Sharpening Stones Feedback - Gift Ideas

Hi All. My sister is giving her 13 year old a block plane for Christmas - I'll be sending him one of my type 12 Stanley #3's for his summertime birthday. The block plane will be his first tool with a large blade and I'd like to give him a sharpening stone to go along with it. I'm thinking a combination stone to keep costs down and simplicity and convenience up.
I use a combo coarse/fine Norton India and a couple finer ceramic stones for my bench needs. I'm considering getting him the Norton combo stone as well, but I'm not sure he (or his mom and dad) would be too thrilled with using and keeping kerosene or oil around for the stone. That leads me to waterstones, but I have no experience with them. I see there are combo waterstones in the 8"x2" size in (250/1000) grits and (1000/6000) grits - both of which are in my $20-25 price range.
Any comments oil vs. water for a first-time sharpener as well as which grit if I go with the waterstones?
Also, please don't suggest the "scary sharp" sandpaper methods - I'm looking for a "real" stone that he can keep for a long time without the need to keep a selection of supplies on hand.
--
Owen Lowe and his Fly-by-Night Copper Company
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I personally prefer waterstones. Be aware that if you do waterstones, you have to have a way to flatten them occasionally. I use 220 grit wet/dry sandpaper on a sheet of glass. I have an 8000/1000 combo Japanese stone that works very well for me, but its more like $40. Norton has a line of waterstones that are cheaper but I cannot attest to their quality.
No matter what you get him, you might consider making a cheap angle guide for him. Hand sharpening a plane blade without a guide is not for everyone.
Bob
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The real last for ever water stones are diamond. I bit the bullet and bought three 112 inch diamond stones and a 6000 grit water stone. I get e mirror finish and can shave with it. Mine are 10 years old and are still perfect. max

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On Mon, 29 Nov 2004 13:59:37 -0800, Fly-by-Night CC

How about a diamond plate ? So long as you dry them off well afterwards, then they're pretty trouble free.
If it has to be a stone, then it would depend on either the simplicity of the oilstone, or the better performance of the waterstone, despite the need to flatten it. If mess is an issue, then get him a cheap combination waterstone (King do one) and a plastic box to store it in. A bevel gauge would seem essential, if not a sharpening guide.
I wouldn't expect a 13 year old to sharpen very well anyway, not would they do enough work to need it often. Tell them to post it back when it needs it, and learn on a couple of chisels in the meantime.
--
Smert' spamionam

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wrote:

Mine is the paving slab on the front step. Just make sure you wash it clean afterwards, waterstone slurry is as slippery as weasel shit (I'm horribly familiar with weasel shit too)
--
Smert' spamionam

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On Tue, 30 Nov 2004 16:50:32 +0000, Andy Dingley

Now THERE is a precision surface for ya. I'll stick with diamond plates, thanks. The only stone I use is the one for the carpet knife. Diamonds and Scary Paper(tm) are my usual friends.

We certainly won't ask why. Newp. Don't want to go there.
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wrote:

Moulded concrete - surprisingly accurate if you measure it up. Besides which, this isn't a task that needs huge accuracy.
--
Smert' spamionam

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On Wed, 01 Dec 2004 16:52:03 +0000, Andy Dingley

I see. So a sheet of 36 grit oughta do ya? No, that'd be more like the driveway. Maybe the more finished steps are up to 80 grit. ;)
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"Andy Dingley" wrote in message....

ayup. Put some sand down with a bit of kerosene on a concrete flagstone to flatten a coarse combination stone. Swirl the stone around in figure eights until a greyish slurry is formed. When you have the grey slurry, it's time to flip the stone to do the smoother side.
Since my mother passed away I can now release one of my father's oldest secrets - the sloping side of an old fashioned concrete wash tub is perfect for this.
--
Greg



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Yabut that really blows the budget to hell. Those EZELAPs and DMTs are 2x to 3x the cost of a combo stone...
<pitch>He's a good kid. Well on his way to Eagle Scout, does the Catholic church things, hiked the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim this September... How's about you guys send a buck or two to the Nephew Sharpening Stone Fund and I'll buy him the diamond stones.</pitch>
I guess I'll lean toward the Norton oil stone that has served me well for years now. I'll also see if I can find a light oil that's not as smelly as kero.
--
Owen Lowe and his Fly-by-Night Copper Company
____

"Sure we'll have fascism in America, but it'll come disguised
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On Tue, 30 Nov 2004 14:06:31 -0800, Fly-by-Night CC

Right, but he won't have to replace it every 2-3 years. Try the HF diamond plates for a closer-to-budget item. I've known a couple people who had the smaller ones and they seemed to hold up fairly well. I haven't used one.

Hah! $13, sucha deal! I have 2x6ers and they work just fine. http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber6799 These aren't as fine, but they'd work quickly to take out nicks. Scary(tm) it to final grit. Suggestion: Make a box for him in which to store his sharpening gear. Then it won't get lost. Or suggest it for him to do as a first project.

Yuck x2. I always shied away from sharpening as a kid because of the oily, sticky mess it was. If ScarySharp(tm) had existed back then, I'd have learned a LOT earlier.
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Hi Owen,
I use the 8 x 2 - 800/4000 or 1000/4000 combo wet stone, purchased at LV.
From my own experince. The stone is only half the battle. Whether it be chisels or plane irons, you need a decent jig to guide them, and you need to learn how to use them.
Too me, water stone's can be messy. Water and the slurry etc.
Pat
On Mon, 29 Nov 2004 13:59:37 -0800, Fly-by-Night CC

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It doesn't much matter what kind of sharpening set up you give him. The most important gift you can give is the knowledge of how to use it. If possible spend time helping him tune and sharpen the plane. If that's not possible try to get the blade sent to you to put an edge on it. If he's like most 13 year olds he'll want to make shavings NOT have a zen-and-the-art-of-sharpening experience. Once he knows what the tool should feel like, then the impetus to touch up a dull edge exists. AFAIK, diamonds are the only near zero-maintenance and near zero-expendable-supplies solution.
hex -30-
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Shapton stones. A little more expensive but sharpen faster, last longer, and don't require storing in water (like waterstones). Also see my posting from a few months ago regarding sharpening methods. Just do an andvanced google groups search for author of Never Enough Money.
cut
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On 1 Dec 2004 14:11:19 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Never Enough Money) wrote:

Dear Santa,
Can I have a Shapton stone too ? I've been good - I can't afford to be bad any more, and I certainly can't afford one of them.
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On 1 Dec 2004 14:11:19 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Never Enough Money) wrote:

I've used Shapton stones, but don't own any.
Two thumbs up!
Barry
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