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waterstone and diamond plate observational notes

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Forum topic by SirTonka posted 10-20-2013 04:51 AM 2228 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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SirTonka

67 posts in 1231 days


10-20-2013 04:51 AM

Topic tags/keywords: sharpening refurbishing resource

In a previous post here I asked y’all for help finding the grit of a few mystery stones. Last week I ordered an EE coarse DMT plate (the 8” version of DMT’s lapping plate) and started to test the stones. My goal was to find out what grit order each stone fell into and to record the process. Before I jumped into sharpening everything in sight I wanted to get my mind around what was going on. So I started out with what gave me the best testing surface available, by purposefully lapping through the various stones with the sole of a small bullnose plane.


EE


Coarse


Fine


E Fine


EE


EE


Mystery stone dark brown


Mystery stone dark brown


king 1000


king 1000


king 1200

king 1200


Mystery stone dark grey

Mystery stone dark grey

Mystery stone light tan

Mystery stone light tan

First things first, the EE coarse is simply, hot damn! Was impressed after the testing and decided to compare the abrasive power versus a cinder block, even with the longer stroke of the block, the EE cuts true, and fast!

The stones and plates tested:
DMT – EE coarse – coarse – fine – E fine
King – 1000 – 1200
Mystery stones – dark brown, dark grey, light tan

Starting out with a fresh EE made for quick initial lapping, the story changed when moving up to a used coarse.
Noticed that it was nearly impossible to practically remove the full depth of the grooves left by the EE using the coarse. My thought is this step up in grit was just too far of a stretch. Also, there were rouge diamonds making the journey to the next surface from the EE, and singularly scratching a trench will unyielding pride.

The planned method of testing was to lap the bullnose sole using a known surface and test against the mystery surface to pin down a best estimate for the grit ranges. Having issues with the jump in DMTs I went to the dark brown stone, the likely candidate for coarser mystery stone. This left a scratch pattern finer than the EE and seemingly finer that the coarse, and I noticed a haze develop over the entire sole. The EE had full coverage, the DMT coarse was hitting only the highs, and the dark drown was doing a great job on everything but the deepest of EE grooves.

Everything was moving along and I started lapping with the king 1000 and then the 1200.
I was surprised by the metal’s surface, it looked like a RGB TV screen viewed under a magnifying lens but this color shifting property was plainly visible without an eye lens. This was the point I realized comparing the finished surfaces, left by the DMTs and Stones, to quantify grit range is a guessing game.

DMTs scratch patterns are easily seen and progressing to the next plate leaves a contrasting boundary area highlighting the change. With the stones, all I could see was a finer matrix of RGB clusters. And when moving from a fine stone to a fine DMT, I find the flatness of a diamond plate persistent indeed.!

I know DMTs are as near a perfect plane my shop will ever need, and the surface of the sole ended up looking like a metal worker went to town hand scraping true flat. But I do enjoy the kaleidoscopic properties left by the stones!

Conclusion
Mystery stone – dark brown 400-600, king 1200 < dark grey ~2000< light tan ~2000-???

Hope to add something to the knowledge base

Not the final word, now my plan is to buy a microscope and see just what is going on with that metal.
And I fully understand the diminishing returns pursuing deeply into a tangent like this, from my point of view its all about learning the fundamentals… experienced thoroughly.


12 replies so far

View djwong's profile

djwong

167 posts in 2687 days


#1 posted 10-20-2013 08:54 AM

I have limited experience with natural waterstones, but with use the abrasives break down into smaller particles in the slurry. This is one of the reasons you get a cloudy finish from natural stones as opposed to the shinny surface you get with your diamond plates. Natural stones leave non-uniform scratches. If you continue to use your natural stone as it dries, you can create a polish as the particles in the dry slurry get finer and finer as they roll around. All this means that it is difficult to get a firm identification of the grit size. A microscope or even a 10x magnifier would help a lot.

Your dark grey stone reminds me of my Aoto. They can range from soft and muddy, to hard and slightly muddy. Mine is on the hard side, probably in the #3000 to #5000 range. Other are in the #2000 – #3000 range. One of the identification clues to a natural waterstone can be the color. You may be able to find some info searching for “jnat” info.

There is a lot of much better information about this than I am presenting. You can also try http://straightrazorplace.com

-- David W. Cupertino, CA

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SirTonka

67 posts in 1231 days


#2 posted 10-20-2013 06:05 PM

djwong, thanks for the info, and yeah exploring the surfaces under magnification will be fun. By the way the light tan is a softer stone and the dark grey stone is much harder, both get muddy fairly quickly. I do not soak either of these, just a coating of water that lasts a minute or so.

One other note is that the DMT only works the high spots, which oddly can make it slow going to get a uniform surface, but with a flattened waterstone either it’s the swarf build up, suction to the surface, or a slightly varying surface, the stones are able reach a uniform surface fast but when going back to the DMT the high points shine through and little if any high spots are worked down. I am interested in testing the Atoma Diamond Plate, the clustering of diamond crystals seems like a tech that would do a better job of knocking down the highs quicker than the DMT plates.

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djwong

167 posts in 2687 days


#3 posted 10-20-2013 07:29 PM

That is interesting about the DMT plates. I have 3 Atoma plates (#160, #400, #1200), but I mostly use them for flattening waterstones. When they were new, they did quick work on metal – I only ever used they to help correct chipped bevels. Now 2 years on, they are much slower but still work. I don’t like to use them on blades because they can do more damage to the blade edges, leaving them very ragged. I mostly use japanese laminated blades.

-- David W. Cupertino, CA

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SirTonka

67 posts in 1231 days


#4 posted 10-20-2013 08:12 PM

I read the fine ragged edges left by the Atoma plates are great for cutlery, which makes since having a serated razor edge as a kitchen knife. When flattening waterstones I use the EE 120 DMT, what is the process you go through with the Atomas and are there noticable benifits gained by using your method?

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djwong

167 posts in 2687 days


#5 posted 10-21-2013 08:00 AM

I don’t do anything special with the Atoma plates. I use the #160 for flattening waterstones #400 to #1000. I use the #400 Atoma on #2000 and above. My usual procedure is to bring the plate to the stone, take 5-10 long strokes, 5-10 diagonal strokes (right and left), 5-10 more long strokes, and a few circular or figure-8 strokes.

I like the #160 because it does not stick to the stones. My #400 is by now easily clogged with stone residue which does not rinse off without wiping with an abrasive pad. I admit that I do not clean the diamond plates after each use because of the mess.

-- David W. Cupertino, CA

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

3927 posts in 2710 days


#6 posted 10-21-2013 07:29 PM

How flat were the stones before using? Most interesting project.

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SirTonka

67 posts in 1231 days


#7 posted 10-21-2013 10:54 PM

djwong, did not know smaller grit stones would need a finer lapping abrasive. Happen to know why you do it?

MrRon, Thanks, I used the 120 micron DMT on each of the waterstones and made sure the entire surface was fresh, don’t know how flat, would need to pick up a reference plate and feeler gauges

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djwong

167 posts in 2687 days


#8 posted 10-22-2013 02:30 AM

I use the #400 Atoma on finer stones only because I have read this is what many people do. You can also use the reason that you do not want to abrade your finer stones any more than you have to, so as not to wear it down faster. Many people also feel that a coarser diamond plate on fine stones will leave a rougher surface (deeper scratches), and that these will end up scratching the steel blades unevenly. I do not really believe that last one myself.

-- David W. Cupertino, CA

View realcowtown_eric's profile

realcowtown_eric

565 posts in 1404 days


#9 posted 10-22-2013 03:14 AM

no shop that works with fine edges should be without a microscope.Used to be some Russian binocular dissecting scopes for cheap on the ‘bay a few years ago. I got all I need, so I ain’t been looking. Betcha the chinois has a few for sale….

They do stuff that reading glasses just can’t do…get one and be prepared for a few suprises….

Here’s one I’d like to find…..
http://www.ebay.com/itm/American-Optical-Spencer-Binocular-Inspection-Microscope-/190931831758?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2c746c8bce

here’s the more economical solution….
http://www.ebay.com/itm/American-Optical-Spencer-Binocular-Inspection-Microscope-/190931831758?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2c746c8bce

Eric in Calgary

-- Real_cowtown_eric

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SirTonka

67 posts in 1231 days


#10 posted 10-22-2013 05:39 AM

djwong, I can see flattening regularly with the 400 atoma would reduce wear, but really all of the stone has to be brought into being flat, one way or another, by removing the same amount of material. Interesting regardless.

eric, was hoping to pick up that exact type of scope, have been looking for a mineralogist/geologist binocular

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djwong

167 posts in 2687 days


#11 posted 10-22-2013 07:46 AM

For additional reference – I use a 15x LED loupe from Lee Valley. It is under $30, handheld, and battery powered. If I could justify the cost, I would get a 100x Peak stand microscope (~$250)

-- David W. Cupertino, CA

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SirTonka

67 posts in 1231 days


#12 posted 10-22-2013 05:31 PM

David, Looks like a peak 100x sold in September for cheap, http://www.ebay.com/itm/PEAK-MADE-IN-JAPAN-STAND-MICROSCOPE-2008-25-100x-plus-extras-/181210434805

Looking to find a cheap trinocular microscope with camera mount for small scale photography, and that purchase would open the door to a whole new world. By image stacking multiple shots at different focuses you can make a single frame look as though it came from an alien landscape.

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