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Sharpening with diamond paste

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Alf

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A year and more ago I joked that diamond paste was just about the only sharpening medium I hadn't tried, and now look at me...

Okay folks, the amount of A2 steel I'm sharpening now far outweighs the carbon steel and it's starting to get me down. Not that I can't get an edge with my oilstone, 'cos I can, but it's taking so long. :( In short, sharpening's becoming a chore again and I don't like it. So I was wondering about this diamond paste/compound stuff. I believe Garrett Hack uses some for a fine polish and some intrepid souls have done some research into using it as reported on WoodCentral, but any real life users out there? Any comments at all? As long as they don't get too technical and start in on 0.25 micron, 'cos that's way over my head. I just want to deal with this ruddy A2 stuff quicker, that's all.

Failing that, I wonder if there's any chance of getting L-V to offer a HCS blade option...? :-k

Cheers, Alf
 

MikeW

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Hi Alf,

Should LV not offer HC irons, it could be possible that Hock would consider filling in that "need." He probably would make them on request anyway, I just don't know what his price would be. Might be worth an email.

Sorry I couldn't address the diamond paste issue. If I remember correctly, you also don't like using stones that require water? Shaptons require little more than a misting and do work well on A2, albeit still more slowly than good ol' HC steel. Seems like you would only need is a 320 and a 1500 before you went to the oil stones.

btw, I notice on the Shapton website that Frank Klausz now uses them:
http://www.shaptonstones.com/pages/frank.html

Now, aren't you glad you didn't have to pay for that :roll:
 

Brent

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Hi Alf,
I've been using the water based diamond paste that Joel at "Toolsforworkingwood" sells. I start off my sharpening with Norton waterstones and finish with the paste.

The paste seems to give me a bit more of an edge with A2 than the stones alone. As far as quicker goes, I'd have to say no. I go up thru the stones and then the added steps of the paste to finish, so I'm really taking longer, but the edge is better after the trouble. It might just be me justifying the extra time, but the edge does seem to last a little longer after using the paste. BTW, I use maple as my surface for the diamond paste.

Brent
 

Alf

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Thanks, chaps.

Mike, it'd never occurred to me to ask Ron Hock. Hmm... The Shaptons I don't warm to at all, I'm afraid. Water and expense. Urgh. :wink:

Brent, that's interesting, thanks. The matter of a substrate seems to be one that causes much discussion but I've noticed maple seems popular. Are you just using the higher grades from Joel then?

As regards using it after stones, I was actually considering trying just paste alone. Hmm, still in a dozen or so minds on this. I could just whack a hollow grind on all the plane blades which'd cut down my honing time I suppose. But I'm sort of curious about it now... :-k

Cheers, Alf
 

Brent

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Alf,

Yes I use only the 1/2 and 1/4 micron paste. I use only a pull stroke once I get to the diamond paste. I keep the 1/4 micron plaque handy for quick honing while I'm working.

Brent
 
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Alf":3d2sstmn said:
So I was wondering about this diamond paste/compound stuff. I believe Garrett Hack uses some for a fine polish
Cheers, Alf
I believe Garrett adds diamond paste to his oilstones. Just something else to try. :lol:
 

Wendell

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I've been playing around with diamond paste for sharpening. I bought some water based diamond paste cheap off Ebay ($30 for six different grits). I tried bare MDF as a substrate and it didn't work at all. Right now I am using plastic laminate (formica) on top of the MDF. It seems to work pretty well. I've sharpened all of five blades with it so far but I am happy with the results. I am not completely convinced about the quality of the diamond paste I bought. The highest grit I have (50,00 mesh) doesn't seem to leave as good a finish as the next highest grit (14,000 mesh). My next step is to buy a better substrate and try a different brand of paste in the higher grits. I really want to try cast iron as a substrate but I can't find a good source, ie cheap source.

Wendell
 

Alf

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Sorry, chaps, meant to get back to this earlier. Many thanks for all your thoughts and experiences.

Roger, Mr Hack's use of the stuff on oilstones may have influenced me in no small measure to try them. Heck, he likes oilstones, I like oilstones. He likes diamond paste, ergo... I hope. [-o< :wink:

Wendell, I briefly contemplated an incredible deal via an Ebay shop, remembered what you wrote, and resisted. 8) I think it's probably wise, if financially painful :roll:

Anyway, I've taken the plunge* on a syringe each of 45, 15 and 0.5 micron paste, based on the grades Joel stocks. Dunno when they'll turn up, but in the meantime I think scouring the workshop for likely substrates is in order. :lol: You just know I'll keep you posted on how it goes... :-# :oops:

Cheers, Alf

*Plunge. Syringe. Gettit? Oh never mind.
 

David C

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Alf,

I researched this technique when having difficulty with some powder metallurgy blades.

F & C issue 65 pages 67-70.

The results are incredible but it takes a little extra time. Garrett does indeed add a little paste to his stone or stones, which must be much quicker and easier.

best wishes
David Charlesworth
 

Alf

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David, thank you for the issue ref. I'd found your mention of it on WoodCentral while I was researching, thought "excellent", and then discovered it came slap bang in the middle of a non-F&C buying period so I don't have it. ](*,) Hmm, interesting that this taking longer thing is coming up again; there seems to be experience both ways. Curiouser and curiouser...*

Cheers, Alf

*and if anyone can say that, I can :lol:
 

Wendell

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David C":2vo7r2pg said:
Alf,

I researched this technique when having difficulty with some powder metallurgy blades.

F & C issue 65 pages 67-70.

The results are incredible but it takes a little extra time. Garrett does indeed add a little paste to his stone or stones, which must be much quicker and easier.

best wishes
David Charlesworth
Could you tell us what substrate you used? From my very limited experience , the correct substrate makes a world of difference. When I tried MDF, it just seemed to soak up the diamond paste. I literally couldn't tell any difference between the coarsest grit (360 mesh) and the finest grit (50,000 mesh).

I am surprised that you found it took a little extra time. For me, it was much faster than Scary Sharp and probably about the same as my Norton water stones. The big advantage over water stones to me was less mess.

Wendell
 

Midnight

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I remember my introduction to honing guides... one of FWW's online video clips.. didn't think mych of the guide (I forget who's it was) but remembered the woman in question was using diamond paste to hone with... a little (goes a long way) squirt on some hard maple IIRC...

ring any bells...??
 

Noel

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Mike, that was Aime Ontario Fraser a couple or 3 years ago. A good article on all the various sharpening methods.

Noel
 

Midnight

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yupp....... 3 years sounds about right... back in the days when I was young and planeless....
 

Jake

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I'm going to sound naive, but what is the advantage over diamond stones?
 

Noel

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Jake":et1c80id said:
I'm going to sound naive, but what is the advantage over diamond stones?
Jake
Although decent Monocrystalline Diamond Stones have their uses such as initial preping the finest diamond stone is only about 6 microns (a micron is roughly 1 millionth of a metre, if I recall) which I think is roughly 3000X grit. Most people prefer honing edges somewhere at or beyond the 6000X to 8000X grit. This is where the diamond paste comes in. With a decent substrate, say maple or similar or leather, glass, MDF etc, final honing can be done using various grits of diamond paste down to 1/2 micron.
If you're totally anti waterstone honing with paste can be a good and quite inexpensive option. No mess with watery slurry, wide choice of substrate, once finished honing just wipe the blade and leave the paste on the substrate until next time as the diamond particles are suspended in oil and will not dry up, at least not in the short term. Incidentially chromium oxide crayon (1/2 micron) can be used in a similar fashion.
Hope the above makes sense, waaay too tired.

Night

Noel
 

Noel

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Just read over previous posts in this thread. Forgot about water based diamond paste. Personally I suspect this would be soak into various substrates such as MDF (as someone mentioned) and leather where as the oil based paste would be more stable and longer lasting???? Looking forward to Alfs' research.

Noel
 

David C

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Wendell,

I used MDF which had been soaked in Danish oil (24 hours) and allowed to dry thoroughly. Being impatient I stuck 4 mm MDF to 1/2 quarry tiles with polyurethane glue, before soaking. This meant that it dried in less than the one month recommended.

It was then sanded flat with well worn 240 W & Dry. The theory being that a rogue loose grit would be easily detectible with a fingertip.

Aimee Fraser and others use maple which sounds much easier, as long as it stays flat....

Alf, I'm afraid it is your resistance to waterstones which is causing you this problem. I get a wonderful edge on cryo A2 in about 4 minutes max. as do all my students. The oil stone issue may also explain why Garrett is not quite as keen on A2 as some others........

best wishes,
David Charlesworth
 

Alf

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MDF soaked in Danish Oil?! Ooo, that's a new one on me. Hmm, another thing to try it seems.

Waterstones. Oh, I've thought about trying them again many a time and oft, but they're so messy. Then there's the whole flattening thing which I have no patience for, the danger of frost in the winter, the whole water on tools issue. Too many prejudices against, I'm afraid. It's not the oilstone that's the problem, it's this flaming A2 steel. I'd happily stick with HCS and be happy, given the choice.

And before you ask, yes, I'm still living in the cave and it's re-heated Sabre-tooth Tiger for tea again tonight... :lol:

Cheers, Alf
 

Jake

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Oh right, I misread Alf's post as meaning she was going to use paste for all the grit sizes, rather than for the honing stage.
 
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