Diamond or oilstone/wetstone for sharpening hand planes etc and what grade.

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Alasdair

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Hi there looking for advice on sharpening stones etc. Have been learning to properly sharpen some old stanley/draper planes and been using an old very worn oil stone (its so worn its very dipped in the middle although still flat accross the stone)with angle guide for plane. Getting pretty good results but its taking ages as the blades have been sharpened by hand for years without checking the correct angle. They were also nicked and had a slightly rounded profile. Whats the best Oil stone/wet stone or diamond ? and is there a preferred manufacturer and also grade ie medium/fine etc. Have bought cheap diamond ones in the past but they don't seem to last very long.
Alasdair
 

Phil Pascoe

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Do an advanced search - there are thousands of posts about it. There is a certain member who will post about methods about which he knows nothing and advise you there is is no other way than the one you're already using - except without the guide (a point upon which I agree). Feel free to experiment and make up your own mind - there are no rights and wrongs.
 

Alasdair

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Results I am getting are good although no idea what grade of stone I have. Its probably as old as the planes. I did a bit of research and reckon stone will give finer edge rather than diamond but will tend to wear. I got the guide just to get the angle correct as they all had been badly sharpened at some time. it also makes it easier to hold blade . Seems to be working ok so far. Have tried a diamond one I found in an old box and its coarser and good for removing the nicks etc and then swap to the oil stone which gives me a finer edge. I reckon I should invest in some new sharpening stones though. Any reccomendation on where to buy and what make.
Alasdair
 

Keith 66

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If a stone is badly worn & dished in the middle it can be flattened, either rubbing it on a kerbstone which takes a long time or on a belt linisher which is fast though it will do in a belt pretty quick. I now have about 8 stones & some diamond ones, keep going back to the old grey one which had to have the above treatment! Never bought a new one.
 

Daniel2

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Ok, I'll bite 😂 ,
Until recently I was using Japanese water stones. They were fine, but too slow.
I then invested in Atoma diamond plates from Workshop Heaven .
Too early to say how long they'll last, but so far quite happy with the results.

Edit to say, I also have an old Tormek, which I use for establishing the primary bevel.
 

grumpycorn

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It may be worth trying a strop before you buy any more stones - I use a bit of leather and some polishing compound straight after a medium oil stone, and it makes an amazing difference to sharpness. So cheap it’s worth trying before buying anything else
 

Alasdair

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I have an old Razor strop and never thought of using it. Might be very good for chisels. Will give it a go.
Alasdair
 

TomGW

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I was in Homebase a few days ago and they had a pack of assorted diamond plates reduced to something like £3. They also had Flexovit white stones for a 6” bench grinder reduced from £25 to £1:90. I bought one of those - seemed rude not to.
 

Alasdair

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Found another stone which is very fine. Managed to get an edge on one of old planes that would shave the hairs of your arm. The leather strop was a good idea for chisels as well. I pick diamond plates up in lidl from time to time. They also do pencil type
 

Pedronicus

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I have an old Razor strop and never thought of using it. Might be very good for chisels. Will give it a go.
Alasdair
I have re-purposed a couple of leather belts (that seem to have shrunk! :oops::() and stuck them to a couple of 2x1 PAR sticks. Works a treat for my chisels.
 

Noho12C

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There are many sharpening methods available, each with its pros and cons. One thing to take into account is also the type of metal of your blades : O1 works well with all, while A2 and PMv11 are a bit harder with oilstones (need a secondary bevel on these stones).

Diamond plates work well, watersones are messy but fast cutting, scarysharp is efficient but pricey on the long run, etc.

My method :
- Grinder (Axminster Ultimate Edge to be precise) for primary bevel
- diamond stone 1000 for secondary bevel
- Arkansas transluscent to polish the secondary bevel
- leather strop with green compound to finish it off and refresh the blades (works very well on chisel when doing some paring cuts)

Im happy with this process (works well for O1 steel, acceptable for PMv11, so so for A2 but dont have much A2 in my shop)

EDIT : if your main issue is the primary bevel or the grinding, could you consider a wheel grinder ? I believe you can get a cheap one to do the coarse work, and then use finer stones (whatever you choose) to do the polishing. Regrinding by hand is a pain, no matter the medium used (even with diamond stones)
 

Austin Branson

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Ok, I'll bite 😂 ,
Until recently I was using Japanese water stones. They were fine, but too slow.
I then invested in Atoma diamond plates from Workshop Heaven .
Too early to say how long they'll last, but so far quite happy with the results.

Edit to say, I also have an old Tormek, which I use for establishing the primary bevel.
This is pretty much the position that I’m in, except I don’t yet have a decent diamond stone. My eldest lad has just bought a Rider from Axminster, so I’ll see how he gets on. To be frank, I think most stones/wet&dry paper will work, a lot is down to personal preference. You will get good results from a decent oilstone used with paraffin (don’t use oil - too messy). Go with a Norton or similar. Do not buy a cheap far-eastern stone. My water stones are good, but I daren’t use them in the winter. The Tormek is good, but very slow. If you have the space, and can find one, an old tool grinder with a horizontal stone works brilliantly! But you may have to get the stone dressed. Are you getting the picture? Horses for courses. Btw - I definitely agree with using a strop. Best wishes.
 

clogs

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I only use diamonod plates now...bought mine in the States when on holiday over 25 years ago...still work fine.....were about a $100
have some lovly oil stones (inherited) but dont like the mess and just use em for giving a Stanley knife blade a quick lick......
Only use hand planes once in a while....have a full set tho, great for gluing weights....hahaha.....
last time I used a plane was just to lick/trim a new door.....although my Stanley pocket plane (no 91/2 ?) does get a good work out......
my time is short so if dont work off a P/T and a bit of hand/orbital sanding it don't get done...
sorry....
 

John on the Wirral

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I have just invested in a Draper wet and drystone bench grinder - I haven't used it yet as I am in the long process of setting up my workshop which is much bigger now that I've sold my beloved Riley. Fingers crossed nobody tells me it's a load of rubbish - looks like decent kit for £198. I taught woodwork many years ago so were most people missed the photocopier when they retired I missed my horizontal oil grindstone for sharp edge woodwork tools!
Incidentally,regarding stropping what's wrong with your hand? After putting on the ground anglle - useually after a kid had hit a nail! - I would strop on the palm of my hand without even looking at what I was doing. Cheers John on the Wirral
 
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