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Another sharpening stone question...

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  • Another sharpening stone question...

    I have just ordered some great new stones off of Ebay and am getting ready to order a VERY FINE one from rockler.

    I am currently using a double sided norton stone.

    I have been sent the scary sharp honing method from one of the dave's here and will be building a sharpening center to accomodate that over the winter.But for the time being I am happy with the results of the stones. I have a couple of questions regarding care and proper technique.

    First off, I know each tool has a different angle. I am only using chisels, planes and spokeshaves at this time. I have the lee valley jig to set the correct angle and that works great.

    Here is my question regarding stone maintenance. It has been suggested to use WD-40 to clean the stones and this will get the small pieces of metal out of the stone. This has not pleased me. I have, however never cleaned this norton stone so that could be the problem. But I was curious....I use a product called 3&1 cleaner and degreaser. You spray it on and it is a white foam, and breaks down just about anything. is this safe for stones or should i stick with wd-40?

    Second is honing oil. Of course when i bought my norton stone i bought the honing oil at the BOB> I picked up a bottle of "smiths advanced formula honing oil" from sears hardware today. it is a non petroleum sharpening fluid which claims to have a built in cleaning agent and rust/corrosion inhibitor. Seems to work a little beter than nortons but that is after i sprayed my stone down with WD-40. I was wondering, is "cutting oil" a better choice? Cutting oil being the oil you would use with a tap and die set or metal drilling. this seems to be a thicker oil than any of the honing oils out there. Anyone have any opinion on this??

    This norton stone did not cost me much so i dont mind chucking it or throwing it in the box of misfit tools. but i have some pretty expensive stones coming and want to ensure they are cared for properly.

    I also have bought the lee valley grinder jig and white norton honing stone, i figure this will allow me to get a quick bevel on those garage sale/flea market chisels, planes i always seem to come across.

    I just dont want to do something stupid and use the wrong stuff on an expensive stone and ruin it.

    and one last thing, i am looking for a stone (if this is a good idea), to use to hone my chisels before/after each use to maintain that edge, like you would do with a quality kitchen knife set. I have a black surgical stone coming....which is fine...but no where near as fine as the 20542 800/4000 Combination Grit Waterstone or 1000/6000 Combination Grit Waterstone from rockler. Should i spend the money on one of these or should the surgical stone do the trick?

    oh and a sharpening 101 question...when something is called a Water Stone, do you soak it in water or can you use oil on it and treat it like any other stone?

    thanks for any advice and happy holidays

  • #2
    To clean an oil stone boil it in a pot with a bit of spic and span. If you have and old camping pot and burner do it outside cause it tends to stink. The problem with old stones is that the honing oils eventually turn to a varnish and seal the pores. As far as honing lube, instead of oil use kerosine or mineral spirits
    Surgical Black is about 9 micron grit size, A 4000X water stone is about 3 micron and an 8000X is about 1 micron. For edge touchup I use an 8000X waterstone and 0.5 micron honing compound on leather or hard felt wheel depends on what I'm sharpening and cutting.
    Never use anything but water on a water stone as it will clog the pores. Anything less than an 8000X water stone should soak for about 5 minutes before use and then spritz the surface with water to flush the swarf. The 8000x has such tiny pores that it really does not absorb water


    • #3
      Here is an interesting chart I just found