DMT 1 micron paste and rotary tool for lapping a SB?

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by Littlebabycarrot, Feb 24, 2018.

  1. Littlebabycarrot


    Jan 1, 2018
    So, I ordered a 6 by 2 black arkansas stone from Dan's Whetstone and it arrived flat enough to hone a razor on. I was curious to see the scratch pattern while it was still knew... i got a near mirror polish with the side I left unaltered and the side I conditioned with some loose aluminum oxide grit(3k) though after comparing bevels after each stone it did seem that the conditioned side left more perfect mirror. I also burnished the 3ķ side on the back of a DMT plate which leaves the stone red-black.
    The loose grit did okay but i could feel a few spots where it was vibrating the razor and so after making sure that i can see little to no difference between polish after 1 micron diamond lapping paste and the SB ark, i decided to make it totally flat and used the back of the dmt plate to smooth it out... i knew some loose diamonds would get stuck(which is why i left the back unlapped and tried it with my old SB pocket stone first) but id just like to ask:
    Does anyone else use diamond lapping paste to condition their arks? So long as the diamonds are 1 micron and smaller, there should be no issues right? My concern isnt necessarily the stuck diamonds, which i should be able to work loose and the scratches they leave might be deeper but are probably as narrow, but whether they are cratering the stone or if they might tear furrows in the stone... and would i notice if it did?
    Sometime i use a handheld rotary tool with a steel brush on the end to speed-burnish a SB(Ive also had good luck dislodging 15-25 micron diamonds doing this as well. I dont do this often bc i worry that the speed of the spinning brush might cause uneven microscopic wear. afterwards i get 2k wetdry or loose grit to partially re-matte the stone, but not so much that all the steel in the stone is gone(i really like the tactile feedback of a razor on a stone that is sticky but not causing a stop-go effect, and this the closest i can come) There is no faster way to burnish a stone than with the rotary tool: it would take about a minute with a 6x2 though i prefer the flat surface of the back of the DMT if i dont feel like risking the uneven wear. I feel like the flat plate miminizes the pressure at contact points and is more likely to give you a work surface with the least surprises.
    Anyone else used a rotary tool for this? The diamond paste? The back of the plate? Can anyone think of a reason why i shouldnt do it this way? An answers or comments would be appreciated.
  2. willc

    willc Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 13, 2013
    I’ve never thought to use diamond pastes for Arks but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work.

    For my translucents I always used SiC grit on a steel plate.
    Going up to 600 grit gives me a nice surface. Then using a chisel or old straight razor I will smooth out the stone.

    Are you talking about using a Dremel type tool on the Ark?
    I can’t see an easy way to condition it without possibly taking it out of flat.
    What type bit would you use?

    The translucent and fine Arks are pretty unique stones and I like how surface prep can make it go that extra mile.
    Littlebabycarrot likes this.
  3. I think it's unlikely the rotary tool with the steel brush will actually do much besides load up the surface of the stone with more steel swarf. The 'wire' of the brush isn't likely hard enough (probably softer than most blade steels), and will probably just shed swarf like a blade will, on the stone. You'll end up with what looks like a burnished or glazed surface; but most of that 'shine' is likely just the steel swarf clogging the surface. That clogging action will also really slow down the cutting action of the stone.

    I'll 2nd the suggestion of using 600-grit. I'd seen that suggested in another thread recently, and tried it (with 600-grit SiC) on a surgical black Arkansas pocket stone of mine, using a glass plate for the lapping and some mineral oil suspension for the SiC slurry. Did a nice job in 'unglazing' my stone, and it cuts better than it used to, now.
  4. Littlebabycarrot


    Jan 1, 2018
    The rotary tool I have is identical to a dremel, i think. It's the type of thing you saw on infomercials during the 2000s i think. I just use the small diameter metal brush. The big ones work too but are more difficult to control... i thought it would go out of flat as well but as long as i use light, even strokes i can follow the burnishing pattern to avoid missing spots and afterward ive never had a blade hit a peak nor valley. It seemed to work so quickly and well that it made me a bit suspicious, so I decided to ask about it.
    Though i do think that if lapping one of these stones up to a high enough grit the burnishing part might be optional.
  5. Littlebabycarrot


    Jan 1, 2018
    I certainly cant be sure if the brush does wear down the abrasive surface or if the valleys just fill with the brush material. I asked about this before i tried the 1 micron diamond paste to lap it... which i probably wont do again... there are reasons why most guys use loose grit, and not having stray diamonds in your honing surface is probably one of them.

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