Hand Tools Archive

Re: Early note on Atoma 400
Response To:
Early note on Atoma 400 ()

david weaver
Wiley - I have used two atoma 400s for about 7 years now, maybe slightly less than that.

I got one because I wanted a flat diamond hone and a DMT duosharp had clapped out quicker than I thought was appropriate. Then I got a second because I decided I wanted one I only used on waterstones and one to use flattening things.

My thoughts:
* different than anything else in diamond hones - the diamonds are in piles
* more durable than any other diamond hone I've had
* I gave in and I've used both on metal a fair amount, so they are slower than they were, but the slow is different than other diamond hones. The little piles of diamonds are all there still, they just seem a bit more dull, but they still lap waterstones fine.
* I don't generally use synthetic stones any longer, at least not waterstones, so the only things mine do are natural waterstones and some honing work
* After that many years, they are slower than they were when they were new, and finer feeling (more like an 800 synthetic stone), but still extremely durable and very uniform (my DMTs had a habit of getting pretty worn out and grayed in the center).

I still use a DMT bench stone for synthetic oilstones.

I never touch natural oilstones after they've been lapped once. If I think the coarse ones are too sleepy, I rub them together.

If you have an inclination to use them like waterstones (aggressive cutting), then you have to keep them freshly lapped, and that's OK, I guess, but they don't cut very finely like that. I prefer to work less metal, never lap them, and keep them fine cutting.

Biggs or owyhee jasper (if you can find a slab of it cheap) makes an excellent burr chaser. That costs about $10 if you are patient on ebay, and they are thin and thus need to be attached to something, but jasper settled in is harder and finer than novaculite, and it can be used instead of a leather strop with oilstones.

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