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Diamond hone go bad?
I've got my dad's old diamond hone that I use to sharpen my son's VPAs. I'm wondering if they get worn out over time? The thing is probably at least 30 years old. I've followed the advice of folks on here as far as how to get a razor sharp edge on my 3 blade heads (I've read BBs Snuffer sharpening thread a few times and gotten input from many of the regulars on here in that thread). I'm not able to get a razor sharp edge on it though- can't shave hair no matter hard I try. Before anyone asks, I'm not sure if it's a 600 (fine) or 1200 (extra fine).
So... any chance the stone has lived its life and I'm in need of a new one? Or... is it an issue of the broadhead or the guy doing the sharpening? Any and all of these seem to be viable explanations.
Look up Rick Barbee's video on You Tube or on the Leatherwall. He has about the best tutorial I've seen on sharpening VPA's and he uses them exclusively.
Diamond hones do wear by effectively losing the diamond grit that they are impregnated with when they are made.
They can get loaded with shavings too. Mine said to clean with a brush and hot water.
...Yep they can. I wash mine off periodically with Dawn dishwashing detergent.
Brush, warm water and dish soap as mentioned above.
I also like to strop my blades with cardboard as my last step. It makes a difference in my opinion.
Thanks guys. I'll check out the recommended video and wash the hone off well. Supernaut, I have a leather strop and use it, but I can't tell a difference. Honestly, I don't think they are sharp enough before the strop to allow the stropping to matter...
I get better results from cardboard than leather when I strop and will sometimes use a drop or two of rubbing compound or auto swirl remover on the cardboard as well, even toothpaste will work.
I enjoy sharpening stuff, it's relaxing unless of course I'm having trouble getting the edge I'd like to have.
Agree, it is relaxing, but equally frustrating when you can't get a good edge. Best of luck Scoot, at least you know the importance of sharp broadheads. Hope you get them sharp & bloody. Some guys just grab their gear from the previous season and start flinging arrows. Even replaceable blade broadheads may need attention between seasons.
No doubt I understand the importance of this issue! I really like the VPAs Ryan is shooting and I have no doubt the right person with the right equipment can get them scary sharp. I have them sharp, but I want them sharper. I appreciate the feedback, fellas!
I scrub the heck out of my diamond hones occasionally. Amazing what a difference it makes. I also always use honing oil while sharpening. This is for my Lansky sharpening system.
Grey Ghost's Link
Midwest, do you use honing oil with your diamond sharpeners? I've always been told to use water with the diamond hones and oil with stones.
Scoot, if you are sharpening the 3-blade VPAs, you may be expecting too much. Their triangular pyramid design dictates that they have 30 degree edge angles on each side, for a 60 degree total angle on each blade. That steep angle makes the edge very durable, but also makes it more difficult to get shaving sharp. A typical knife will have a 40 degree total edge angle (20 degrees on each side), which makes it easier to get sharp. A straight edge razor will typically have a 14-16 degree total edge angle, which is why they shave hair easily, but aren't very durable.
Above is a link to a good article that discusses edge angles and sharpness.
It takes some practice but a one piece head like the vpa will shave if sharpened correctly. My snuffer ss shave. I do 300, 600, 1200 grit and then strop on leather with compound. For me the key was using very little down pressure and letting the stones do the work. The bulk of the work is at 300 and 600 grits to get rid of machining marks/uneven bevels. The first time sharpening a head is the worst as you have to clean up the factory edges.
Like above.... wash with a brush in warm water and dish soap. All my diamond stones say use a little water when honing, but look up what your manufacturer recommends.
Biggest mistake I see folks make when sharpening (besides angle) is pressure. The final stages after shaping edge is using too much pressure. Super light on the pressure in the finer grits, barely the weight of the tool itself. If you've ever gotten close to where you want it and "just a little bit more...." and find you've somehow just made it worse..... that likely goes back to pressure.
I build knives as a hobby and often sell a few. A good combined angle for a hunting knife is somewhere between 20-25 degrees. So I split the difference and make my knives 22 degrees wish means I do 11degrees on each side. This makes an excellent blade for skinning and slicing.
For three blade broadheads, it is hard to beat BB's method. I recommend a fine diamond stone because they don't dish out like a stone will after repeated use. I clean my stones and diamonds with Ajax or Comet rubbing it in with my finger tips and then rinsing them with clear water. My diamond stone is over 20 years old and still good as new.
Nylon bristle brush, or tooth brush, and dish soap to clean. I use an 1800 grit JewelStik diamond bench stone to get very close to finished and strop rearward on cardboard a few passes per side. Very sharp.
What gray ghost said.
In addition to that I prefer to sharpen VPA type broadheads on a flat granite tile or machinist stone with sandpaper adhered to. I take to about 800 grit then strop on cardboard and are real sharp. But… that is my 0.02 and I stayed at a holiday in last night.