Hand Tools Archive

Subject:
In a nutshell (well, for me, anyway)

David Barnett
Since you have oilstones and can get a wicked sharp edge on oilstones, and since most of your tools are older, simpler steels, cast steel, water-quenched through O1, I'd say stick with oilstones. They're low maintenance, and with stropping can produce a beautiful edge on the most common workhorse blade steels that do the bulk of heavy lifting in hand tool shops. You're not apt to realize significant gains -- no obsolescence.

If, however, you find the going slow on A2, D2, or some other more durable steel than O1, and anticipate trying even harder, tougher steels, whether because you're branching into more challenging wood species or are simply curious, then I'd certainly recommend diamond. Here, diamond offers the extension to all steels beyond those you've heretofore tried, with the advantages of cheapness and less maintenance than progressing to waterstones.

Now Wilbur offers convincing evidence that waterstones can be quickly used and maintained, especially when set up in a sharpening station similar to his own, but I still find diamond somewhat faster, generally cheaper and less fiddly in setup and portability.

The losers in this progression are actually the waterstones. I still use oilstones for hand sharpening small cutting tools for incising hard materials, narrow chisels, and for freehanding carbon steel gravers. For certain graver geometries, they're hard to beat. I also like my older Arkansas slips and files for older carving tools. For tools of high sectional density, things apt to poke and penetrate with ease, I really don't favor waterstones.

If, however, you'd said you had waterstones, I'd have said stick with those for chisels and planes until you determine whether you need something beyond them. Chances are, you'll be satisfied.

For absolute beginners, I'd recommend starting with diamond. For honing, a beginner can get everything they need, a 600-grit diamond stone, 14,000-grit paste and something to spread it on for well under a hundred dollars, and as Joel advocates on his website's excellent guide to sharpening, going commando, that is, sans jigs, is the way to start.

And as was pointed out to me only this week, should beginners someday be fortunate enough to find HSS hand tool chisels and plane blade in more common use, they'll be able to grind them somewhat fearlessly on just about any inexpensive imported grinder to produce that easily-indexed hollow bevel.

One recommendation, if you want to explore diamond, might I suggest starting with only the 14,000-grit paste. Choose a blade you already own and like, bring it to your best final stage, then go to the paste-charged lap. See how you like that edge, how nicely it cuts, how easy it is to produce and keep cutting. This will tell you a lot. [edit] It should also cost you less than ten dollars for five grams, which will last you a long, long time.

Anyway, that's how I see it in a nutshell. Others will differ. Vive la différence!

Messages In This Thread

CPM 3V vs. CPM M4 ?
Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Re: Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Re: Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Re:Length of thread
Re:Length of thread
How do you sharpen your nib,Marv? *NM*
Re: How do you sharpen your nib,Marv?
What good would a short answer do? :D *NM*
Yet another new metal (long)
Priceless
Way to go Bill !
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Re: Sticks and stones... sounds like woodworking
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Re: Bravo!
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Re: Bravo!
Christ all mighty...
Finally!
So...
Your moderator, reading this subthread... *NM* *PIC*
But Bee-wee,we wuv you...
Re: But Bee-wee,we wuv you...
"...but I know he does..."
We do what we can
Re: CPM 3V vs. CPM M4 ?
that is the problem
Re: CPM 3V vs. CPM M4 ?
Re: CPM 3V vs. CPM M4 ?
Re: CPM 3V vs. CPM M4 ?
Re: CPM 3V vs. CPM M4 ?
Re: CPM 3V vs. CPM M4 ?
Re: CPM 3V vs. CPM M4 ?
Re: CPM 3V vs. CPM M4 ?
to repeat a chisel dulling discussion
Re: to repeat a chisel dulling discussion
Re: CPM 3V vs. CPM M4 ?
I`m just happy...
Wait...
Metals
Re: Metals
must consider the whole process
Re: Metals
Re: Metals
As my dentist once said...
Bring on the Novocaine! A brief missive.
Cr-V question, then...
Re: Cr-V question, then...
realize significant gains???
View from the peanut gallery
In a nutshell (well, for me, anyway)
hardness, toughness
Re: hardness, toughness
could you explain the numbers?
You bet.
Re: You bet.
Re: You bet.
Re: You bet.
Re: You bet.
Where on earth? What on earth? Huh? Say whuh?
Since when has mass acceptance and ...
Re: Since when has mass acceptance and ...
Those are the numbers! *LINK*
Re: Those are the numbers!
I'm confused, Warren
Re: I'm confused, Warren
Re: Those are the numbers!
I'm impressed!
Re: I'm impressed!
"Sherman, set the Way Back machine for... "
Re: "Sherman, set the Way Back machine for... "
Why diamond wheels aren't used to grind steel
Re: diamond wheels - that's what I was after
Grinding Temperatures
Steve knows stuff.
Diamond wheels? Who brought up diamond wheels?
Re: Diamond wheels? Who brought up diamond wheels?
Your closing line reminds me of Dan O'Neill,
There I went again.
Re: There I went again.
Well, I was thinking about a diamond wheel. :) *NM*
Re: The diamond and HSS thing...
Re: The diamond and HSS thing...
Re: The diamond and HSS thing...
It's not so much a file protection thing as a... *LINK*
Just out of curiosity,
Re: Just out of curiosity,
Re: Just out of curiosity,
Re: "Sherman, set the Way Back machine for... "
Can you expand this thought Warren?
Good catch! *LINK*
Aim Hardness for 3V
Interesting and valuable *LINK*
3V Heat Treatment Schedule
Very helpful, Steve
Cryo
"How ya gonna keep 'em down on the farm... "
The good stuff
I like bacon. :@) *NM*
Re: I like bacon. :@)
Gotta agree Warren
Re: The good stuff
Re: The good stuff
Re: "How ya gonna keep 'em down on the farm... "
Heat treating -- the simple and not so simple
Re: Heat treating -- the simple and not so simple
Tom's right, Pam -- but wait! There's more! *LINK*
Re: Tom's right, Pam -- but wait! There's more!
Re: Tom's right, Pam -- but wait! There's more!
Re: Tom's right, Pam -- but wait! There's more!
Steps to completion
Thanks, Bob, understood. *NM*
Re: Tom's right, Pam -- but wait! There's more!
Work hardening?
Re: Work hardening?
Re: Tom's right, Pam -- but wait! There's more!
"All your base are belong to us"
Re: realize significant gains???
BTW #2
Re: BTW #2
Suggestions Larry? *NM*
Let he who is without sin...
Re: realize significant gains???
Re: realize significant gains???
Re: realize significant gains???
Re: realize significant gains???
Re: realize significant gains???
Re: realize significant gains???
Re: realize significant gains???
Re: realize significant gains???
Re: realize significant gains???
Re: realize significant gains???
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A model for decision-making
Re: realize significant gains???
Re: realize significant gains???
Re: realize significant gains???
Re: realize significant gains???
Re: Bring on the Novocaine! A brief missive.
Hi, Andrew! (and a couple things I left out above)
Re: Hi, Andrew! How do they make ...
Here ya go, George. *LINK*
Re:Thanks David, now I know.... *NM*
Different worlds,different approaches
Re: As my dentist once said...
Tow truck? Who needs a tow truck? *LINK*
Re: Tow truck? Who needs a tow truck?
Oh, see? I handed you a straight line back :D *NM*
Re: Metals
Re: Metals
Re: Metals
Re: Metals
Re: CPM 3V vs. CPM M4 ?
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