sharpening questions...


I have some very nice stones, and have been using them on my tools...
I started with my planes and spokeshaves, this was pretty straightforward. All the stuff available on various websites was very helpful, and I now have blades that I think are scary sharp: no white line at the tip, mirror polished, and cut things very nice.
But I have a couple questions.
1. Is it just me, or are chisels (I've moved on to chisels! Some day I hope to be finished with this initial step of giving everything the first thorough going over!) much harder to hold than planer blades? I can't seem to find the bevel by touch as easily as a thin blade. Maybe it's just that the bevel is so much broader than on a thin blade, and deviations are more pronounced? The thin blades definitely have some curve so maybe it's just *easier* to notice when they are off the bevel...
2. Do I keep the slurry on the (water)stone after each use, or wash it off? I'm cheap, and want to keep it on, but the stones are turning black.
er
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Well, FWIW, I use one of those little machhines that clamp the plane blade, OR chisels ata fixed angle. They are about $8-12 at the usual stores, including the Borg. They have a wheel that rolls on the stone, while the sharp end of the blade is held at a fixed angle. Once you sharpen the bevel, and back, increase the angle 3-4 degrees, or so, and you can put a microbevel on the edge. Even I, a real novice, turn out chisels or plane blades I can remove hairs with. Hope this helps.
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rich wrote:

Too cheap, by far. :)
Really, I just want the skill.
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I use norton water stones, and the fake nagura (by Norton as well) was 16.95, but that's all they had where I ordered the stones, so I don't blame you.
You are collecting metal dust in that slurry which will be a hindrance to sharpening effectively while it clogs the stone, Just wash it off in purified water when it becomes a bit too gray in color. Tap water has minerals that build up over time and you don't want that. And your stones could probably use a new surfacing because of the clogging, BTW... http://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/Merchant/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=toolshop&Product_Code=NO-FLAT&Category_Code=CNO Or wet 320 A/O paper on glass (wet/dry type).
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AAvK wrote:

I have those, too. And I didn't order the nagura stone, either.

http://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/Merchant/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=toolshop&Product_Code=NO-FLAT&Category_Code=CNO
I think I read that about the metal dust, somewhere, but saw an image of a slurry laden stone and bed... I think in a book. I am using distilled water--I figured I do, even my cat does, so why not the stone too. I can only imagine what the hard water would be leaving behind in the stone.
About the flattening stone, I was thinking of one of those flat granite stones would work. Wouldn't it? I could also then use that for other stuff, precision measurements for metal work.
er
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Well, over a few decades, it might leave some small buildup, but nothing that doesn't simply wipe off. Hard water won't leave anything behind that will affect sharpening a stone at all.
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Mike Marlow wrote:

You sure? We have awful hard water, and I imagine the crystals building up to the point their growth overcomes the forces holding the stone together.
er
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[...]

If you keep the stone imersed you don't get crystals, they only grow when the water evaporates. If they appear on the surface of the stone if that dries up during use they go away with the surface of the stone during use or flattening,
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Juergen Hannappel wrote:

I was thinking about all the spaces within the stone. And I do store them wet, but I don't immerse them.
In fact... I think it was in the Tage Frid book (TFTW) where I read that keeping them in water they may crumble. That was contradicted elsewhere, however, and I thought maybe Frid lives somewhere very cold and he lets his shop get cold at night...
Or maybe he has really hard water where he lives. :)
er
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More likely, he was just guessing. Many, many people leave there waterstones in a bucket of water with no problem. I do it. I haven't yet developed the nack of predicting in advance when something is going to get dull and I won't wait when it does.

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1) Don't let the water freeze 2) Immersing stones in water isn't a good idea if they come with a wooden base.
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stone.
that
Actually, that's very unlikely. You won't be leaving a lot of water on the surface and even if you did, it would take a *lot* of water to build up crystalline structure enough to become a problem. So, even if that happened, the first time you swiped a knife across it, they would be gone. It will never develop to the point where it overcomes the forces holding the stone together - the worst it will do is build up on the surface.
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Mike Marlow wrote:

That actually makes sense, as that is where the lion's share of the evaporation will be occuring.
er
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When you flatten your stone, which needs to be more often than you think, you will, as a result, get the stone completely clean to new grit. Just flatten more often and you will not have the issue.
Also I'd recommend buying either Rob Cosman's sharpening video, or Charlesworth's sharpening video. Rob does it by hand, and I learned the technique from him at a week long hand tool class that was an awesome experience, and David uses a guide.
Since the class I do it by hand exclusively. But that first initial sharpening took us HOURS to get the backs flat on those chisels I brough along.
Alan
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arw01 wrote:

These stones cost a mint: I'm going to flatten them as seldom as I can. Hopefully with the back of a broad chisel, or new plane blade. :)

I can only keep at it because I keep telling myself: "it's a one time thing, and only touch-up thereafter."
er
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Imagine! You wouldn't want your stone contaminated with minerals! Really, waterstones expose a new surface when you sharpen with them. This is why they wear down faster than oilstones. I can't imagine that purified water would make much of a difference at all.
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mogura wrote:

Well, thie idea is that because the stones are soft, a crystal growing within the interstitia of the stone are going to first occlude the space within which they grow, and then find the walls of that space are quite yielding when they try to grow beyond it.
That's the idea, anyway...
If there's enough calc... chalk. If there's enough chalk deposits, why shouldn't they also act as the metal filings do, and reduce the abrasiveness of the stone?
er
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You have it exactly as my thoughts. Though like others suggest, it could hardly matter.
You didn't buy the Nagura stone? You should because it cleans the ground metal "caking" build-up off of the stone surface and creates the needed slurry for higher grit stones. Thought of using simple chalk. which would no doubt work fine for slurry, but I think not hard enough to clean the stone, this I will try out.
But, you have to get the idea that leaving the metal grit on the stone is absolutely no good. Nagura lasts long enough for the money and it comes in all grades and prices, you can find it cheap from artificial to natural, there's some on eBay.
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