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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Realized I had worn through 2/3rds of my 220 grit water stone so I picked up an extra extra course dmt diamond plate. I've realized how much I hate flattening and am wondering if I can get the mirror finish I can with an 8000 grit water stone but with diamond plates. Anyone use nothing but diamond plates?
 

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I've been carving for a decade or so. In the past couple of years, I've paid close attention to the the expressed opinions of other carvers regarding diamond sharpening media. The collective opinion is that media, such as DMT products, are expensive but durable. So in the longer view, possibly more economical.
The fine grit diamond in grit sizes of 1,000 - 4,000 is available in paste form. That's the range which interests me.
As I sharpen not only my own tools but carving and lathe tools for other people, I'd rather not add to the expense. Wet&Dry papers, 600 and up, are inexpensive, always flat and disposable for fresh in a minute.
So. 600 if I really have to. 1K & 4K waterstones, hone with chrome green on a strop (hard leather or file card.) I think of this as a minimalist approach to arrive at the edge qualities that are satisfactory, a pleasure to use.
I don't need anything coarser than that unless I'm repairing real damage. Norton synthetic oil stones are adequate.

Windy as this is, if you need a coarse, broad and always flat sharpening medium, I'd consider some DMT plates.
 

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I've never used water stones, so I can't make a real comparison, but I can tell you about the results I'm getting from my DMT set. I have the three 3" plate set. The coarse leaves visible scoring. The medium (claimed to be about 600 grit, as I recall?) smooths those out, but still leaves a non-mirror finish. The fine (claimed to be 1200 grit equivalent) comes reasonably close. I still wouldn't really call it a "mirror" finish, though you can certainly see reflections in it. From there I go to a strop and call it good.

If you really want to match what you're getting from water stones, you might want to go one or two grits further -- they sell some of their stuff in 2200 and 8000 "grit" grades, which I would think would match your waterstones. To buy a full kit of 8 inch stones (which I'm thinking about, and runs from 45 micron/325 grit to 3 micron/8000 grit) you'd be looking at close to $500, though. I'm not sure how that compares to good waterstones, since I knew the first time I looked at them that I wouldn't take enough care to keep them flat and never looked further.

I hope this helps... I've been looking into these since I got my kit in December and realized how much better it is than my old, old oilstone.

(See this thread for my full comments on the DMT plate set I have.)
 

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Thank you, Andy. Your experiences mirror the results reported by carvers.
I never imagined that I would need the fine grit W&D sandpapers until I started using crooked knives.
I now have 8 of them with different sweeps (so "flat" is meaningless!!) I wrap the papers around 3/4" tubing for fine tuning, the bevels are all between 12 and 15 degrees.

The flattest edges that I work with are a 1S/25 Pfeil skew and a couple of spokeshaves (53mm?)
In neither case am I ever working with more than 1/4" - 3/8" of the edge, anyway.

Your report underscores my thoughts for a long time = there are several methods to establish edges.
The key things are first, pick one that you can afford. Second, sustain the needed angle throughout the entire process.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've never used water stones, so I can't make a real comparison, but I can tell you about the results I'm getting from my DMT set. I have the three 3" plate set. The coarse leaves visible scoring. The medium (claimed to be about 600 grit, as I recall?) smooths those out, but still leaves a non-mirror finish. The fine (claimed to be 1200 grit equivalent) comes reasonably close. I still wouldn't really call it a "mirror" finish, though you can certainly see reflections in it. From there I go to a strop and call it good.

If you really want to match what you're getting from water stones, you might want to go one or two grits further -- they sell some of their stuff in 2200 and 8000 "grit" grades, which I would think would match your waterstones. To buy a full kit of 8 inch stones (which I'm thinking about, and runs from 45 micron/325 grit to 3 micron/8000 grit) you'd be looking at close to $500, though. I'm not sure how that compares to good waterstones, since I knew the first time I looked at them that I wouldn't take enough care to keep them flat and never looked further.

I hope this helps... I've been looking into these since I got my kit in December and realized how much better it is than my old, old oilstone.

(See this thread for my full comments on the DMT plate set I have.)
Thanks, i got my full set of water stones, a veritas hong guide, a wood river #5 hand plane, and low angle block plane for a little over $400, I doubt i will go out and get a full set of dmt plates but when my stones start to give me too much trouble I'll slowly start the replacement process.
 
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