Is it still possible to get these ? I googled in the UK but without any
luck, anyone know a UK source (preferably with an online catalogue). I
want it for honing HSS lathe tools, what do other people use ?
Before you leap off into "oilstone hell", you might want to take a
look at swome of the Japanese water stones that wookworkers use. I use
HS steel to cut brass, copper and plastics and using waterstones I can
get a mirror-finish razor edge in 5 to 10 minutes. A tool this sharp
makes cutting "soft" stuff almost effortless.
These waterstones are pricey, but last forever. I'm still using the
stone I bought in 1981. Since you are talking about lathe tools, you
don't need a large flat stone, so keep an eye out for broken stones an
the DIY stores. You also might be able to find a set of small
slipstones that would be just the thing. Here is a URL to give you an
idea of what to look for:
I don't work for them or have any interest in Woodcraft. If I were to
have only one stone, it would probably be an 800/4000 combnination.
This would do just about everything. When I win the pools, my second
stone would be a 250/1000. You can get a true mirror finish with 4000.
The first time I sharpened an old chisel with a water stone was the
first time I was really successful at sharpening anything. Prior to
that, I'd been using oilstones for 30 years and NEVER got a good edge.
The two big advantages to me of waterstones are:
1. They are very fast and consequently allow me to see progress
2. They use water to lubricate the stone insterad of oil. So the
stones do not gum up or suck up metal from the ground off tool bit
A field expedient alternative is to get a couple of sheets of silicon
carbide Wet-or-Dry sandpaper in 320, 400, 600, 800, and 1000 grit. Put
double stick tape on the back and cut a 1/2" wide strip off of the
sheet.. Stick the strip to the edge of a piece of window glass and
hone away. A 12" square piece of glass could be your entire honing
station. Progress from coarse to fine around the 4 edges of the glass,
keeping the tin for water in the center.
Just some thoughts
A couple of years ago I posted on this NG an enquiry headed "Snake
Oil?" It asked for comment on the "wonder" products sold at
exhibitions by these 'one-product salesmen'. As an example I asked if
anyone had tried the EdgeCraft diamond files that the little bearded
guy sells for about 30 quid for a set of 3. (He's the one showing how
easy it is to sharpen TC bits, cut thro' coffee jars, sharpen saw
teeth etc !) Someone replied how good they were so I purchased a set
from him at the next ME exhibition. Since then I've never used any of
my aged collection of stones.
They are as good as new after about 3 years' of use with HSS & TC
Sorry if this reads like sales patter - I've no connection with the
makers or their agents - it's just that they are one of the few
products I've bought which have lived up to the claims.
Similarly I might reiterate the post I made a few months ago about the 4"
Chinese made diamond cup wheel I bought very cheaply from Cronos earlier
this year. Book price £40 but they had a couple of cosmetically imperfect
ones on the shelf for £25 and I took the best one of those. I figured it
would probably be crap but decided it was worth £25 to find out because the
pukka ones from other suppliers are more like £100.
Made up an arbor for it and it runs in a 3/4" R8 collet on the mill at 1500
rpm. That's about as fast as the mill likes to go on my phase converter
although it does have a higher speed which gives the converter something of
a tummy upset so I don't use it. Although that's theoretically too slow for
a 4" wheel it slices through TC tool bits like butter, produces a very fine
finish and sharp edge and doesn't even generate much heat while it's
cutting. I'd been led to believe I'd need a coarser grit wheel to remove
much stock but this device disproved that. The first day I used it I
sharpened something like 40 edges of 1/2" square TC milling cutters which I
use for valve seat cutting as well as making a few special cutters which
required a lot of material grinding off. I reckon I ground the equivalent of
1/2" x 1/2" x 1/8" thick TC into dust that afternoon and the diamond wheel
didn't show any visible wear. To replace those TC bits would have cost a lot
more than the wheel I resharpened them with so it paid for itself that first
day. I tried it on tool steel and it handled that just as happily. As the
diamond substrate on it is over 3mm thick it'll be going strong long after
I've joined Richard Whiteley. In fact I doubt if anything I throw at it in
the next 20 years will produce any measurable wear at all.
The old green grit wheel I used to try and sharpen TC bits with previously
generated a lot of heat and shagged itself almost as fast as it removed
material from the TC. I'll never need to use one of those again thankfully.
You could mount one of these on a mill, lathe or bench grinder and sharpen
just about anything you ever need to use. Definitely the best value for
money tool I've bought in the last few years.
Dave Baker - Puma Race Engines
I've got one of the diamond hones (can't remember the make, diamond
abrasive stuck onto a plastic backing). I use it for putting the edge
back on most cutting tools, works great on carbide, HSS, etc. A
couple of strokes across a drill that is losing it's edge is usually
all that is required to restore it's cutting ability, and it removes
far less material than touching it up on the grinder (especially if
like me it usually takes a couple of goes to get it right). I think
it is a great bit of kit, and haven't touched a tool with a stone
since I got it. At the time I thought it was expensive (about a
tenner I think) but on reflection it was a bargain.
A saw a company at one of the ME shows a few years ago who did diamond
wheels at a reasonable price
checked and they still seem to be in business (people dissapear
alarmingly regularly). There diamond wheels are about £50, not what
I'd call cheap, but more reasonably priced than a lot I've seen.
Eternal Tools do a good range of small diamond files, wheels, drills, hones
etc. A lot of their tools are possibly too small for most people here as
they are aimed more at clock makers (my principal interest), but they are
worth looking at.