Trying to use the diamond plates, or stones if you have those, without a way to hold them in place is a pain. I quickly decided to make a holder for my DMT Diamond plates. Several of the ones I saw online used a chisel to dig a slot into the plywood base for the plate to rest in. I thought it would be far easier to just glue on some thin plywood strips, as my chisel skills aren’t the greatest. I used 3/4″ plywood as a base, and thin strips of 1/4″ baltic birch plywood around the stones. Dimensions weren’t critical, I have the 8″ plates, it depends on what stones or plates you have as to how big you will make yours. Also, yours may only hold three plates, it just depends on how many plates or stones you will be wanting to hold.
One issue I had on the first one, I put the strips too close around the plate, and made it too tight. I ended up sanding the edge with a sanding block to enlarge the opening a bit, but make it a tiny bit loose. Not too loose, you don’t want the plate shifting around when sharpening.
My holder has a dado on the bottom with a small piece of plywood that I can lock into my leg vise on my workbench. Make sure you have a plan on how you can clamp yours down, depending on your workbench and vise that you have. If you don’t have a vise, it may work just to have the plates or stones in a large holder. With the 4 plates I have, they are pretty heavy, and might stay in place just sitting on the workbench.
I drilled a small hole in the base plywood in the top center of each plate area, to get a screwdriver under, in case I needed to pry the plate out. With a stone, this would probably be a bad idea. If you are using stones, this would be another reason to make sure you can easily pop the stones in and out and it isn’t too small and it clamps the stone in too tight. Anyway, for a plate, which is thick aluminum, I can pop mine out with a screwdriver if it is in too tight. I drilled a half circle with a larger forstner bit in the top baltic birch plywood piece, to be able to inset the screwdriver into the lower hole.
I used waterproof glue to attach everything. This does get a little wet when sharpening.
I used half polycrylic and half boiled lindseed oil mix to seal the wood up so the muck created when sharpening (hopefully) won’t soak into the wood and make a big mess. This mixture does separate, but if you stir it well right before applying it, it works well.
One thing I’ve thought of, I need to be careful I don’t tip this and dump out my sharpening plates onto the floor. Make sure you are careful when moving it around, and where you store it, so this accident doesn’t happen.
That’s it, a fairly simple project. Now I just need to finish my workbench, so I have a leg vise to use this in!
Here’s Amazon links to the DMT diamond plates I have: