Can anyone recommend a decent set of diamond stones? I bought a cheap set when I first got started without really knowing what I was doing. Now the surface is actually wearing off. I like the idea of having three different grits. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
You may want to be wary of the 400 grit Eze-Lap. This is the most expensive stone of the set and seems to lose it’s surface – see the thread longevity of coarse EZE lap diamond plate on this forum.
I’m using an AM-Tech coarse stone now as my Eze-Lap 400 is useless, it’s noit as big but it’s lasted longer and is cheap enough so I won’t be broken hearted/walleted to replace it.
I use a coarse DMT stone and EZE lap stones for the medium and fine.. For whatever reason, the DMT coarse stones were cheaper than EZE-lap stones and I just went with it. I couldn’t tell you if or how much abrasion it lost over the year that I’ve had it, but it seems to work fine. I’m sure for my use, these diamond stones will last a decade or more easily.
I’ve used both the EZE-LAP and DMT 8X3 steel plate sharpeners and like them both. I prefer the EZE-LAP but in the end I’m not sure there’s a definitive quality difference between them.
All these diamond stones appear to “wear down” quickly. According to the manufacturers the initial feel is caused by the relatively few larger crystals. These get shattered fairly quickly leaving you approximately with the grit level you paid for. I was about to throw out a fine stone I thought was worn out until I read the manufacturer’s suggestion of running a piece of glass over it to see if it still scratched. It did. That means the diamonds are still there and they’re removing metal.
I don’t use my stones for the initial flattening of things like plane soles and chisel backs any more. I bought a certified flat granite block and I attach sheets of sand paper to it like the “scary sharp” method uses. That way I can quickly cut away large amounts of steel and cast iron then work my way down to a nice polish without investing in super coarse stones I rarely need or grinding away on my good bench stones. I also get a 8″ X 11″ working surface that I simply could not afford in a diamond plate.
Those are my solutions and it’s working well for me.
Thank you for the response John. I like the idea of using sandpaper on a flat surface for initial flattening. I don’t have a granite slab but I do have a piece of 1/2 inch thick glass which is 12 inches square. It was actually a manufacturer sample so it pretty good quality. To that I attach some wet or dry sandpaper for flattening or fixing dents or dings. Like the 3/4 in chisel I dropped accidentally onto my concrete garage floor, right on the corner. Aahhh!!!
Ian, I’m over here in the U.S. It’s good to see another person recommending the same product though. Thanks again.
I have used double sided 2″ stones for a while, but flipping them over all the time is tiresome. I recently finished my 3 plates sharpening board. The EZE-Lap coarse 3×7 is currently hard to get, so I opted for the DMT extra coarse one and EZE fine and extra fine. The DMT one is quite a bit thicker and heavier as well as cut to a better precision, the EZE ones are not completely square top and bottom, not that it matters for what they are used for. I added holes to the board recesses to be able to push them out eventually if ever required and fixed them with two drops of silicone. Too bad I haven’t found the time to use them, yet.
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When I broke my combination oil stone a wee while ago I thought about buying the three EZE Lap plates as they seem to be all the rage at the moment. The best price I could get was still near £150. So I to go for the coarse medium and fine Norton India oil stones in the 9″ X 3″ size, £54 all in, I’m Scottish, what do you expect!
Even with stropping on leather with the green compound I don’t get the mirror finish of a 1200 diamond plate, big deal. I think the fine oil stone is about 800 grit. What I do get though is a very sharp edge on my chisels and planes that will easily chop a mortise, pare and leave a very nice surface on planed oak that only needs a quick wipe with a bit of sandpaper prior to varnishing. I get very good results and still have just shy of £100 left over to spend on other stuff; and I did not need to spend time making a box for them, each stone came in its own lidded plastic box.
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