Do any of the engravers out there have experience with the Arkansas
stones sold by Rio Grande? Any other recommendations.
Perhaps because I’ve adopted Steve Lindsay’s sharpening system for
engraving gravers, (most of the ones I use are carbide), I’ve pretty
much put away the old stones I used for all of my gravers, not just
the carbide ones. Now I pretty much use just Steves fairly economical
diamond hones. He’s got a range of grits, but the two I use the most
are the 260 grit (coarse) for rough shaping, and the 2000 fine grit
for the final cutting edges. The 1200 and 600 are useful enough, but
I find the two endpoints in his system to be quite adequate. The
diamond hones cut faster than traditional stones, and stay very flat.
Because they cut faster, you also get your edge with fewer strokes,
and thus less likelihood of an edge that’s not quite straight when
freehand sharpening. When I want to polish one of these, I fall back
to the fine grit ruby stone (Gesswein sells them) rather than the old
4/0 paper, since again, it will work on a carbide graver too. To
improve the polish (already pretty good with that stone) I added a
little 50K diamond spray, just as one might use with a standard
ceramic lapidary lap or the similar lap used on a GRS power hone.
With these three stones (the two diamond and the one ruby stone), I
meet almost all my sharpening needs. Only rarely does the 4/0 paper
come out again (when I need a super polish on a steel flat graver,
for the most part…)