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Sharpening an Ontario machete with DMT Diafolds

Posted by SVallieres 
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Sharpening an Ontario machete with DMT Diafolds
September 01, 2016 02:53AM
Hello guys,

today a tried to sharpen an Ontario machete with my DMT Diafolds (I had previously put a '' primary grind '' of about 0.5'' wide with a double cut file ending with an edge of about 0.015'' thick) and it was literally an exercise of frustration which is quite surprising because steels like 1095 usually take an edge easily. I had actually got better edge in the past on my Spyderco Manix (S30V) than what I'm getting on the Ontario machete using the Diafolds.

I began with circular motions and as I was moving up in grit (325, 600, 1200 then 8000) it got more and more blunt. I then tried with edge leading strokes only crossing the scratch patterns and got better results with the low grits (325 and 600), scraping some hair off the arm but as soon as I moved to upper grit it got more dull again.

Anyone has an idea of what I'm doing wrong?

1095 should become shaving sharp with little effort only... BTW, I know I'm apexing because I get a small burr. I know this is not ideal as it leads to lower edge retention, but I'm too novice to plateau sharpen yet...

Thanks a lot for your help!
Re: Sharpening an Ontario machete with DMT Diafolds
September 01, 2016 03:23AM
SVallieres,
I have had the same issue, and with Gerber/Fiskers Hatchets/Axes also. I think it's a combination on the steel and damage during bevel grinding. I just keep the grit pretty coarse, as in a filed edge or xc or c diamond, as any higher and the sharpness disappears.

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
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Re: Sharpening an Ontario machete with DMT Diafolds
September 01, 2016 10:57AM
I would do as Jason suggests and just keep it at a coarse grit for a few more sharpenings. I have had similar experiences with CS machetes...takes a long time to get to good steel, but once you do it's totally worth it.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Always in search of a good choppa'
Re: Sharpening an Ontario machete with DMT Diafolds
September 01, 2016 12:26PM
I concur with the two above comments, it's likely overheated steel. I have just stopped at whatever grit produced the highest sharpness, usually nothing above ~500 grit works as the apex sort of crumbles away. I have the same problem on a knife that was left outside for over a year, corrosion caused the edge to be really weak.
Re: Sharpening an Ontario machete with DMT Diafolds
September 01, 2016 01:27PM
Just out of curiosity why do you want anything more than a filed edge on a machete?

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Re: Sharpening an Ontario machete with DMT Diafolds
September 01, 2016 03:02PM
I also found out thanks to Marks Instagram video, that you don't need to use a lot of pressure with a file for it to cut. A filed edge, xc, or c should be able to get scrap shaving sharp. I am still having issues with Ontario D-Gaurd 18" machete. Do you have a garden/scythe stone and a King 1k stone by the way?

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
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Re: Sharpening an Ontario machete with DMT Diafolds
September 01, 2016 03:06PM
Quote
Mark a
Just out of curiosity why do you want anything more than a filed edge on a machete?

Probably because a more polished edge performs much better on wood than a filed one. If its leafy grassy stuff then a coarse edge would likely be better with a slicing swing however.
Re: Sharpening an Ontario machete with DMT Diafolds
September 01, 2016 07:16PM
Quote
SVallieres

I began with circular motions and as I was moving up in grit (325, 600, 1200 then 8000) it got more and more blunt. I then tried with edge leading strokes only crossing the scratch patterns and got better results with the low grits (325 and 600), scraping some hair off the arm but as soon as I moved to upper grit it got more dull again.

That sounds like it is possible a very large burr on the low grits which cracks off, leaves the apex thick and doesn't cut well on the high grits. After you have formed the edge on the coarse DMT, do you have something like an India 1000 work the edge bevel?
Re: Sharpening an Ontario machete with DMT Diafolds
September 01, 2016 10:35PM
Hello guys,

thanks for all your input!

I don't think that the steel at the edge is the problem, because when filing the 0.5'' wide primary grind, I also ground/filed some steel off the factory edge, so I may be in good steel now unless the damages extent up to a couple of mm into the primary.

Quote
Mark a
Just out of curiosity why do you want anything more than a filed edge on a machete?

For two reasons essentially:

--- Ryan Nafe got it: I use the machete for chopping too (up to about 4'' thick wood), not just for slashing thin vegetation and polished/refined edges (push cutting edges) last longer in these conditions. I don't slash or chop close to the ground so the edge doesn't get badly damaged by hitting rocks and such in which case I wouldn't spend anymore time than just filing the edge.

--- Also, I want more than just a filed edge just for the sake of getting the best edge I can with the sharpener I have on hand.


Quote
jasonstone20
Do you have a garden/scythe stone and a King 1k stone by the way?

Quote
CliffStamp
After you have formed the edge on the coarse DMT, do you have something like an India 1000 work the edge bevel?

I don't, I only have the DMT Diafolds. At home I have all the Diasharp 8X3 plates though. I plan on getting some waterstones eventually.


Quote
CliffStamp
That sounds like it is possible a very large burr on the low grits which cracks off, leaves the apex thick and doesn't cut well on the high grits.

I was hoping it was not the case because that means my sharpening skills are pretty bad...

I would like to have one of you guys by me when I sharpen, so you could correct what I'm doing wrong...
Re: Sharpening an Ontario machete with DMT Diafolds
September 02, 2016 12:19AM
SVallieres,
How are you checking for a burr?

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
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Re: Sharpening an Ontario machete with DMT Diafolds
September 02, 2016 02:22AM
Quote
SVallieres

I was hoping it was not the case because that means my sharpening skills are pretty bad...

I don't think so, machete steels often have pretty basic hardening, I would suspect them to have non-martensite phases and suffer possible heat damage. Non-martensite phases and heat damage will tend to make large burrs form readily, DMT stones (as they are non-slurry stones), make burrs form readily - hence burrs will form readily regardless of your skill.

A very basic weak bond stone that forms a heavy slurry readily solves so many issues in sharpening it is a pretty severe handicap not to have one. It doesn't need to be a King, that is just one of the more common brands. If one is not available, then Kyley has a pretty decent method for achieving a similar effect :

-set the bevel on the DMX x-coarse (form an apex while working the edge)
-draw the knife through hardwood several times with a lot of force

This cuts off any burr, the downside is that it can mash it back into the edge, but it is better than leaving it there and trying to continue.

-set the bevel on the DMT-fine (form an apex while working the edge)
-draw the knife through hardwood several times with a lot of force

-set the apex on the DMT-1200 (form an apex while working the apex)

Now you could also try to actually try to remove the burr on the stones, but with DMT stones, that can be fairly non-trivial unless the steel is decent and if it was you would not be having an issue anyway.
Re: Sharpening an Ontario machete with DMT Diafolds
September 02, 2016 03:02AM
Quote
jasonstone20
How are you checking for a burr?

I cannot see a large burr, though it may be a large one to the trained eye. I simply feel there is one when I flip the blade and start sharpening the other side. With the first pass, I feel the abrasive grabs a little more what I assume is the burr.


Quote
CliffStamp
(...) DMT stones (as they are non-slurry stones), make burrs form readily - hence burrs will form readily regardless of your skill.

A very basic weak bond stone that forms a heavy slurry readily solves so many issues in sharpening (...)

Does that mean that the slurry grinds off the burr as it forms when the edge plows through it?
Re: Sharpening an Ontario machete with DMT Diafolds
September 02, 2016 06:45AM
SVallierers,
How are you removing the burr? I think I am going to try some sharpening with my Ontario machete, and try the method Cliff mentioned also.

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
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Re: Sharpening an Ontario machete with DMT Diafolds
September 02, 2016 02:33PM
Quote
Mark a
Just out of curiosity why do you want anything more than a filed edge on a machete?

Most cuts with most patterns of machetes are really more of a push cut than a slice, even in lush vegetation. Taking them fine massively increases performance. The main reason why folks use filed edges on machetes is either due to time saved in sharpening, economy, reduction in field maintenance equipment carried, and/or misconceptions about how machetes are supposed to perform. In lush vegetation a filed edge is "good enough" for getting the job done, as the length and thinness alone allows the coarser edge to still cut just fine, but you'll notice a big drop in required force when you put a properly thin and fine edge on machetes, even in the light fleshy vegetation.
Re: Sharpening an Ontario machete with DMT Diafolds
September 02, 2016 02:38PM
Quote
SVallieres

Does that mean that the slurry grinds off the burr as it forms when the edge plows through it?

Yes, it is pretty obvious how it makes a very large difference when you look at adding apex bevels.

When I did the edge retention trails on various grit finishes awhile back, it was very noticeable that using a King 1000 after a very coarse non-friable stone made setting the apex bevel much easier. The effect is large enough to be seen under ~50X magnification.
Re: Sharpening an Ontario machete with DMT Diafolds
September 02, 2016 03:30PM
Cliff,
Quote
Cliff Stamp
After you have formed the edge on the coarse DMT, do you have something like an India 1000 work the edge bevel?

Do you mean the King 1k? I am asking because I have the same issues with my Ontario machete, and I haven't tried using a C, M, or F India with the machete.

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
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Re: Sharpening an Ontario machete with DMT Diafolds
September 02, 2016 04:10PM
Cliff,
Also, do you know of a coarse stone that produces a colloidal slurry that reduces the burr formation? Right not I am in possession of a Sun Tiger 220#, a King 220# (same manufacturer as the Sun Tiger, both SiC vs AlO that King uses in their higher grit hones), a Norton 220#. At the local woodworking store, a Suehiro 800 "Chemical" 350#, but I haven't purchased one, though I was thinking about it, not sure I need one though, I don't think it will do aanything that the stones I have now won't (C, M, F Norton Crystolon & India), EZE Lap, DMT, and inexpensive Chinese diamond hone.

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
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Re: Sharpening an Ontario machete with DMT Diafolds
September 02, 2016 09:07PM
I am not sure you could get a very consistent slurry with a coarse stone as the larger grit particles will tend to settle out of the water very fast. However even a basic (generic) soft bond stone like the common green bricks (~200 grit/SiC) , will grind very differently than a DMT x-coarse in regards to burr formation. Just take the two stones and grind on something which tends to see heavy burrs and the DMT will generally generate a much later burr.
Re: Sharpening an Ontario machete with DMT Diafolds
September 03, 2016 05:18AM
Quote
jasonstone20
SVallierers,
How are you removing the burr?

I essentially cut it when flipping the blade and start sharpening the other side by raising the angle on the first pass.


Quote
Cliff Stamp
Yes, it is pretty obvious how it makes a very large difference when you look at adding apex bevels.

When I did the edge retention trails on various grit finishes awhile back, it was very noticeable that using a King 1000 after a very coarse non-friable stone made setting the apex bevel much easier. The effect is large enough to be seen under ~50X magnification.

I will eventually get a full set of waterstones (from 120 to 8000, maybe 5 or 6 stones), from what you just said I should go with relatively fast wearing stones (friable) that produce a slurry rapidly, right?


Quote
Cliff Stamp
However even a basic (generic) soft bond stone like the common green bricks (~200 grit/SiC) , will grind very differently than a DMT x-coarse in regards to burr formation. Just take the two stones and grind on something which tends to see heavy burrs and the DMT will generally generate a much later burr.

So with the DMT, you always end up doing burr minimization (raising the angle a lot and doing 1-2 very light pps) right?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/03/2016 05:36AM by SVallieres.
Re: Sharpening an Ontario machete with DMT Diafolds
September 03, 2016 05:55AM
Quote
SVallieres
I will eventually get a full set of waterstones (from 120 to 8000, maybe 5 or 6 stones), from what you just said I should go with relatively fast wearing stones (friable) that produce a slurry rapidly, right?

Just remember that setting the apex on a stone where you've developed a slurry is more than trivial.
Re: Sharpening an Ontario machete with DMT Diafolds
September 03, 2016 11:28AM
SV, with the waterstones, they can be challenging to use in the lower grits as often with the coarse stones you are doing substantial works and by nature the waterstones tend to dish then which creates problems as you move to the next stone which is (probably) flat(ter).

In general, it's helpful to have a non friable stone for the really coarse work, and then a medium grit friable waterstone (Naniwa 400, King 1K for example) to followup with as the slurry helps to quickly reduce the coarse scratch pattern and also helps prevent a burr. After that you want something very nonfriable and hard to apply the apex over the edge formed in the slurry.

From there it depends on how fine a finish you want to put on the edge bevel before apexing if you need more waterstones, and also just how much time you want to put it on the medium grit stone. If I spend a lot of time on the King 1k and really work the slurry and let it dry out I can get a pretty fine finish on the edge bevel, at least with low carbide steels. But I still often go to the King 6K, mainly just because I have a dual stone and so it's already wet and ready to go and that way I don't have to work the slurry as long.

If I was being strictly practical, for my needs (and my almost strict use of only low carbide steels), I would have a Norton Crystolon, a King 1K, a King 6K (this mostly for touching up the edge of choppers after use if they didn't suffer damage) and then a Spyderco Fine, XF or a DMT XXF.

From what Cliff and Steel Drake have posted though the King 1K should do fine on HCV steels as well though.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Always in search of a good choppa'
Re: Sharpening an Ontario machete with DMT Diafolds
September 03, 2016 07:32PM
Quote
SVallieres

... from what you just said I should go with relatively fast wearing stones (friable) that produce a slurry rapidly, right?

If you are using them for burr minimization yes, but I don't see why you would want every stone like that. If they are setting an apex you don't want it for example.

In particular I use a King 1000 or Naniwa Superstone 400 for preparing an edge for an apex bevel. I can easily go from them to the MXF DMT which is what I usually use for small to medium knives (kitchen usually) that I want a high polish on the edge.



Quote

So with the DMT, you always end up doing burr minimization (raising the angle a lot and doing 1-2 very light pps) right?

I only use DMT stones to set the apex, but if I was using them to set the edge bevel then yes, I would have to take steps to deal with a burr. Ideally I would plateau sharpen.

Quote
Luisknivacc


Just remember that setting the apex on a stone where you've developed a slurry is more than trivial.

There is really no reason to do that unless you like the challenge.
Re: Sharpening an Ontario machete with DMT Diafolds
September 04, 2016 03:40AM
So to summary, coarse stones should be slow wearing/non friable, medium should be softer/friable to finish shaping the edge bevel and grind off the burr with the slurry and high grit or the stone used to apex should be hard/non friable because the slurry preclude proper apexing, right?
Re: Sharpening an Ontario machete with DMT Diafolds
September 04, 2016 08:52AM
Re: Sharpening an Ontario machete with DMT Diafolds
September 04, 2016 11:41AM
SV,

Yes. I think logically it makes the most sense to my brain, and it has worked well for me in practice.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Always in search of a good choppa'
Re: Sharpening an Ontario machete with DMT Diafolds
September 04, 2016 03:48PM
Quote
SVallieres
... coarse stones should be slow wearing/non friable, medium should be softer/friable... high grit or the stone used to apex should be hard/non friable...

This is getting a bit out there (meaning what I'm about to say), but I don't know that there really is a way that a stone (or anything) should be. The way I look at it is that it just is. Now whatever it is might be useful for one thing or another, or not useful at all, but I don't think it's really supposed to be a certain way. It just is.
Re: Sharpening an Ontario machete with DMT Diafolds
September 04, 2016 04:13PM
Cliff,
Would a extra coarse (100-250#) or coarse (325-500#) stone that produced a burr reducing slurry be an advantage in trying to achieve high sharpness? Often, if I use a XC or C stone, and the blade is anything but very dull or it has been shaped already, I will pull up a burr with just 1 pass per side. I have started to just use the King 1k first, and if that doesn't get the apex prepared in under 1-2 minutes, I will move down to a more coarse hone. This isn't including re-profiling.

SV,
Yes, that is the idea. However, you can get decent results using different techniques and hones, but if you want a fast, efficient, and easy way to get results, this is it. Also, when having difficulties and/or issues, or not looking for a sharpening challenge, I resort to this method.

"I am still discussing issues of steels and performance at this stage." -- Cliff Stamp, May his memory be a blessing
"Life is GOOD", -- Stefan_Wolf, May His Memory Be A Blessing
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Re: Sharpening an Ontario machete with DMT Diafolds
September 04, 2016 09:51PM
Quote
jasonstone20

Would a extra coarse (100-250#) or coarse (325-500#) stone that produced a burr reducing slurry be an advantage in trying to achieve high sharpness?

If you are grinding on the edge then a slurry is beneficial for preparing the apex yes, however it has disadvantages as well. Any stone which produces a significant slurry does because the abrasive is being released and/or is fracturing itself. If you are sharpening very easy to cut steels then this is kind of wasteful as you are throwing away unworn abrasive.

On simple to cut steels I like to use a Norton India to set the bevel. This produces very little wear on the stone and sets the bevel very quickly. Then I take the NS 400, reset the edge and micro-bevel to finish. If instead I used a very friable stone initially I might be able to skip to NS but I would be throwing away abrasive fairly readily.

Now if I move up to S30V then Norton will wear rapidly due to the hard carbides and I will end up having to resurface it. If I try 10V or similar then the same thing will happen even faster. On those steels I would want a more friable stone, the Norton Crystolon or similar.
Re: Sharpening an Ontario machete with DMT Diafolds
September 04, 2016 11:17PM
Hello guys,

after re-reading my previous question and your answers, I got more questions... sorry confused smiley

If it is preferable to have a non-friable/hard stone for apexing/micro-beveling, why do very high grit waterstones (6000 and above) exist at all? Aren't waterstones friable by definition?

If one wants to apex on a waterstone (friable), what would be the way to do it? Freshly flatten and wash off the slurry left by the flattening process and then micro-bevel/apex with very light force?
Re: Sharpening an Ontario machete with DMT Diafolds
September 05, 2016 01:39AM
Good questions SV.

In my limited experience the very high grit waterstones do become less friable (although still not easy to set a microbevel with in most cases) but I think part of their attraction is aesthetics and the shine they can leave. Also, when you get up to 12K, etc, I think even if it's friable the effects are mitigated by the very small abrasive size so you can get decent sharpenes, but I'm not sure on that.

If you do want to apex on a waterstone, I think you have it right. I've had success with it being freshly flattened, all slurry washed off, lots of water and VERY light force...like when you think you are light enough, go ligther. Also edge trailing can be helpful.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Always in search of a good choppa'