for the bevel. I tried back and forth, figure eight, and sideways. Nothing worked and I only accomplished totally screwing up the bevel.

 I ended up sharpening it with my water stones and honing guide. I had to re-establish the bevel and once that was done, ten minutes later I had a bevel shiny enough to shave from.  I also sharpened my LN chisels, 9 1/2 iron, and the iron from my LV edge plane. 

When I got done with my LV iron and I was admiring the nice shine, I noticed that there was chip on the edge. All that work and I only noticed it when I thought I was done. I got rid of the chip on the blade with my coarsest water stone and then used my two diamond stones next.

LV edge plane  -  it's a small blade

 I didn't have any problems feeling/finding the bevel. The diamond stones cut a tad faster than the water stones ever thought of doing. The shine and bevel off of the 1200 grit looked pretty good. Not as good as off the 8000 waterstone but decent.  I finished with my 8000 water stone and polished a nice shine in the bevel. This time without a chip.

I sharpened my 1" and 3/4" crappy chisels on the diamond stones to get some more practice with free hand sharpening. I tried to do it the way Paul Seller did in his DVD but that's going to take a little more time on the pond before that happens. I was able to find the bevel by push/pulling the chisel without any major hiccups. 

I used one diamond stone dry and other one with some water. Of the two I couldn't see or feel a major difference in using either one. However, with the the wet one the metal being wasted away was visible and easier to clean off the stone. Of the two I prefer to use water on them. Paul Seller uses window washer fluid instead of water.

 I really like the diamond stones over the water ones. Less mess is the first big pointer. The second is they cut faster. Third, there is no prepping necessary before using them.  I can't sharpen free hand like Paul Seller does (yet), but I was able to get a decent edge off the stones and after stropping, a decent looking shine on the bevel. 

My crappy chisels were sharp and they did cut end grain very easily. However, comma, slant, back slash, ditto marks, they don't hold an edge and they dull incredibly quick. This is why they are crappy chisels and why I use them for crappy jobs. But with the diamond stones sitting on the bench and being able to sharpen dry, I can restore the hone pretty quick.

I have these chisels and couple of spare plane irons I practice on. My goal is eventually to be able to do all my sharpening free hand. As of now, I freehand my LV edge plane iron because it won't fit in my honing guide. I also free hand my LN 9 1/2 iron and today I did my LN chisels freehand also. I got a good start today in that direction.

 The only negative comment about these diamond stones I can think of is that they are heavy. I got the 8x3 size and all my water stones combined don't weigh as much as these two diamond stones. Even this is a positive because once you put some non skid shelf liner beneath it, it won't move as you use it. I hope that this is the last of the sharpening stones I'll upgrade to.

accidental woodworker

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