Hand Tools

Re: Thank you all...
Response To:
Thank you all... ()

david weaver
Ahh, that clears it up. There are things you'll need to be very precise about, and things that you won't need to be that precise about.

For diamonds, unless you are going to order an array, I'd say (and this is more careless than some might be) find a domestic supply and order a couple of sizes rather than ordering one.

You may at some point exhaust your supply and want to re-order something. I've used diamonds relatively little, except for flattening irons on a kanaban before I found a better method to do it. Even with that, I've never exhausted any sample that I've purchased, and i don't know if I would have even if i'd used them more.

I can only say that I've ordered vials from a supplier on ebay in 0.1 micron to 5 microns (the latter only due to recent testing - before that, I just has 0.1, 0.25, 0.5 and 1). The vial marked 1 is what I used for testing, and even if it does range from 0-2 (I really don't know), it still looks as fine or finer under the scope than the 1 micron dense-composition artificial sharpening stones.

I'm not going to say how much I've spent over the years on various stones and other things to play with as the whole sharpening thing is a fascination, but it's probably more than 4 figures. The medium and those details have never been that important, every single method has worked, including materials that are supposedly obsolete or useless (like silica based japanese medium and medium coarse stones).

Far more important will be mastering a method that is quick to use and that is successful each attempt.

If you're hand tool woodworking, most things are about putting biases in your favor. I have a mechanical engineering buddy who also has a machine shop background and he struggled with the idea that there are only a few critical things that have to fit and the rest can be biased. He finally gave up on using hand tools. He's the one I mentioned who got a 30k shapton stone, because he just couldn't see how it wouldn't improve his woodworking given the quality (and it's a quality piece of gear).

Bills 1 micron may be finer than my 1 micron as far as diamonds go, but it doesn't matter. The details about what I'm doing when I sharpen matter a lot. Some things are precise (completing the job at the edge of the iron), and some are not (I don't grind with the rest set, I guess at the grind angle because it's not my final angle, and I don't check the final angle of work, either - it's by feel. The setup and the biases allow sharpening to be quick and precise where it needs to be but not where it's not needed).

If you can treat woodworking as a new thing and only transfer over talents from machining when they are applicable, you'll be much further along than comparing and assuming that something important in one is important in another.

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