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  • thoughts on new Lee Valley sharpening package

    Hello,

    I am very tempted to sell my Norton waterstones and go for this if it doesn't require flattening like it says in the description but all I know is waterstones.

    What are your thoughts positive or negative?

    http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/pag...38&cat=51&ap=1

    Thanks for the input.

    Kevin
    sigpicSPCHT

    Proud member since Oct '06
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  • #2

    Re: thoughts on new Lee Valley sharpening package

    Re: thoughts on new Lee Valley sharpening package

    My son regularly uses the LV diamond paste to hone knives; he put it on mdf and has used the first piece for months. It lasts a very long time used this way. The steel plates and diamond paste should work even better for woodworking tools and would never require flattening as LV states. Seems like a decent deal to me. I would keep my waterstones though since the diamond paste is pretty fine; too fine to reshape with.

    My 2 cents.

    Ken

    Comment


    • #3

      Re: thoughts on new Lee Valley sharpening package

      Re: thoughts on new Lee Valley sharpening package

      Originally posted by Kevin in Keswick View Post
      Hello,

      I am very tempted to sell my Norton waterstones and go for this if it doesn't require flattening like it says in the description but all I know is waterstones.

      What are your thoughts positive or negative?

      http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/pag...38&cat=51&ap=1

      Thanks for the input.

      Kevin

      If you are going to get into sharpening with diamond media, I think diamond paste (on mdf or the milled flat iron) is preferably/more economical that diamond plates where the diamonds eventually do wear down and out.

      There are suppliers of diamond paste in the U.S. that are significantly cheaper.

      I do have a cheap Norton 325 grit diamond plate which I use strictly for flattening my waterstones and it does this job quickly.

      I would get into diamond media if I got into some of the exotic metals that require "better" sharpening media but so far my manmade and natural Japanese waterstones are doing a fine job.

      I do commend LV for bringing together this package and I could see it being a viable option for someone starting from scratch in putting together a sharpening/honing setup.

      good luck

      michael

      Comment


      • #4

        Re: thoughts on new Lee Valley sharpening package

        Re: thoughts on new Lee Valley sharpening package

        I agree with michael. I also use the coarse diamond+waterstones system. If you've got waterstones now I see no reason to get rid of them. If Nortons aren't working for you consider some of the newer waterstones. Stick with a general system you know and avoid the learning curve. Derek Cohen pointed out some of the pros and cons of the diamond paste system on one of the U.S. WW forums (rhymes with "Bill Peak"). Every system has them, pros and cons I mean.

        All this said, I might consider a plate (or mdf) with diamond paste as an alternate to a 8000 stone (if I didn't have a 8000). More of a final strop.

        Jim B

        Comment


        • #5

          Re: thoughts on new Lee Valley sharpening package

          Re: thoughts on new Lee Valley sharpening package

          I use parts of an old cast iron tablesaw top, but if you can't find one or don't want to be bothered, the steel plates look good. The only question I would have about the plates is how well the diamonds embed. The few studies I have seen all said cast iron is the best medium, but I have no idea how hard the steel is and how it performs. Will be good to hear from experienced users how they perform.
          As to the pastes, IMHO the only real necessary paste is the 1 micron, as long as you have a grinding system of some sort (6 inch grinder is what I use). Diamonds cut so fast and efficiently that you don't need the intermediate grits. This not only saves time but lets you avoid contamination issues. If you want a coarser grit for rough work use 45 or 60 micron paste (I have 45 and it really speeds things up).
          I still have my waterstones (Norton, Japanese, Shapton) as well as my oilstones, but the diamond paste brought my sharpenoing up a notch in efficiency. I can sharpen much faster (not just feweer strokes, but no trop to the sink, flattening, rinsing, etc.) with less mess. The fewer strokes needed to remove metal also makes hand sharpening much easier (the more strokes you need, the more chances you have of rounding over a bevel). I've actually thought of selling my waterstones, btu I used them for so long, I'm not psychologically ready for that yet.
          As Michael said, there are cheaper sources for paste. I pay 5 bucks for 5 grams. I can also buy .5 paste (for planing competitions) as well as the 45 micron paste. LV sells the Norton paste (I also bought some from them) which is apparently higher quality (grit size within a smaller range), but I'm not sure it's needed for regular woodworking tools.
          Frank
          SPCHT

          Comment


          • #6

            Re: thoughts on new Lee Valley sharpening package

            Re: thoughts on new Lee Valley sharpening package

            I've done something similar. I picked up a granite surface plate that is ground flat to 1/10,000th inch and use it with the Lee Valley diamond lapping film. Since the stone plate weighs 70 lbs. and is liable to crack or chip if dropped (oh, I hope I never do that on my toes!), I built a pine box with metal re-inforced corners to house and protect it. Down the road, when I build my new shop (right after I win the 6/49), I will embed the granite plate into a dedicated sharpening station.

            The outstanding advantage I see of the new steel plate is that it doesn't weigh 70 lbs.

            I plan on using the diamond lapping film & granite plate for lapping the backs of chisels and plane blades and for grinding out minor nicks in blade edges.. Though it did do an excellent sharpening of my Narex mortise chisels. Routinely, though, I plan to continue to use waterstones for sharpening.

            --
            Cheers,
            Rob

            Comment

            • Thread Continues Below...

            • #7

              Re: thoughts on new Lee Valley sharpening package

              Re: thoughts on new Lee Valley sharpening package

              Originally posted by Darthfrog View Post
              I've done something similar. I picked up a granite surface plate that is ground flat to 1/10,000th inch and use it with the Lee Valley diamond lapping film.
              The outstanding advantage I see of the new steel plate is that it doesn't weigh 70 lbs.
              Rob,
              I'm not sure that the diamond lapping film can really be compared to diamond paste (at least not as a similar option). Both can be used for sharpening, but it's kind of like comparing sandpaper to waterstones. Diamond film is much more expensive than paste in the medium and long term (I'd say even in the short term). A tube of diamond paste would last most people for years.
              Diamond film can be used on small plexiglass plates, which I guess would be an advantage (light weight) compared to paste on metal. The substrate for diamond paste has to be hard enough to use without bending or getting cut by the blade edge, but it also has to be soft enough to let the diamonds penetrate (embed) the surface.
              Last edited by Frank D.; 03-28-2012, 01:15 PM. Reason: fat fingers
              Frank
              SPCHT

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              • #8

                Re: thoughts on new Lee Valley sharpening package

                Re: thoughts on new Lee Valley sharpening package

                How does sharpening with a system like this compare to waterstones for cleanliness and general water factor? I suspect the cleanup is minimal for diamond paste because you don't want to wash your diamonds off your plates? My sharpening sessions usually end up with me being more wet and more cleanup than I would like.

                Also, is there any concerns with using the same honing guide on a diamond paste/steel plate system and also on a waterstone system? Contamination of the diamonds to the waterstones via the roller of the guide? Diamonds embedding in the roller on the honing guide?

                Comment


                • #9

                  Re: thoughts on new Lee Valley sharpening package

                  Re: thoughts on new Lee Valley sharpening package

                  Originally posted by Allegrus View Post

                  Also, is there any concerns with using the same honing guide on a diamond paste/steel plate system and also on a waterstone system? Contamination of the diamonds to the waterstones via the roller of the guide? Diamonds embedding in the roller on the honing guide?
                  Using a roller on diamond paste is a quick way to destroy the roller unless you only put the paste on part of the plate and keep the roller out of it. And since you're normally working from coarse to fine, moving off a diamond paste onto a waterstone risks ruining the waterstone by embedding it with some larger diamonds.

                  Comment


                  • #10

                    Re: thoughts on new Lee Valley sharpening package

                    Re: thoughts on new Lee Valley sharpening package

                    One think that surprised me about these plates was the 5 thou tolerance. If you're honing a smoother blade to take shavings of 1-2 thou, you want a camber of 1-2 thou max. to get a full width shaving. Now if the plate is out of flat by up to 2 or 3 times this it seems to me you've got a problem. I know waterstones can easily be out by this much but they wear in the right direction at least (concave) and you can flatten them. DMT diamond plates are flat to one thou so using one to flatten a waterstone should result in a waterstone about this flat.

                    If I'm being overly anal on this, someone slap me please.

                    Comment


                    • #11

                      Re: thoughts on new Lee Valley sharpening package

                      Re: thoughts on new Lee Valley sharpening package

                      Jim, now that you mention destroying the roller I have a question. Would the roller get destroyed when I use one of these sharpening sheets on a glass plate?
                      http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/pag...04&cat=1,43072

                      I like them, but never thought of the roller when using them.
                      And will it get destroyed on a regular Norton water stone?
                      Thanks, Kris

                      Comment

                      • Thread Continues Below...

                      • #12

                        Re: thoughts on new Lee Valley sharpening package

                        Re: thoughts on new Lee Valley sharpening package

                        Originally posted by Kris in Toronto View Post
                        Jim, now that you mention destroying the roller I have a question. Would the roller get destroyed when I use one of these sharpening sheets on a glass plate?
                        http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/pag...04&cat=1,43072

                        I like them, but never thought of the roller when using them.
                        And will it get destroyed on a regular Norton water stone?
                        Thanks, Kris
                        Kris,

                        I would assume that the roller, being of softer material than diamond paste/pad, would get scratched while the water stones are softer than the roller and therefore not scratch the roller.

                        michael

                        Comment


                        • #13

                          Re: thoughts on new Lee Valley sharpening package

                          Re: thoughts on new Lee Valley sharpening package

                          With the diamond paste, even though the diamonds embed into the plate I think some could get into the bearing of the roller and do damage. With waterstones, diamond film or diamond plates the grit is securely bonded. Before I bought a DMT plate a couple of months ago I asked LV customer service and they said using a roller on it was fine.

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                          • #14

                            Re: thoughts on new Lee Valley sharpening package

                            Re: thoughts on new Lee Valley sharpening package

                            It would seem since you're rolling over the grit not abrading against it like the blade the most it would do is dimple the roller the same as the grit, not wear it. I really don't see any advantage to switching over water stones, if you're just starting out then it may be worth considering for the reasons metioned above.
                            Last edited by OttawaP; 03-28-2012, 05:50 PM.
                            Paul

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                            • #15

                              Re: thoughts on new Lee Valley sharpening package

                              Re: thoughts on new Lee Valley sharpening package

                              Originally posted by Kayak Jim View Post
                              One think that surprised me about these plates was the 5 thou tolerance. If you're honing a smoother blade to take shavings of 1-2 thou, you want a camber of 1-2 thou max. to get a full width shaving. Now if the plate is out of flat by up to 2 or 3 times this it seems to me you've got a problem. I know waterstones can easily be out by this much but they wear in the right direction at least (concave) and you can flatten them. DMT diamond plates are flat to one thou so using one to flatten a waterstone should result in a waterstone about this flat.

                              If I'm being overly anal on this, someone slap me please.
                              Jim - that's .005" over the entire length of the plate...not per inch.

                              Cheers -

                              Rob

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