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Diamond is not that fast

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  • Diamond is not that fast

    I've recently dispensed with my collection of diamond stones. I kept 1 credit card size in a 180/300 grit combo. Beyond that for really removing steel I have found nothing better than a simple silicon carbide stone. Mine is the Razor Edge brand, but Norton are as good. Yes you can wear them unevenly but they are not like waterstones in that regard and a sidewalk makes quick work of any occasional flattening.

    So for me it's Silicon carbide, Fine India, Soft Ark or the Belgian Blue Whetstone, which is similar to a coticule but not as fine and actually better for tools, and Strop.

    I used to be a proponent of diamond but anymore for the carver I would recommend thusly if one is new to carving and doesn't own a thing:
    1. Cheapest 6 or 8 inch Norton Medium Crystolon, , 6 or 8 inch Norton Fine India, Strop with 400 grit Silicon Carbide, Strop with 600 grit Silicon Carbide

    2. The higher end setup 6 or 8 inch Norton Medium Crystolon, , 6 or 8 inch Norton Fine India, Dan's Soft Arkansas, Strop with 600 grit Silicon Carbide I would go with Dan's as the soft from Dan's is more like the Hard Arkansas from other vendors and you get it for the soft price.
    Last edited by fiddlesticks; 03-07-2019, 11:35 PM.

  • #2
    Good to have a method.
    I use the crooked knives mostly so I need mandrels and work with the 3M fine automotive sandpapers. The black papers must be silicon carbide.
    I like having a series of measured grits of known sizes. For just about all of the edges = 600, 800, 1,000, 1,200, 1,500 then hone with CrOx/AlOx.
    I haven't pulled out a waterstone in 2-3 years. Bought everything from Lee Valley.
    I don't need to use all those every time with every edge so that saves some $$ from wear and tear.
    My good leather strop softened and died. Repaced with strips of office file folders and cereal boxes.

    Fid: what are you using for a strop and honing compound?
    Brian T

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    • #3
      I'm with you and RV on this. I became unenamored of diamond hones after I tried 3M papers - quicker and easier. Re strops, I differ with RV - I use Triscuit box cardboard. I think he uses some kind of breakfast cereal cardboard.

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      • #4
        I don't eat Triscuits fast enough. Chocolate Cheerios are another matter. Sure beats the Hello out of leather (and easier to chew).
        Brian T

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Robson Valley View Post

          Fid: what are you using for a strop and honing compound?
          I've shown some of my strops before, but if I were to pick something I could absolutely live with for the rest of my days, it would be 2 strops. 1 with 400 grit silicon carbide powder and 1 with 600 grit powder. They are fast and FINE. On leather the SiC embeds so cuts finer, plus as you know it's friable so breaks down further.

          For you NW curvy things, you'd probably want leather around your dowels to get the full benefit of SiC. Knowing you use paper/index cards you probably want a finer compound because the SiC on paper or cardboard is an entirely different cup of tea.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by honketyhank View Post
            I'm with you and RV on this. I became unenamored of diamond hones after I tried 3M papers - quicker and easier. Re strops, I differ with RV - I use Triscuit box cardboard. I think he uses some kind of breakfast cereal cardboard.
            At first I really liked the always flat, but I didn not like the deep scratches. Eventually I quit using diamond finer than 600 because the scratches were so deep and hard to remove, I figured they couldn't be doing my edges any good, especially as I sharpen side to side.

            The 3m papers are very good as well. I just find them "futzy" for me. I'd rather use a bench stone. But if I need a portable setup or am without stones, for a couple sheets of the right grits of sandpaper are all I need.


            I mentioned that my SiC bench stone is the Razors Edge brand. For a true deal you can watch their site, sometimes they have seconds available on the cheap. They also have an 800 grit SiC bench stone that is wonderful as well. That is the finest SiC bench stone that I'm aware of.

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