what does you flatten your stones with?

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by halmstad, Mar 22, 2014.

  1. halmstad

    halmstad

    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    24
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    *What do you flatten your stones with?

    I've been using one of the flatteners with the deep diagonal grooves in it. Recently I got a DMT diasharp course plate. It worked well at first, but seems to be losing its grit fairly rapidly. And the original flattener I had doesn't seem to be as course as when I first got it as well. I was thinking about getting the extra course DMT plate, but I just got the one I have only a few months ago. In my research on the plate, I did read that sometimes you may get one that has some spots that have little to no grit. I found that to be true. However, not so much that it should affect flattening a stone.

    Shouldn't the flattening device outlive the stone???
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2014
  2. chrismit

    chrismit

    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    At home cook
    I just use a cheap diamond plate and it works well for my limited home use. If price isn't a concern I would recommend the atoma 140. Would also double as a great option for serious repairs
     
  3. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

    Messages:
    2,270
    Likes Received:
    206
    Exp:
    Home Cook

    Here's a picture of my King 1000/6000 combo and my flattener. I bought the flattener in a DIY store where it was sold very cheap as a diamond sharpener in a set of 3 of those. The green back support fell off but I glued it back on with waterproof glue. Works absolutely perfect as a flattener but never use it as a sharpener!!
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2014
  4. cheflayne

    cheflayne

    Messages:
    4,194
    Likes Received:
    554
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    I use drywall screen.
     
  5. galley swiller

    galley swiller

    Messages:
    478
    Likes Received:
    65
    Exp:
    At home cook
    I feel your pain on the grooved flattener.  I started with one, but wasn't really satisfied.

    Now, I use the 140 grit no-brand-name $30 diamond flattening plate from CKTG.  Does the job fine, and little to no set-up or clean-up time.  No muss, no fuss.  I plop it face up into standing water in a dish tub, then move the stone I want flattened on top of the flattener.  Once I finish flattening all the stones I'm going to work with, I then remove the flattener from the water and pat-dry it with a towel, leave it to air dry and then put it away.

    Has the DMT coarse plate been used for stock removal?  Generally, a bald spot on a plate should not significantly affect its performance as a flattener, since it's the totality of movement between stone and flattener which results in the stone becoming flattened.  Stock removal of steel from a knife is a different story and can often result in diamond loss.

    Usually, the flattener needs to be of a coarser grit than the stone(s) it is flattening.  The DMT Coarse is rated at 325 grit, the extra-coarse is rated at 220 grit and the extra-extra-coarse is rated at 120 grit.

    Galley Swiller
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2014
  6. halmstad

    halmstad

    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    24
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    Thanks everyone.

    cheflayne- What do you use to hold the drywall screen in place so that it stays flat? I bought some at the hardware store, but not sure what I should mount it to.

    Galley Swiller- I have used the DMT plate to grind down some knives. Actually a friends knives that his brother had decided to "sharpen" using an electric sharpener and basically rendered them useless. So, there I have it. I figured it would last longer. Live and learn. I didn't find the no-brand-name $30 diamond flattening plate at CKTG you spoke of. Maybe they don't carry it anymore.
     
  7. chrismit

    chrismit

    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    At home cook
  8. ordo

    ordo

    Messages:
    2,462
    Likes Received:
    251
    Exp:
    Home Cook
    I use wet-dry sand paper of different grits over a granite slab. So far, it works well.
     
  9. everydaygourmet

    everydaygourmet

    Messages:
    315
    Likes Received:
    49
    Exp:
    Chef/Owner/Operator
    If you have any carpentry or woodworking shops around you try using their floor mounted disc sander, takes about 10 seconds and are very "true". One of my neighbors has a shop and learned that from him.

    Good luck.

    EDG
     
  10. mike9

    mike9

    Messages:
    2,526
    Likes Received:
    468
    Exp:
    Former Chef
    If you want to ruin a good wood working machine nothing works better than stone dust. 
     
  11. dcarch

    dcarch

    Messages:
    595
    Likes Received:
    69
    Exp:
    Home Cook
    Just curious, why do you need the stone to be flat?

    dcarch
     
  12. fondoh

    fondoh

    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Home Cook
    I bought what was probably a glass shelf at a flea market a few years ago for $5. It was chipped on one corner ...... no problem.

    It's 30" x 11" x 1/2" thick. It's perfect for putting two pieces of different or same grit wet and dry sand paper on.

    I am out of wet/dry so I used a piece of garnet for effect.

    A spritz of water on the glass to keep the paper from sliding and it works great.
     
  13. phaedrus

    phaedrus

    Messages:
    1,578
    Likes Received:
    143
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    A DMT XXC is insanely aggressive at first.  It rapidly loses that mega-bite but it's not wearing out, it's just breaking in.  It should cut plenty well to flatten stones properly for at least several more years.  Try it for a little while and see if you don't find it still does a good job.  If not, contact DMT and they will probably replace it under warranty.

    In my experience all diamond plates are this way, very aggressive initially, then a pretty good plateau after that.
     
  14. halmstad

    halmstad

    Messages:
    138
    Likes Received:
    24
    Exp:
    Line Cook
    Phaedrus- great call. I haven't given up on the DMT plate yet. I figured it should have a good deal of life left in it. I have the course plate, not the xxcourse plate, but I think it should still do the job. Trying to figure out what everyone else uses. The drywall screen seems like a good option. Just not sure what to mount it to.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2014
  15. phaedrus

    phaedrus

    Messages:
    1,578
    Likes Received:
    143
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    The Coarse will work but an XXC (Extra Extra Coarse) is a lot faster.  Of course, you already have the C and it will work, just more slowly.  It does seem that DMTs wear out a lot faster when you sharpen on them vs flatten stones.  The explanation I was given is that the metal "flows" around the diamond particles and pulls them off the plate.  The Atoma doesn't seem to have this issue as much as the DMT but it's considerably more expensive.

    If you go with drywall screen you don't need to mount it on anything.  Just lay it on something that's flat.  Of course, that's the Catch 22.  It has to be flat enough that it will true our stones, not just "flatish".  A granite reference plate is ideal but heavy and costs around $40 or so.  A large piece of glass works well but is fragile.  Some have just bought flooring or paving tiles from Home Depot.  The main issues with using drywall screen is that it's somewhat messy (nothing to catch the debris, where to store wet and dirty sheets of sandpaper).  The stuff doesn't last long, maybe a session or two. 

    I don't know if I should admit this or not, but I'm a little bit lazy about flattening my stones./img/vbsmilies/smilies/redface.gif   Yeah, mathematically they should be flat for maximum precision but real world a little bit of dishing isn't a huge deal.  Main issue is that you want to wear the stone evenly.  And if you let it go too long it gets really out of true.  Now that I think of it, I should go flatten my stones tomorrow!
     
  16. dcarch

    dcarch

    Messages:
    595
    Likes Received:
    69
    Exp:
    Home Cook
    "------Yeah, mathematically they should be flat for maximum precision but real world a little bit of dishing isn't a huge deal. ----"

    Exactly.

    In the diagram below, assuming the 8" stone is dished with a 1/4" dip from true flat, You can see the curvature resulted on the knife edge will not be perceptible. In any case, is it a bad thing to have a convex edge?


    dcarch
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2014
  17. phaedrus

    phaedrus

    Messages:
    1,578
    Likes Received:
    143
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Making an effort to use the whole stone helps, too.  Don't just sharpen on the middle of the stone. Try to make your strokes run across the whole thing as best you can.