Clay, Application to Refinement


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 Diamond Stones (pt 2) (pt 1) (pt 3)

In the previous section on diamond stones (pt 1) I covered the DMT DuoSharp bench stone. This section will cover the boxed version of the diamond stone called the DMT Diamond Whetstone

These free standing bench stones are made with the same high quality as the DuoSharp system but come as a single sided sharpening face. The high impact plastic that the diamond plate is affixed to comes with rubber feet to prevent slippage when sharpening steels or finishers.

DMT Whetstone in box

The hardwood box provided a secure and protective case for the diamond stone helping to eliminate any unwanted knocks that may result from a busy environment.

As you can see from the photograph on the left, my diamond stone is one of the large earlier versions, some twelve inches in length. The largest available diamond whetstone now is 8" x 2 5/8" x 1 1/4" or 203.2mm x 66.7mm x 31.8mm.

With the Diamond Whetstone the same color coding applies as used with the DuoSharp bench stone.

  • Black, extra coarse

  • Blue, coarse

  • Red, fine

  • Green, extra fine

With the larger 8" diamond stone the available grits are: blue, coarse and red, fine. To cover the other two available grits they have to be purchased as a 6" model. The beauty of the smaller six inch stone is that it is light and makes a ideal travel companion especially if  contract modeling in various locations.

A close-up of the case for DMT, Diamond Sharpening System.

If you are stationed in one location I have found that the ideal situation is to fix the whetstone to a purpose made board where you can set up several grits in a series which allows you to choose the grit required for the task at hand. If a steel has sustained damage through dropping and the edge needs to be reworked the black or extra coarse stone would be the optimum way of renewing the edge. If a finisher needs the edge re-honed maybe the green or extra fine will suffice. 

There are numerous options available and to cover my own needs I have a combination of the DMT Diamond Whetstone in the blue, coarse and red, fine and a DMT DuoSharp bench stone in a black extra coarse and blue, coarse combination. This I find covers most of my sharpening needs.

Base of DMT Whetstone storage box showing the nonslip rubber feet.

Storage box open with DMT Whetstone inside.

The two images above show the non-slip feet at the base of the storage box and the DMT Diamond Whetstone placed inside the storage box for safe keeping. At the end of the storage box there are rebates in the corners that will provide enough room to reduce the likelihood of the whetstone jamming in the box.

Close-up of the diamond configuration on the nickel plate and the hole on the outer flange for securing to a board.

Once the whetstone has been removed from the box there is a flange supplied at both ends with a central hole drilled. This will allow the user to secure the whetstone to a larger board or purpose made sharpening table leaving both hands free to control the blade being sharpened.

As you can see, on the nickel plate the diamond coating is staggered to allow the swarf to disperse away from the sharpening face keeping the diamonds free from clogging for a longer period of time. 

If clogging does occur this is easily remedied by washing with water and scrubbing the area with a stiff brush. More then likely the culprit will be clay that has become imbedded while sharpening your steels.

The underneath of the whetstone showing the ribbed sections of the injection molded plastic.

The underneath of the high impact plastic that carries the nickel plate has numerous webs which help to keep the upper surface flat, reducing the chance of curling over time.

This type of sharpening system by DMT has made the task of sharpening steels and hand tools for clay modeling that much easier and reduces the need to carry oil as associated with oilstones. For my own purpose I still have oilstones that I do use but that has certainly declined over the years as I rely more heavily on the diamond sharpening technology, it is more convenient to use and quicker.

In the next section, Diamond Stones (pt 3) I will be covering small specialized diamond stones such as machinist slip stones and diamond files by DMT

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