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How do I lubricate and clean Diamond Sharpening Stones?

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mikej460

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A bit of context..
I have a Record No. 4 plane badly damaged by rust that I should have slung into the council recycling skip, but after watching Paul Sellers renovating an old Stanley I thought I'd give it a go. However it isn't just surface rust as it has a pitted sole so I went through sheets of 120 Grit Mirka Mirox sandpaper without totally clearing the pitting. Now before you start typing 'if it's flat just leave it' it bugs the hell out of me, and as I'm not making anything except a new greenhouse and bits for my new workshop (now delayed due to timber price increases) I have time on my hands to waste on a relatively inexpensive plane just to see if it's possible to restore it and experiment with different sharpening mediums.

So, inspired again by Mr. Sellers (bless his cotton socks) and forum posts I invested in 3 Vaunt diamond stones and made a holder for them together with a new strop plus 4 angle gauge blocks. It's very functional and dare I say looks ok, so all well and good so far. I then ran the plane over the 300 grit, using some really cheap glass cleaner as lubricant and have started to make more progress. However this morning the 300 grit plate looked as if it had been creosoted. I've managed to clean most of it off and realised it's likely to be rust despite regularly wiping off the plate. So my question is what do others use to lube their diamond stones with that doesn't turn it into a slab of Corten steel?
 
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D_W

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wD 40 or something that doesn't rust is all you need. Ignore the absurd "diamond lapping fluids" that are just mineral spirits and naptha mixed together and then sold for enormous multiples of the costs of those things.

By winding all of the pitting out, you're likely to have made it less than flat, but it'll probably still work OK.

Presumably, you mean you worked the iron on the diamonds and not the plane? Also, since you got it caked using glass cleaner, you can probably just spray it and loosen it with a brass brush or a hard plastic bristle brush or just use the stones with glass cleaner to work the gunk loose, and then use something that doesn't dry so quickly and completely going forward.

I could go on at length about ways to remove a lot of material accurately by hand from a plane casting, but the reality is unless you want to perfect them, it's better just to buy cleaner planes.
 

1275gt

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Hello,
I may be incorrect here so please wait till someone with more experience replies however I was under the impression that cast iron plane bodies are too soft to use with diamond plates and will gum up the surface.

In regards to cleaning and lubricant I used water as a lubricant and would rinse the plates off and with a stiff (nylon) brush wipe the surface, then follow up with a eraser/rubber to remove any remaining marks.

Hope you sort it.
Hassan
 

MarkAW

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Are you using auto glass cleaner rather than standard window cleaner. The one designed for cars is designed not to promote rust
 

D_W

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Hello,
I may be incorrect here so please wait till someone with more experience replies however I was under the impression that cast iron plane bodies are too soft to use with diamond plates and will gum up the surface.

In regards to cleaning and lubricant I used water as a lubricant and would rinse the plates off and with a stiff (nylon) brush wipe the surface, then follow up with a eraser/rubber to remove any remaining marks.

Hope you sort it.
Hassan
They may actually work OK as far as gumming up goes, as they're very "Dry" - the cast comes off in a dust rather than stringy rasped bits like mild steel. But they do have some grip and the real issue with unhardened metals is that they'll pull diamonds off of the hones - right out of the electroplate that bonds them.
 

Chisteve

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I use lidl/aldi kitchen (£1 a bottle) cleaner it appears not water based and will not rust the diamond plates and works well for sharpening plane irons and chisels
 

Suffolkboy

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WD 40 as above or GT85 or even white spirit to lubricate.

Pencil rubbers are great for cleaning out diamond stones, although it sounds like yours might be very badly gummed up. Worth a try though?
 

6x4

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In use I just use a water spray for lubrication BUT i always store them stood up and if required leave them near a source of heat. I don’t have rust.
 

TheTiddles

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Abrasive belt cleaner works well for un-gunking soft deposits, if they are soft
 
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mikej460

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This cleaner was recommended Bar keepers KIL089617 friend power spray 500ml : Amazon.co.uk: Grocery so ordered it and it arrived today - works very well with a nylon nail brush and my stone is now restored. I now know not to flatten plane soles on a diamond stone so thanks to @D_W for the warning. I've binned (recycled) the plane as a lesson learned as the cap iron and blade are pretty messed up and it just isn't worth the effort.
 

D_W

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Bummer to get stuck tossing a plane, but there have been some that I've tossed, even for things as simple as that I could have made them into performers with a couple of hours of work and about $40 in replacement parts. And they probably would've been a tough sale at $40 then because they're not original. Sometimes, that's just the way it goes.

I always rob the screws, lever cap and anything else decent off of them, though.
 

HamsterJam

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I use water on my diamond stone as recommended by the manufacturer (DMT) but rinse the stone under the tap after use and dry it thoroughly.
 

Ttrees

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If you're going to pick up another plane, there is a good chance it being longer, i.e a no.5, no.5 1/2 or longer again.
If you need flatten that one, then take David's advice and don't make it out of flat by lapping, not so much an issue for a short plane like a no.4 as it's short, but for a longer one, the chances of failure are high if you copy Sellers method, as that's really terrible advice he gives.
(should you actually want the plane to be flat or very near it, as there's no point in being able to slip a credit card under the toe and heel)

If you go the sandpaper on glass or lapping plate route in future,
You could likely learn an important tip from this old plane, so hold onto it.

If you haven't wiped out the perimeter area of the sole, (which you really want to keep if you're intending to make anything flat)
Should you not believe, then colour in the edges and try not to remove that material.
This will teach you that abrasion favours the edges.

You'll quickly see that you can't target a particular area without wiping out the edges aswell.
A full sized lapping plate (anything larger than the item)
is just for checking and nothing more, unless you can stack an abrasive on top smaller than the item (without wiping out the edges)

David's way of going about this is obviously quicker than mine.
I have scraped soles before, a bit risky, but never draw filed one.
Some other folk make much smaller blocks and reckon its faster than
a larger area (still smaller than item) like what I do,
as they say you can get a better cut due to much smaller surface area.
Both methods should float off the grit, instead of being suspended and wasting abrasives.

You can use a full sized plate later on, to make it ever so slightly convex by whatever figure you like, (should the plane get to within LN spec, which some folk say uses up wax quicker)
That's easy to do on the full sized plate, but it's also easy to over do and end up too convex, should only take a few wipes to achieve that,
and checking on the flat plate first should only involve no more than three rubs, as the grit will hinder things.

Colour in everything and the high spots will shine up in an instant,
not after 10 rubs, those are the only parts that you should be removing until you check again.

All the best
Tom
 

D_W

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Just as a summary for anyone wondering what the draw filing method is, without going into too much detail:
* you lap the sole on a known flat surface after bluing it (magic marker is fine)
* you draw file then to create small hollows (The file has to be flexible to spot work and not just round edges off - simonds makes one called the maxi cut or multikut or something in 8" size that bends just enough)
* redo the referencing until a very shallow (a thousandth or two) hollow is created around the perimeter of a sole
* lap the outside ring off

Talking about thousandths sounds like a big deal, but if you have a truly flat reference surface, you'll have trouble working faster than a thousandth here or there because removing metal is * a lot of work *. A sharp file works better on mild steel, but it'll be OK at tearing "dust" off of the cast iron.

There isn't a hand plane in the world made flatter than this method yields - I've corrected LNs that were at the far end of their specs (most aren't close, but once in a while, you run across one that's a bit hollow in its length.

Agree with ttrees above - as far as scraping goes instead of draw filing and then lapping an outer ring, scraping can be bonkers accurate by someone who knows what they're doing, but chipping parts off of a plane casting near a corner or near the mouth is almost automatic. I tried it early on - it's hard to work heavily near a plane mouth and not run over it once in a while. Scraping manually, the edge will chip off badly.

The filing is safe and good for any high spots anywhere on a plane where lapping them could just cause other material to be removed. It's not really that important, though, unless a sole has twist or is hollow in the length. Most other conditions are OK.

( )

That norris had a sole well worn diagonally. I won't even say how much it cost, but it was close to four figures as it was uncommon - and it's casted - you can see the dust whereas steel would make tiny pigtails and cuts more nicely. The simonds files are $9 here in the states with shipping, so even if this ruins one, it takes a very expensive plane and makes it nice to use on flat surfaces (and I can ethically sell it as ready to use at some point if desired and nobody will get it and say "well, a Lie Nielsen works so much better").

So much for the quick summary. Flexible file is the key here, and unfortunately, the starrett edge is, too, to know you're actually working to tiny bits accurately. I don't remember the elapsed time with this plane, but if I had a pitted stanley 4, it would probably not take more than 45 minutes to turn it around with a 220 grit finished sole. But it does take a few iterations to get the feel of filing (this process is necessary if you build infills of your own - without machine tools - and you really want them to match or better anything you can buy. This is also a good process to follow once you have a flat sole to make a plane side that's actually square if it's desirable - like on a dedicated shooter )
 
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Ttrees

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This plane will likely also have to offer some things which one might not like to try on something in good shape.
Mating of the cap iron, for whatever reason I cannot achieve the mating of the cap iron like a few folks I've watched.
Checking against a flat iron, not a bellied or concave one,
the cap must show no light.
(which is more important if you actually use the cap iron, search David W (Weaver's) youtube channel or "plane central setting the cap iron" article for that, as most guru's choose not to show you this, to keep you coming back for a dribble of stale water)

The way I've overcome this is by a wee strip/square (once again narrower than the width of the plane)
to enable one to take out the middle by a whisper and have it sit put on the ends, which makes it easy to reach flat.
This is an issue which I've seen many folks mention.

David Charlesworth's advice is second to none regarding planing technique stopped shavings and flat bench.
Mix those planing technique skills with the use of the cap iron, and you have got planing down.
I'll mention if you try and change anything apart from David W's exact advice, you will likely fail.
Don't be fooled by anyone else.

Why I'm saying this last part is because it's likely that the plane will perform not too badly, and you don't need the front of the mouth to
hold down fibers like what some seem to think.
That only half works, compared to the use of a correctly set Bailey/double iron plane.
For seeing decent results of the cap iron yourself, look up Derek Cohen's posts, or look on youtube for
Frank's workbench, Brian Holcombe, Hernan Costa, dusty splinters,
to name a select few.
The English woodworker has a video about it, but that thumbnail is misleading IMO, just listen to what he says and what he's doing.

Good luck again
Tom
 

Ttrees

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Funnily enough David
I've ran a file in a slight skewed fashion before a few times
and it sailed right over the mouth, the end of the file in a skewed fashion, with nothing like that happening, both of those planes have small mouths and are quite old turn of the century, Stanley no.8 and a Record no.5 with more solid frog.
Completely unaware I was of that happening!!!!!!
I would have been very angry if that happened, phew.

What I found was the problem of leaving trenches, so I wouldn't have done that again anyway.
I will try draw filing one the next time if something is that badly out.
And I'll be even more extra careful around the mouth just in case.
Cheers
Tom
 
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