Hand Tools


david weaver
...I'm accommodating the 3V with the diamonds, but I intend to follow up the irons that chip with diamonds by experimenting with gentler abrasives, first and then with adjusted honing methods. I don't get defects like this sharpening carbon steel on a washita, and polishing further with a hard arkansas when necessary.

I have seen similar with A2, though, with "normal" abrasives.

We are early on here. I can break out a synthetic waterstone and finish everything other than 3V on a sigma power 13000 after a natural stone -step up to that (something like an inexpensive "hard" arkansas that's not really as fine as a black or trans. Stones don't get much gentler than that).

I'm reluctant to use j-nats as a standard in this test because I think most people who buy them get stuck by people selling very blah-type modern stones at a high price.

I expected that the diamonds may actually be more rough with my over-hard O1 iron just because my experience with them (and why I don't use them regularly) is that you cannot use them on some japanese chisels or the edges will crumble either in use or as you're finishing the sharpening regime. One of those kiyotada parers that you sent me is very hard, and it taught me that even silicon carbide can cause that. If gentler abrasives are used and then the finish is a natural stone, the edge holds up well. If the primary bevel is ground to shape with a crystolon stone, the edge won't even make it through the sharpening process.

It's my belief in working with irons that the gentlest abrasive that works is the best choice. Speed in honing is based on proper steps and not fast stones, but I'm afraid that if I don't do diamonds for all of these and the 3V gets them and others don't, and then it outperforms, then I can't say that it isn't the diamonds that helped.

Brent beach used honing films, which is, I guess, a nice way to guarantee that you have a closely graded abrasive, but anyone doing any serious amount of woodworking will flee from them after they have to faff around with them and end up cutting one in the middle of sharpening, or dealing with the horrid feel of glass under a moulding plane iron or carving tool.

We'll get it all worked out. I'm not going to let any of the irons fail to defect and then not try to find a way that it will work without defect, or minimizing them. A good woodworker would take what they have and figure out how it works best. The initial control test will all be done on a same-regimen basis, though. V11, A2, 3V and the chinese iron should tolerate it better than my house made iron or the tsunesaburo iron (that iron is clearly harder than any of the others in this test, and it has the unfortunate pleasure of also getting the hottest when you grind it - even with a light hand - due to the mild steel lamination attached to the iron. Mild steel always generates a lot of heat on a power grinder, even with CBN. But none of my grinding is hot enough to affect temper, not even on that. Just uncomfortable to place the iron immediately into the palm of my hand and hold it there. Any tiny bits of edge remaining that may have gotten hot are honed off. All of these irons have a honed bevel after grind that is approximately 1mm long. then the fine diamond part is a fraction of that. One wouldn't go that far with an iron they were actually using, but I don't want anyone to suspect that there isn't adequate freshly honed iron supporting the edge vs. violently ground edges.

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