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Diamond file durability

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I've been stewing on this and need to do some more research, but I'd thought I'd toss this out for input and discussion.

 

Is there any definitive test on diamond file durability?

 

I got into a discussion at SIA with a DMT dealer about how there is an apparent consensus that DMTs do not last as long as Diaface (Moonflex), SkiMan (Maplus, Swix, etc), SVST (3M), etc. (not sure about SkiMan Quick Sharps (3M Trizacts). His response was that the color coding of the DMTs versus Moonflex confusion and the Diaface marketing has muddying the waters and he believes the DMTs are just (or more) as durable and less than half the price.

 

The conventional wisdom as far as I can tell is that in order of durability:

1) Moonflex & SkiMan permanent diamond papers on aluminum or plastic backing

 

 

 

2) SVST (3M) w/replaceable diamond papers on 6061 aircraft aluminum backing

 

3) DMTs in Nickel and plastic backing

3?) 3M Trizact abrasives

 

From DMT:

 

"

Why Diamond?
 
DMT's interrupted surface
CONSTRUCTION OF DMT®'s INTERRUPTED SURFACE
Monocrystalline Diamond embedded in nickel
Monocrystalline Diamond embedded in nickel
MONOCRYSTALLINE DIAMOND
EMBEDDED IN NICKEL
 
 

DMT® Diamond Sharpeners are an excellent value because of their durable construction, quality and reputation for providing years of uncompromising service. Unlike conventional oilstones, Japanese waterstones, Arkansas stones and other ceramic sharpeners, DMT® Diamond Whetstones ™ will not break, chip, crack, hollow or groove. Do not be fooled by other diamond sharpeners made in other countries who claim their products are just as good — If you want the best care for your edge, demand DMT®!

Vickers Hardness Scale

  • FAST- Hardest material, most efficient sharpening abrasive. Available in unique interrupted surface and continuous surface.
  • EASY- Light pressure produces a sharp edge with just a few strokes.
  • CLEAN- Use water for lubrication — no oil, smell or mess.
  • VERSATILE- Hones ALL hard materials: carbide, steel, etc.
  • DURABLE- Starts flat, stays flat.

mono vs polycrystalline structure

DMT® Diamond Whetstones™ are renown for their remarkable sharpening speed. The sharpening speed of DMT® products is a function of the quality of the micronized super abrasive, monocrystalline Diamond.

MONOCRYSTALLINE Diamond
(a strong, single crystal)

Uniform and precisely sized Monocrystalline Diamond is permanently bonded to nickel on a precision ground plate. Approximately two thirds of each crystal is embedded in the nickel with one third exposed. Because Diamonds are the hardest material known, the working abrasive points (top third of the diamond) will wear very slowly to give a long product life. Extremely pure, DMT® diamond crystals permit a single layer of diamond to perform for years. Competitors claims of multiple layers of diamond only indicate poor quality diamond that quickly wears.

"

 

and:

 

What makes DMT® different? It is very simple.

  • We provide QUALITY and VALUE to our customers by making the world's FINEST diamond sharpeners.
  • Over 28 years of unrivaled experience and your solution to every sharpening need.
  • Breakthrough innovations in technology that deliver convenience, flexibility and credibility across a diverse variety of industries.

MONOCRYSTALLINE vs POLYCRYSTALLINE
Breakthrough innovations in Technology that deliver convenience, flexibility and credibility across a diverse variety of industries. Over 28 Years of unrivaled experience and solutions to every sharpening need.

Don't get fooled with cheap foreign imitation.

They say mimicry is the greatest form of flattery. Not to DMT®. We consider imitation as more a lack of creativity and  quality.

 

Interestingly, DMT recommends using dry while SVST, Moonflex and SkiMan diamonds wet.

 

Any insights to solve this great mystery of the tuning world?

 

Best Regards,

Terry

 

 

Ski & Snowboard Base Prep, Waxing, Tuning, Tools, Supplies & Accessories

Tips and Techniques

 


Edited by Alpinord - Wed, 04 Feb 09 02:15:29 GMT
post #2 of 21

I suspect my diamond stones no longer work, as I no longer seem to be able to get my edges as sharp as I used to be able to do.  I didn't realize I was supposed to use water with them when I first started tuning my skis.  Yeah, dumb mistake, I know. 

 

Oh well, I guess I can still use my files and leave that hanging burr there for effect.

post #3 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

I suspect my diamond stones no longer work, as I no longer seem to be able to get my edges as sharp as I used to be able to do. 


 

Test them by seeing how effectively they etch glass.

post #4 of 21

I will do that the very next time I break a window pane.

post #5 of 21

I've got DMT's and Moonflex.  Clearly the Moonflex is lasting longer.  I can see where the diamond dust is wearing off the DMT's down to the plastic. 

post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post

Is there any definitive test on diamond file durability?

 

 

Got a potter's wheel?

 

Stick them on a turntable with some jeweler's pitch or a mechanical chuck.

 

Put a piece of steel with a milled face on top, held from rotation. 

 

See how far each one grinds.

 

 

Heck, you could do it with a hand drill in a stand, simply cut the fluted section of a bunch of drill bits off and measure the before and after.   As I see it, the only real problem is ensuring a consistent feed pressure.

 



Edited by comprex - Wed, 04 Feb 09 13:24:34 GMT
post #7 of 21

I'm thinking of relegating the diamonds to pre-filing duties only -- no polishing.

 

For polishing/hangin burr removal, I'm thinking of going old-school: stones.

post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post

I'm thinking of relegating the diamonds to pre-filing duties only -- no polishing.

 

For polishing/hangin burr removal, I'm thinking of going old-school: stones.

 

OK. 

post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post

Is there any definitive test on diamond file durability?

 

 

Got a potter's wheel?

 

Stick them on a turntable with some jeweler's pitch or a mechanical chuck.

 

Put a piece of steel with a milled face on top, held from rotation. 

 

See how far each one grinds.

 

 

Heck, you could do it with a hand drill in a stand, simply cut the fluted section of a bunch of drill bits off and measure the before and after.   As I see it, the only real problem is ensuring a consistent feed pressure.

 



Edited by comprex - Wed, 04 Feb 09 13:24:34 GMT

 

Well......I was thinking of an objective 3rd party test that could be cited, but interesting idea.....as usual. I can easily set up my drill press and press vise and dream up a feed pressure system (rubber bands, bungee, spring clamp or something). Hmmmm.

 

Sibhusky, care give a guess on a perceived ratio of durability?

 

Also, any others have any experiential input like sibhusky?

 


Edited by Alpinord - Wed, 04 Feb 09 15:50:34 GMT
post #10 of 21

I'm going to go out on a limb and put Moonflex at 2-4 times the durability of DMT.

 

The test comprex describes is interesting.  I think I usually stop using stones because of surface finish issues before they would entirely stop cutting material.  The DMT's start to smear from steel on steel contact IIRC, but I haven't used a DMT for anything let alone skis in a long time.

post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 

That was also what I recall, but couldn't put a number to it. It's been a while since using DMTs.

post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post

Is there any definitive test on diamond file durability?

 

 

Got a potter's wheel?

 

Stick them on a turntable with some jeweler's pitch or a mechanical chuck.

 

Put a piece of steel with a milled face on top, held from rotation. 

 

See how far each one grinds.

 

 

Heck, you could do it with a hand drill in a stand, simply cut the fluted section of a bunch of drill bits off and measure the before and after.   As I see it, the only real problem is ensuring a consistent feed pressure.

 



Edited by comprex - Wed, 04 Feb 09 13:24:34 GMT

 

Well......I was thinking of an objective 3rd party test that could be cited, but interesting idea.....as usual. I can easily set up my drill press and press vise and dream up a feed pressure system (rubber bands, bungee, spring clamp or something). Hmmmm.

 

Sibhusky, care give a guess on a perceived ratio of durability?

 

Also, any others have any experiential input like sibhusky?

 


Edited by Alpinord - Wed, 04 Feb 09 15:50:34 GMT

Well, I got the DMT's for Christmas of 2007.  Part way through that season I began to notice that the holes were sort of reaching out for each other along the lines of where they hit the ski edges when being used in their bevel guides.  I cleaned them up somewhat and found that some of that was wax, but in fact that some of that was actual wear.  I then bought the Moonflex in March 2008.  So, they've got March, April, December, and January on the Moonflex, but still look absolutely brand new.  The DMT's look totally beat, like I've had them for years and years, but looking back I didn't have the base bevel guide until Jan 2008, so the DMT's have only had two months more use.  Wow, I feel like I've done a lot more tuning than that!!  I do the edges about every 60,000 vertical feet (a day is not a day is not a day...).  I've kept using both, interspersing the DMT's with the Moonflex as I perceive the effective grit to be. 

post #13 of 21
Quote:
I've kept using both, interspersing the DMT's with the Moonflex as I perceive the effective grit to be. 


 

I do that too.  Does anyone know if the "grit scale" is standard across brands and/or the grinding industry?  Or is it like boot flex - only comparable between boots of the same manufacturer?  I swear I bought a private brand stone that was a lot courser than its counterparts at the same grit.

 

post #14 of 21

There are several standards for grit, most popular I see in this country being Pxxx (euro, ISO) and xxx (regular uhmerican).  The differences at numerically high (small, fine) grits are pretty big.  Further, the surface finish you'll get with a particular process (in this case, low speed manual grinding) will vary with different types of abrasive and different bonding agents.

 

I didn't stay in a Holiday Inn last night, but I did get bored a while back and complete a bunch of online training from Norton Abrasives.

post #15 of 21

If there is something on the market LESS durable than a DMT, than I quit diamonds. They're all I have access to here in Japan, and the cost of shipping from the states makes it worth just buying more DMTs. 

 

But... 

 

 

 

 

 

they suck. 

 

 

post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 

Samurai, per USPS

 

USA to Japan

 

Priority Mail® International Small Flat-Rate Box           6 - 10 Days      $12.95

post #17 of 21

I think that the design of the diaface files (like Moonflex) plays a lot into why they last longer.  They don't clog up due to the pattern used for the diamond material, this in turn allows them to work with much less pressure, thus extending their life purely from the better design.  The DMT "dust" types not only don't last as long, they also don't work as well as Moonflex even from day 1.

post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noodler View Post

I think that the design of the diaface files (like Moonflex) plays a lot into why they last longer.  They don't clog up due to the pattern used for the diamond material, this in turn allows them to work with much less pressure, thus extending their life purely from the better design.  The DMT "dust" types not only don't last as long, they also don't work as well as Moonflex even from day 1.

 

+1

post #19 of 21

I have 4 SVST files, and I need to re-face them.  Is that just a matter of heating up the tape, peeling it off, then putting on the new abrasive?  I didin't find order info on Alpinord's website.

post #20 of 21
Thread Starter 

How much mileage did you get out of your SVSTs?

 

From the SVST World Cup Replacement Diamond Strips description:

 

"To remove diamond strip from file, use heat gun to melt adhesive and cut off with razor blade. Avoid scratching anodized finish. Remove backing and apply new strip to file after cooled to room temperature."

post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post

I'm thinking of relegating the diamonds to pre-filing duties only -- no polishing.

 

For polishing/hangin burr removal, I'm thinking of going old-school: stones.

Diamonds are only for polishing so I do not understand this.

 

Hanging burr will cut through the paper on a diamond. That is why we have final cut files to remove hanging burrs and the jagged tempered damage from hard rock hits.

 

Routine for normal maintenance is: File (lightly), medium, fine, super fine diamonds, gummi

 

The use of fluid (water or water/ alcohol mix) has nothing to do with helping the diamond cut. It is recommended to thereby have a medium that the metal dust can flow away from the cutting face (hence the grooves or equivalent in diamond 'files/ stone').

 

I have used DMT for hunting/ fishing/ kitchen/ military for years and there is nothing wrong with either their precision or their durability. I would use them wet (water) regardless of what DMT say as it moves the swarf away. The edge trick is a great little edge maintenance tool to have in one's pocket (quick polish in the gondola to remove that hard snow/ ice burring that can occur).

 

Clean all diamonds regularly to keep them working well (bowl of warm water and dish washing liquid with nail brush works quite well).

 

That said I think that my Vallorbe diamonds are the nicest ones I have used but I have not tried my Moonflex ones yet as I am keeping them in reserve (race skis only).

 

 

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