Nearly each system for sharpening instruments works simply nice, so
the variations between the methods come down to hurry,
expense, portability and mess.
In December, Lee Valley Instruments began carrying
diamond lapping film for sharpening edge instruments. I type of
ignored it as I used to be busting my hump constructing a Marketing campaign
Secretary below a decent deadline. However that undertaking (and story)
at the moment are performed. And after speaking to some Lee Valley engineers
concerning the stuff, I purchased some lapping movie through the Lee
Valley free delivery promotion.
The Lee Valley engineers had been blown away by the sheer pace of
the abrasive. I used to be intrigued by the portability and low mess
issue. The true query in my thoughts proper now could be the expense,
however extra on that later.
The diamond movie is a monocrystalline abrasive embedded in a
plastic-like movie with a PSA backing – it’s peel-and-stick
stuff. There are 4 grits within the set – 15 micron, three micron,
.5 micron and .1 micron. Sure, point-one micron. The set is
The 15 micron is for the first bevel. The three micron is for the
secondary bevel. The opposite two grits polish the secondary
I caught the three” x 6” sheets to small scraps of glass I purchased
from the ironmongery store ($2 whole — all the time ask for scraps). The
glass labored nice, however I actually don’t need to journey with
sheets of glass. If I journey with these items sooner or later, I’m
going to stay it to Lexan, milled aluminum or scraps of stable
floor materials, corresponding to Corian.
The troublesome a part of sticking down a movie like that is that
you generally get bubbles. And people bubbles might be weak
spots the place the fabric may tear. So watch out.
Lee Valley recommends utilizing a light-weight oil as a lubricant to hold
away swarf. I used camellia oil, the identical stuff I wipe my instruments
So how does it work? It does lower loopy, loopy quick. I can
actually say that it’s the fastest-cutting system I’ve ever
used, hands-down. When renewing the sting on a chisel or a block
airplane iron, I needed to take solely about six good swipes on every
grit to take away the scratches from the earlier grit.
The polish from the diamond movie is equally spectacular. It
provides you a depraved sharp edge with a excessive polish – and the
polish will provide you with extra sturdiness.
The oil was a great suggestion, certainly. It made cleansing the
movie simple. And it coated the sting with oil after I was performed
sharpening – a great factor.
So what’s the trade-off? As with all sheet abrasives, it’s
most likely going to be the expense. I’ve sharpened 10 instruments on
the movie and it’s holding up simply nice. However who is aware of what number of
edges I’ll get out of this movie earlier than I’ve to purchase a
substitute sheet for $6.20.
And the bubbles bother me. I bought a bubble within the .1 micron
movie and tore it a tad. The stuff nonetheless works nice with the
tear, but it surely does concern me.
The underside line is that the stuff is superb when new, however I do
need to see the way it will maintain up in the long term for the best way I
sharpen. If it holds up, I believe it might be a superb
moveable sharpening system. So keep tuned. If you’re
taken with making an attempt the stuff for your self, you will get it
here at Lee Valley.
— Christopher Schwarz
Wish to be taught to sharpen? Get Ron Hock’s glorious e-book
Perfect Edge.” It’s written in plain English for
woodworkers and consists of a variety of straight speak on metal and
abrasives. It’s a superb a part of a basis library for
anybody who makes use of hand instruments.