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Woodcarving Tools, Technology & Sharpening

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Old 12-02-2003, 09:34 AM
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Default Sharpening, diamond vs. ceramic

I am a recently new carver, and am to the point where I need to begins maintaining my gauges more then just stropping. In reading previous posts, and checking appropriate data on the subject, it appears that the two main sharpening devices on the market are the 2 ceramic stones and the playing card sized diamond 3 pack. The diamond 3 pack is cheaper by about 40%, so has that advantage. Would those of you who have used both be willing to share your experiences as to which of the two choices you feal is the must functional system and the best overall coice to work with? Your comments are greatly appreciated. Thanks. Dick
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Old 12-02-2003, 09:48 AM
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Default Re: Sharpening, diamond vs. ceramic

I have used both, but I prefer the ceramic stones I use the white one probably 99% of the time I hardly use the brown one only when I need to take out some damage. The ceramic are good for small gouges and knife's but are too small in my opinion for the large gouges. Also I find that if I strop after and even during a carving session then most of the time I dont have to go to the stones I can get the result I need from just stropping.
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Old 12-02-2003, 12:00 PM
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Default Re: Sharpening, diamond vs. ceramic

I have used both, but still prefer the hard and soft natural arkansas stones.
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Old 12-02-2003, 06:48 PM
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Default Re: Sharpening, diamond vs. ceramic

I am also considering either buying a set of the cermaic or diamond stones.

The cermanic don't have as many grit sizes offered and they are not as hard as the diamond stones. Therefore, sharpening should take a little longer and they may not last as long as the diamond.

The new DMT Diasharp stone seems a good choice to me. It is a continuous sharpening surface without the little circle cutouts associated with the other DMT products. That means you can sharpen small gouges without them falling in the cutouts.

I still have trouble maintaining a constant angle throught the sharpening process and need help in that area.
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Old 12-03-2003, 09:50 AM
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Default Re: Sharpening, diamond vs. ceramic

Most diamond stones have a little solid pad at one end just for small pieces that would fall through the cutouts. Since the little cutouts are where the metal particles go after being ground off it seems like a large unbroken surface would clog up without something to float off the particles. Either that, or if they don't imbed themselves you would have to knock or brush them off the stone every so often. So what would be the point. I use either a synthetic india stone or a water cooled grinding wheel. Unless you need the absolute flat doing a chisel it doesn't seem necessary to have a diamond, or even ceramic. But them maybe thats just me :-/
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Old 12-05-2003, 08:01 AM
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Default Re: Sharpening, diamond vs. ceramic

I have also used my 4 1/2 inch grinding wheel. Except I sharpen it by hand and don't run the grinder, just run a lot of water. I then use one of the Turtle wax rubbing compounds used to remove scratches from cars.

How this came about was when I was using a cold chisel to repoint some block and became frustrated with the dullness. I didn't want to use my wetstone because I was fearful it would mess up my knives, wood chisels and gouges. I used the turtle wax rubbing compound because i was low on stropping compound. I then tried it later on with older wood chisel and it worked okay. I'm not sure how well the rubbing compound actually worked but I think it helped with the friction.
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Old 12-07-2003, 07:27 AM
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Default Re: Sharpening, diamond vs. ceramic

The diamond & the ceramic both work very good. Each has it's good & bad points. The ceramic puts a slicker finsh than the diamond but, you'll need to wash it with dish detergent & a nail scrub brush to keep it clean. The diamond, just wipe with a rag & it's clean. Both will last almost a life time .

Which ever you choose, get the largest one you can. The card size , & short narrow ones will get your fingers cut trying to hold them. They will also teach you bad habits because they're just too small to use properly.

John Dunkle ( Dunkle Knives ) says to use pig skin on your strop or, the thinest, hardest leather possible. Coat liberally with Yellowstone compound & don't clean it after it gets black. That's when it works good. It's all sharpening compound. No waxes or grease to clog up the leather. *I tried it his way , I've been sharpening knives for over 30 yrs, it made a great difference in how sharp my tools became. I'm a firm believer in this method.

All the above is just my opinion but, it works for me & the other people I've shown.
God Bless,

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Old 12-07-2003, 06:24 PM
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Default Re: Sharpening, diamond vs. ceramic

For a quick touch up of almost any blade, I've found that the 6 dollar EZ-Lap diamond stone from WalMart or K-Mart's sporting goods sections works really well. The diamond dust is imbedded in a flat steel blank about 1x4 inches and has none of those irritating oval gaps. The stone is small so you have to watch your fingers, but really cuts well, and lasts quite a while. They are the polycrystaline type so they will wear out, but I've been using one for over six years now, and it still works fine.

I've also found that the small round (5/16') ceramic rod works well for honing the gouges, both inside and outside.

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Old 12-07-2003, 06:56 PM
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Default Re: Sharpening, diamond vs. ceramic

I went to our Walmart and couldn't find those EZ lap diamonds or the ceramic stick? they didn't know what I was talking about and when I finally did get to see what sharpening stones etc they had, were expensive and not what you are talking about.....think maybe I will have to go to a super wallyworld to find them!
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Old 12-07-2003, 08:36 PM
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Default Re: Sharpening, diamond vs. ceramic

I pickedup a set of the small diamond hones from Harbor Freight. I liked them so much I ordered the set of large ones too! They come in 3 grits, fine, medium, course and can really do a number on the dullest of tools! Even after the diamond hones, I still like to take a few swipes on a hard Arkansas stone before stropping.
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