Did you know that a Japanese waterstone can remove fingerprints -
On a whim, I’d picked up an 800 and a 6000 King waterstones well over a
year ago but never used them - I already had a Tormek which I thought
would be all I’d ever need for sharpening. The Tormek doesn’t work for
flattening the backs of chisels and plane irons but the india stones and
the hard arkansas stone from my engraving days took care of that
shortcoming. Then I got a set of Sorbey butt chisels. Well the Tormek
jig I had just wouldn’t handle short chisels.
Hmmm - maybe the waterstones?
Soaked them, put each in its own shallow big casserole dish with some
water and started flattening the back of the first chisel on the 800
stone. Hey - this sucker cuts fast yet doesn’t leave deep scratches like
a coarse or even a medium india stone.. No oil either. Wiped off the
grime and tried the “super finish stone” (6000). Amazing, most of the
scratches from the 800 all but disappeared, leaving a nice shiney
Went back to the 800 and started on the bevel - freehand. - middle
finger of my left hand pressng the front of the bevel down onto the
stone. A passor two - check the new scratch marks - looks good so kept
going. On to the 6000 - nice! Over to the piece of leather glued on a
marble tile and dusted it with tin oxide. A few passes on the bevel and
I had a nice sharp chisel. One down, six to go.
When I finished the butt chisels I grabbed a handful of Buck chisels and
did them. While I was at it I sharpened the blue handles Marples and a
pair of skew chisels. And while I was at it I did my marking knives as
well. KOOL! With the exception of the Two Cherries, all my chisels are
ready for making the through dovetails I need for the skirt/apron of the
real workbench I’m making. Chopping out the waste in 8/4 stock requires
sharp chisels and now I definitely have sharp chisels.
Turned out the shop lights and went to bed - dreams of see-thru slices
of end grain dancing in my head. Waterstones! What a trip!
When I awoke this morning I noticed that the tip of my left middle
finger felt funny. Looking closely I noted that I’d waterstoned
some of my finger print off - along with whatever the material
below is called. Turns out that while pressing the front edge of
the bevel onto the waterstone I’d also been pressing some of
my skin on to it as well.
Notes to self:
Sharpen one or two chisels at a time when using an 800 waterstone.
DO NOT sharpen 23 chisels and two marking knives in one session.
Make a sign
Japanese Water Stones Will Remove Fingerprints
(and some of the underlying meat)
If you haven't tried japanese waterstones yet ...