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Thread: LV - Sigma Power Select II Ceramic Stones!

  1. #1
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    Default LV - Sigma Power Select II Ceramic Stones!

    I just noticed the Sigma Power stones on the LV site. I don't know much about them other than the hype that they are fast cutting and are capable of handling M2. Anyone have any thoughts experience?

    Rob made a comment that they were waiting for these before releasing their M2 plane blades. I am not planning an upgrade from my O1 or A2 but it will be interesting to see how both consumers and the market will react.

    Brad

    PS - Link for those who want it...

    http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/pag...89&cat=51&ap=1

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  3. #2

    Default Re: LV - Sigma Power Select II Ceramic Stones!

    Stu from Tools from Japan has been testing stones recently. There are four installments on his blog http://www.toolsfromjapan.com/wordpress/ which compare stones according to different charasteristics. The Bester and Signa Power II stones now offered by LV are included in those tests. There is some interesting info there, and Stu has promised some more soon. I hope this helps.

    Martin

  4. #3
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    Default Re: LV - Sigma Power Select II Ceramic Stones!

    This may be a little off topic, but i'm about to switch to loose diamonds on cast iron. Jury's still out, but if it works as expected stones may be a thing of the past for me. Why invest in more stones when diamonds cut faster and are a lot cheaper than stones?
    Frank
    SPCHT

  5. #4
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    Default Re: LV - Sigma Power Select II Ceramic Stones!

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank D. View Post
    This may be a little off topic, but i'm about to switch to loose diamonds on cast iron. Jury's still out, but if it works as expected stones may be a thing of the past for me. Why invest in more stones when diamonds cut faster and are a lot cheaper than stones?
    Frank,

    I am curious to know more about your cast iron and diamond setup. Do you have dedicated pieces of cast iron that you then put the various 'grits' of diamond paste onto?

  6. #5
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    Default Re: LV - Sigma Power Select II Ceramic Stones!

    I am surprised that there does not seem to be more uptake on the diamond front. I tried them but I am still comfortable with my current sharpening routine based on using Shapton professionals. When my Shaptons get to the point of no return I will take a look at different options but by then who knows what will be available?

    BTW, Frank are you going to use an oil or water based lubricant for the diamonds? IIRC, I think I used the water based from Joel at TFWW. They worked well and I was happy with the results. Are you using an old table saw for the cast iron?

  7. #6
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    Default Re: LV - Sigma Power Select II Ceramic Stones!

    Do these ceramics require flattening? Can ceramics flatten ceramics, or is diamond the only option?
    Chris Wong
    http://flairwoodworks.com
    http://timewarptoolworks.com

    If you don't think your work is good enough, maybe you need a Magic Square.

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  9. #7
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    Default Re: LV - Sigma Power Select II Ceramic Stones!

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott View Post
    Frank,

    I am curious to know more about your cast iron and diamond setup. Do you have dedicated pieces of cast iron that you then put the various 'grits' of diamond paste onto?
    Actually I'm at the stage of looking at an old cast iron tablesaw top waiting to be cut up into sharpening plates. Old ouit-of-order planes can also be used (non-corrugated ones), although some work must still be done to get them to stay put upside-down (unless you put them in a vice).
    From all the reading I've done, and I've done a lot over the past few years, but especially lately on the Wood Central forum, the best setup for msot woodworking tools is some sort of power grinder, then go right to 1 micron paste. That's it. Diamonds cut so fast and efficiently that this setup works well even on tough CPM steels. No need for intermediate grits.
    I will be picking up some 3 and 6 micron paste, just to fool around with and try my hand at grinding with diamonds, but with a power grinder you don't need to. The main, and only from what I can tell, drawback to diamonds is that the coarser grits contaminate whatever soft metal they come into contact with, so if, like me, you use sharpening jigs, you would in theory need a different jig for each grit, or some kind of mat that protects the wheel from the coarser grits. But everyone who I've spoken to has said this isn't necessary, and that the ideal setup for diamonds (power grinding then 1 micron) is faster and cheaper than any other sharpening method.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad McDonald View Post
    I am surprised that there does not seem to be more uptake on the diamond front. I tried them but I am still comfortable with my current sharpening routine based on using Shapton professionals. When my Shaptons get to the point of no return I will take a look at different options but by then who knows what will be available?

    BTW, Frank are you going to use an oil or water based lubricant for the diamonds? IIRC, I think I used the water based from Joel at TFWW. They worked well and I was happy with the results. Are you using an old table saw for the cast iron?
    I'm not unhappy with my stones (Norton water and oil, mostly), but I'm always game to try something if I think it'll save me time. This is also a far cry from buying a few hundred bucks worth of stones...I got the cast iron for free, and the 1 micron paste will cost me less than 15 bucks for many years' worth. I'm also going to try making slips for my combination and moulding planes.
    I've also decided to go with oil paste. I've heard water works fine, but using cast iron as a plate, I'll avoid any rust issues. I've also heard that it's nice that the oil paste doesn't dry out (although you still need to revive it once in a while with oil).
    I'll probably see how cast iron plate works as is (should be fine, from what I've heard), but I might scrappe down the grinding marks a little if necessary.
    So again, none of this is from any experience of mine, but the list of people who have recommended all this is pretty impressive (including Steve Elliot).
    Frank
    SPCHT

  10. #8
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    Default Re: LV - Sigma Power Select II Ceramic Stones!

    Hi Frank,

    I hadn't heard of this method of sharpening before. Does the cast iron need to be flattened (or replaced) with use. Does it dish?
    Chris Wong
    http://flairwoodworks.com
    http://timewarptoolworks.com

    If you don't think your work is good enough, maybe you need a Magic Square.

  11. #9
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    Default Re: LV - Sigma Power Select II Ceramic Stones!

    Speaking of sharpening, is this something new that Lee Valley is going to be offering? No prices yet, just spotted it when browsing...
    http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/pag...90&cat=1,43072

  12. #10
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    Default Re: LV - Sigma Power Select II Ceramic Stones!

    Prices are there. The three images under the big one are links:

    http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/pag...=1,43072,67090

  13. #11
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    Default Re: LV - Sigma Power Select II Ceramic Stones!

    Quote Originally Posted by flairwoodworks View Post
    Hi Frank,

    I hadn't heard of this method of sharpening before. Does the cast iron need to be flattened (or replaced) with use. Does it dish?
    Hi Chris,
    Ffrom everything I've read the cast iron tablesaw top should be good to go, unless there's some flaw in it. Some people do flatten them a little more, but I'm going to try first as is if it looks flat under a straightedge.
    As for dishing, that was a little hgarder to determine in my reading and discussion, although it seems that a plate should stay flat for several years under normal use. I only read one person who actually complained that cast iron doesn't stay flat, that was Larry Williams (of Clark and Williams) who said that his palte dished quite quickly after flattening the backs of irons. I imagine that most people here, even the professional woodworkers, wouldn't give the plate nearly as much hard use as a professional tool maker. Also, since the paltes don't have to be perfectly flat (within a couple thou is fine), and since the soft iron is easy to flatten by scraping, it shouldn't really be a challenge to fix a slight dish when the time comes.
    Frank
    SPCHT

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  15. #12
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    Default Re: LV - Sigma Power Select II Ceramic Stones!

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinhanna View Post
    Prices are there. The three images under the big one are links:

    http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/pag...=1,43072,67090
    I see them now. They certainly weren't there earlier this morning! They must have added that in!

  16. #13
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    Default Re: LV - Sigma Power Select II Ceramic Stones!

    Quote Originally Posted by flairwoodworks View Post
    Do these ceramics require flattening? Can ceramics flatten ceramics, or is diamond the only option?
    I bought a Bester 700 and a Sigma II 3000 yesterday at LV. I've only just starting using them, but they seem softer than my old King waterstones. It looks like they will need regular flattening. I was using them to flatten the back of an old (1920?) Stanley Iron (O1 steel?). It's a recent addition here and is the one that needs work. On my first stone flattening effort it seemed to be easy on my wet/dry sandpaper on glass. I expect the silicon wet/dry will wear out faster than before, but at $1.20 a sheet I'm not worried about it.

    Jim

    Edit: I should have mentioned that they cut more quickly than my King's so the extra wear looks to be a reasonable trade off.
    Last edited by JimT11; 02-26-2011 at 12:14 PM.

  17. #14
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    Default Re: LV - Sigma Power Select II Ceramic Stones!

    My 1000, 6000 and 10000 Sigma 11 stones arrived this morning from Dieter Schmidt in Germany. I have several of Karl Holtey's blades in his "S" steel and my Shaptons won't touch it, so it will be interesting to see how the Sigmas cope.

    Up to now I have been using diamond paste on a plain Corian substrate which seems to work well. It does dish over time but flattening on a coarse continuous DMT diamond plate is not too difficult and only needed every 2 years or so. If you are wondering why I am bothering with the Sigmas, it is because I tend to have a massive sharpening session now and then and don't want the faff of having to switch from water to oil and back again.

    Jim

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