Cost of stones vs. sandpaper

I seem to have finally gotten the sharpening thing down with sandpaper - the Scary Sharp technique. I'm able to get my chisels sharp enough to shave my arm, although my wife was not impressed. Anyway, I buy paper at $1.00 a sheet, and it lasts through maybe 1 sharpening of 3 chisels, so with tax for 7 sheets, about $2.50 every time I sharpen a largish chisel. 1000x/4000x combo water stones are $25 from Lee Valley. Not having used stones before, how long do they last compared to paper? Has anyone done a cost comparison? Is there one sharpening method that is the most cost effective?
Cheers! Dukester
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Stones, with proper care, last until they're dropped. I'm probably not the only one who's using stones his father used before him.
I regard sandpaper _honing_ as an expedient method, used when the stones are not handy, or I just need a fresh edge to take a couple of passes. The tool is then stropped for the final edge.
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Duke, Stones will definitely cost less to use than sand paper. The Scary Sharp method has a place, I use it to flatten the soles of my planes as I can get a larger flat surface to accommodate the large plane soles.
Stones will also allow for greater control and much speedier sharpening. I find that I can get the edge I desire faster with stones.
Many here will argue for paper but in the end, stones are better.
Dave

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I get about a hundred times more sharpenings per piece of sandpaper. Blue zirconia for the rough grits and silicon carbide for the rest. It doesn't cut as fast after a while, but it still cuts fast enough for me. Just use a nylon brush and a shop-vac to keep the paper from clogging and you won't have to spend so much.
Ken Muldrew snipped-for-privacy@ucalgazry.ca (remove all letters after y in the alphabet)
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On Tue, 01 Mar 2005 19:18:31 GMT, the inscrutable snipped-for-privacy@ucalgazry.ca (Ken Muldrew) spake:

Another very important tip: Don't plane the sandpaper. Pull, don't push.
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Ken Muldrew wrote:

I'm trying that new high dollar stuff from 3M that's supposed to outlast everything else. Wish I could remember the name. Anyway, it's living up to the hype so far. I'm getting forever and a day out of a piece. I've been throwing them away after I cut them, wadded them up, or otherwise did something stupid and careless. (I don't glue my paper down, but rather clamp a series of sheets to the same hunk of granite. Works fine, but ruined sandpaper is the price for carelessness in clamping.)
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In addition you need a method of flattening the stones. I bought two flattening stones to find that they needed flattening. So now I have invested in a diasharp 3"x8" course stone, which allowed me to flatten the flattening stones, which would allow me to flatten the real stones when I get em.
The diamond stone takes material off VERY fast, so with one of those in a course grit, you could skip a water stone or two on the bottom end.
Alan
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