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Diamond Stone vs. Aluminum Oxide Stone

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Tried to do a search for "diamond" plus combinations of "aluminum oxide", "AlO", "AlOx", and in total, I found one thread with one reply that didn't really answer my question.

Anyway, I gather that for the same general grits, diamond is more abrasive than AlO. I was a little curious then because it seems most folks around here use diamond exclusively yet always warn that pressing too hard will ruin bevels and increase wear. Wouldn't AlO be a better choice then for finer work like dealing with smaller burrs, touch-ups, and polishing?
post #2 of 10
Try Al2O3 - that's the actual formula for aluminum oxide... Diamond is more abrasive and has more endurance; however, aluminum oxide does some chemical action as well in addition to the abrasion, restoring the oxidized surfaces.
post #3 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dug
I was a little curious then because it seems most folks around here use diamond exclusively yet always warn that pressing too hard will ruin bevels and increase wear. Wouldn't AlO be a better choice then for finer work like dealing with smaller burrs, touch-ups, and polishing?
Also try 'ceramic stone'.

I believe that part of the confusion/missing context here is that diamond is far more effective at low pressures than Al oxide.

In other words 'pressing too hard with Al oxide will also ruin bevels and increase wear'.
post #4 of 10
I am a woodworker that skis (or a skier that works wood... your choice) and can tell you that having razor-sharp handtools (planes, chisels, etc.) is an absolute must so sharpening is a big deal to me. In general, conventional thinking is that diamond stones are great for removing metal and getting a faster (but coarser) result. By coarser I mean that if you compare the results of a diamond stone to a ceramic stone in the same grit, the diamond stone results in a more aggressive cut and a slightly rougher edge, but we are talking microns here. But to answer your question, IMHO using a ceramic (aluminium oxide, etc.) stone for touch-ups and polishing is certainly the most appropriate choice... typically one uses diamond stones in coarser grits for the initial honings and small burr removal and then uses ceramic stones in finer grits for the final honing or "polishing". You certainly don't need (or want) to get as fine an edge on skis as you do for woodworking tools, but the theory behind it is the same.

If your intent is to smooth out small dings from rocks, then a diamond stone (or if really bad a file to get the worst of the metal followed by a diamond stone) followed by a ceramic stone to smooth things out should work fine. If you simply want to sharpen your edges either a few passes with the diamond stone followed by a finer grit ceramic stone (if really dull) or simply the ceramic stone (for daily maintenance) should work great.

If I had to have just one stone for ski maintenance, it would be a diamond stone in coarse grit and may be why you see so much discussion about diamond stones, if you are only going to use one, it is probably the best choice all around. DMT sells one that is 4" long and comes with a leather sheath so you can take it with you. DMT also has other ski-related products (http://www.dmtsharp.com/category/snowsports.htm) and no, I don't work for them but after trying several brands of diamond stones over the years I have been happiest with DMT so far. But as I mentioned above I use two, the diamond for coarse maintenance and the ceramic stone for most of my work.

Hope this helps.
post #5 of 10
To a large extent, diamond, aluminum oxide, ceramic and even natural arkansas are all appropriate abrasives for sharpening hardened metal objects, like knives, tools, and of course, skis. Start with the coarser grits, and work your way progressively finer, to achieve whatever level of polish is desired. Don't skip grades, as that actually makes for more work. And, whatever you pick, use it with a light touch and try to work with a different area of the stone each time you use it.

Despite their cost, diamond stones are a great choice for ski work due to a couple of reasons. First, they are thin and virtually unbrakeable, fitting in almost any ski kit and able to substain a drop to the concrete without damage. Second, they are easy to use, a little soapy water and a toothbrush for cleaning, is all you need besides a guide. Most small diamond stones, that I have seen max out around 600/800 grit, which isn't fine enough if you are a racer looking for a full polished edge.

Ceramic and natural arkansas slip stones are nice, if you want a finer surface, but you must be careful clamping them in guides, and they won't likely survice a drop to the basement floor.

I probably wouldn't use a aluminum oxide stone, as most have a slightly softer bond (which allows the stone to break down and expose fresh, sharp abrasive grains), and use on a narrow edge, like that of ski, will result in 'rutting' of the stone and a rounding of the ski edge. They are fine stones, but work best in situations where you can make use of most of the stones surface area, achieving an even wear.
post #6 of 10
I have some short summaries of the different stones on this page:
http://www.racewax.com/tuneequip.html

I also think I have the best diamond prices on the Internet:
http://www.racewax.com/buytunefile.html
If you find better, I will match it (actually I would be interested in the link, because like I said, I have not found better).

.
post #7 of 10
RACEWAXdotcom:

You do have good prices.
post #8 of 10
Sometimes Spam is good:

post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by RACEWAXdotCOM
I have some short summaries of the different stones on this page:
http://www.racewax.com/tuneequip.html

I also think I have the best diamond prices on the Internet:
http://www.racewax.com/buytunefile.html
If you find better, I will match it (actually I would be interested in the link, because like I said, I have not found better).

.
No Moonflex though - what a travesty...
post #10 of 10
I could sell them, but I only would if I could beat everyone's prices. Who has the best price on moonflex? If I can beat it, I will start to carry them.

.
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