Hand Tools Archive

Subject:
An easeir way?

Bill Tindall, E.Tn.
Seems like there would be some sort of diamond tooling that would mount in a milling machine. Or, using a silicon carbide abrasive on whatever you ground the cast plate on, grind the stone like you would grind hardened steel.

The problem with a glass substrate is that glass is too hard. The abrasive doesn't embed in the glass and become fixed. To get any abrasive action the abrasive particle must be fixed relative to the motion of what is to be ground. Hence, it mostly rolls around in use. Silicon carbide fractures easily so most of the abrasive becomes crushed in use.

Never tried it, but one of the rocks used for kitchen counter tops might be better than glass. The right rock will be a bit porous, or it might have some softer minerals in a hard quartz matrix, and might fix the abrasive better.

I still find it astonishing that the superior properties of a diamond abrasive are used to flatten rocks which are in turn used for sharpening, rather than cutting out the middle man and using diamond to begin with. If I had access to a surface grinder I would not fret carry-over contamination. I could then use a fast cutting diamond paste for initial edge preparation (15 micron) , refine with 1 micron and done.

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