Hi, everyone! I've been enjoying reading tips and insights from this forum. I've never made a violin, but played one for many years, even a number of "new American" violins. I've been preparing to make violins myself (gathering tonewood, tools, books, patterns), but a main detail I've not been able to achieve is what grit of stone will give me tools that are sharp enough to do high level work as a luthier of violins? When I look for "sharpening" threads here, I'm overwhelmed by the amount of times that word is used!
I'd like to have the fastest way to a sharp, repeatable edge. I do not enjoy sharpening for a long time, although I have spent hours in learning what not to do! I think I have enough gear to do it (perhaps too much), but maybe not:
Off-brand diamond stone: 300/1000
Norton sharpening stones: 250/1000 and 4000/8000 + flattening stone (which I had to flatten with my diamond stone)
"old" green Tormek grinder with basic gray stone (250 - 1000), with leather stop wheels and "metal polish" paste. Many jigs, too!
"Green" polishing compound stick for strop. Currently, I am making "another" strop because I'm not sure the first one I've made is adequate (soft-ish leather)
NEW "accu-finish" 6-inch diameter diamond wheels: 60 and 100 grit that I've built a station for, including a hand grinder and tool holder.
I have been doing...
GRINDING with the tormek (coarsest grade)
HONING with the diamond/norton stone 1000, then 4000, 8000
and not very clear on how to use a strop effectively.
I think POLISHING with home-made strop and green compound could work. I haven't figured out whether I like the strop wheel on the tormek. Any tips would be helpful if anybody here uses one. I "fear" I have put the wrong kind of paste on the leather wheel and ruined it, but I don't know.
The tormek could possibly be sold if my hand grinder came into play (60/100 grit diamond), then do the rest on the stones.
I'm fairly good with my hands, but having never needed to sharpen tools before, I'd like to zero in on...
What can I do without from my current gear?
Is 8000 grit good enough?
Is a stop with compound a decent substitute for a higher grit stone (like 16000+)?