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Sharpenign/Stropping Setup with DMT Plates

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Marko Tsourkan

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As of recently, I incorporated diamond plates into my sharpening lineup. A while back Dr. Naka told me that a professional sharpener in Sakai told him that his preferred method of sharpening knives for longest lasting edge was on a diamond plate followed by a finishing stone.

I have been thinking recently how to get 52100 sharper and decided to give this method a try.

I used DMT Extra Fine (1200 mesh equivalent) and followed by a J-nat finishing stone in 8-10K range and finished the blade on 2 micron spray felt. I really liked the edge I got and I am using this knife at home now.

Upon Devin's suggestion, I got 11x2.5" DMT diamond plates. The extra length is really nice, as it allows me to sharpen in long strokes.

For that size, no base was available, so I made a wooden base for it from walnut. Checking the plate for flatness, I was pleasantly surprised that the back side was flat enough to use as a stropping base.

After a little tweaking and embellishing the base, I got myself a prototype sharpening/stropping setup.

The setup (bases, plates, strops) will be available for sale in a near future.

M

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Eamon Burke

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Very cool!

So this is intended to only require a finishing stone?
 

Marko Tsourkan

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Very cool!

So this is intended to only require a finishing stone?
Pretty much.

I am going to ask a couple of guys to test the method and observe the edge in a pro kitchen, but it seems to work really well and the edge is holding really well. So there will be more on it once we compare our finds.

I sharpened to a razor edge in about 4 minutes total (most of time spend polishing it on a Jnat).

The cutting speed of a diamond is a step up sharpening 52100 over water stones (my setup is bestone, bester 1200, Rika 5K). I will still use those but mostly to tune up the edge while I am finishing the knife.

Also, love the 11.5" of sharpening surface.

M
 

Marko Tsourkan

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To clarify one thing, the felt or leather strop is lined with a magnetic backing and the back side of a diamond plate doubles as a strop base. When I am done sharpening, I rinse the plate, pad it dry with a paper towel, place it back side up, place a felt or leather strop over it and I got a stop. Remove the strop, flip the plate on a opposite side and I have a sharpening plate.

A strop
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A sharpening plate
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M
 

Pabloz

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Here is my routine, all diamond hones.....600 to 1200 to 8K to strop....usually under 10 mins. Then I test by either skiving paper or splitting a hair...whichever is quicker. This is how I sharpen and test every leather knife before they leave me. I'm still trying to get used to waterstones.

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Marko Tsourkan

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Well, I am a latecomer, but I am really liking the edge I am getting with diamond plates. I have 600 and 8000 as well, but I found the Jnat working very well after 1200 and a final strop on 1 micron felt gives the edge a razor-sharpness that eluded me for a long time (on 52100). I am sure I will find the use for the other two stones.

M
 

Canadian

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Well, I am a latecomer, but I am really liking the edge I am getting with diamond plates. I have 600 and 8000 as well, but I found the Jnat working very well after 1200 and a final strop on 1 micron felt gives the edge a razor-sharpness that eluded me for a long time (on 52100). I am sure I will find the use for the other two stones.

M
Hi Marko,

Sorry to revive this thread, but I am very interested in how the 1200 diamond plate is working for you now that you've had a lot of time with it. The reason I ask is because the DMT ultra fine always seemed liked an excellent mid grit solution (no soak, no dish, fast cutting, no more lapping etc.), but they are so frowned upon (and I think for the wrong reasons). Also, I am thinking about going the same route and either just finishing on a strop, or maybe adding a natural finishing stone that will also sit permanently on my countertop for quick touch ups. Your thoughts are appreciated.

Also, what is your low-grit solution?
 

Marko Tsourkan

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At home, I use 1.2K plate, 8K plate and 1M diamond spray on the felt pad (with a magnetic backing, over 11.5x2.5 DMT plate - perfectly flat surface and you don't need an extra base).

At the shop I sharpen on water stones as I have an actual sharpening station, with some stones in the water all the time, plus I grind to very thin at the edge, to under .005, so there is very little effort needed to put an edge on most knives. I use diamond plates for flattening stones, edge repair and reprofile.

For convenience and speed, nothing beats diamonds, particularly if you get knives in wear resistant steels.

I am hoping that DMT will come up with 8K plate in 11.5x2.5" as I find this length particularly suitable for sharpening and stropping, as you make fewer passes and thus your angle is more consistent.

I would say, go for it and remember to use the plate as a strop base. Fresh diamonds cut pretty aggressively even in finer grits, so ease up pressure while the plates are new. Once you round them a little bit, they will cut less aggressively. I have 600 grit plate but rarely use it.

M
 

Canadian

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At home, I use 1.2K plate, 8K plate and 1M diamond spray on the felt pad (with a magnetic backing, over 11.5x2.5 DMT plate - perfectly flat surface and you don't need an extra base).

At the shop I sharpen on water stones as I have an actual sharpening station, with some stones in the water all the time, plus I grind to very thin at the edge, to under .005, so there is very little effort needed to put an edge on most knives. I use diamond plates for flattening stones, edge repair and reprofile.

For convenience and speed, nothing beats diamonds, particularly if you get knives in wear resistant steels.

I am hoping that DMT will come up with 8K plate in 11.5x2.5" as I find this length particularly suitable for sharpening and stropping, as you make fewer passes and thus your angle is more consistent.

I would say, go for it and remember to use the plate as a strop base. Fresh diamonds cut pretty aggressively even in finer grits, so ease up pressure while the plates are new. Once you round them a little bit, they will cut less aggressively. I have 600 grit plate but rarely use it.

M
Thanks. I'm thinking about trying the 1200 plate followed by a 1 micron paste?
 

Marko Tsourkan

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I strop on felt, so I prefer to use diamond spray. Easier to apply than paste. If you don't polish the edge with a finer grit, you will get a pretty aggressive, but perfectly functional edge. It will be particularly suitable for slicing cooked meat.
 

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