Using Japanese Water Stones

I bought a copy of Leonard Lee's "Sharpening" book with the expectation that it would teach me how to properly use the dual-grit Japanese water stone I just bought for my planes and chisels. It doesn't. I've also looked for instructions on the Web, but without success. Perhaps someone here can fill in the gaps.
The instructions that came with the stone said to soak it in water for about 5 minutes. That I did. I also know that when I'm about finished with the coarser side I should leave the slurry on the stone to reduce the aggressiveness of the cut.
But, what I don't know is how wet the surface should be, how frequently to wash off the surface and other operational details.
Pointers to such information greatly appreciated.
TIA,
Rich
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Do as you like. Some people wash the slurry off I do rinse it every so often to both wash slurry off and to re moisten the stone. By the way, NEVER store your stone wet where it can freeze.
On 14 Jan 2004 04:28:57 GMT, Rich Shepard

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I use an old windex spray bottle to wet the stone. I wet it when it starts to get dry. Tony D.
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Thanks. I didn't know if there was a recommended procedure or not. And, when we had out blizzard and ice storm here last week I moved the stone from the garage to the interior of the house.
Rich
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On 14 Jan 2004 04:28:57 GMT, Rich Shepard

The surface needs to be wet. If the stone is too dry, then surface water soaks into it. You need to soak the stone innards enough that standing water poured on the top stays there.
1000 grit medium, or natural stones, need soaking. Coarse stones are porous enough that they soak easily and quickly, fine stones are hard enough that the standing water doesn't soak in anyway and they need just a bare splash.
I don't usually wash the surface of my stones while working. I work with them in a dry pond (the lid of the Tupperware box I keep them in) on the benchtop and I splash on a little water as needed to keep them wet. This is adequate to rinse the worn and dirty slurry off, as much as needed.
For heavy work, such as making a new knife from scratch or polishing a long sword, I sit in a bucket. The pond is a plastic lid big enough to squat in or sit on a treestump and the stone is supported by another slab of tree trunk. I work barefoot, but I don't have enough toe strength to clamp the stone down traditionally, so I use plastic nuts and bolts from a kid's toolset.
When changing grits, I rinse the stone and pond out, then scrub my hands and maybe even the ponds. Particularly if I'm polishing swords, I don't want a "wolf" grain putting scratches in things.
Remember to flatten your stones, and working over the whole area of the stone can reduce the frequency of this. I flatten mine on a concrete paving slab. If you do this on the back step, rinse it clean afterwards - waterstone slurry is slippery as weasel shit.
Toshio Odate's book is good on the use of Japanese tools, including waterstones. Leon Kapp's swordsmithing book too, if you start to care about aesthetic polishing, not just sharpening. -- Do whales have krillfiles ?
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Thanks, Andy. I have a bucket with water in it and put the stone (on its plastic base) in a cookie sheet I use to keep water from getting all over the place. When I see a lot of slurry on the top I rinse the stone in the bucket which also re-wets the top. I like the idea of a pump spray bottle and will try that.
I sense that the consensus is to figure it out by trial and error. :-) So, I'll do that.

Only for Usenet.
Thanks to all of you,
Rich
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Keeping an old dish detergent bottle around filled with water, works great, squirt a little on the stones for lube, and to remove the slurry.
I use a 1000 grit(not often), and a 5000 grit, and remove the slurry quite often. Hate to admit it, but Lee Valleys stone pond is awsome, keeps your stones in water, raised above the bottom to avoid contamination, and the lid is a half decent work area.
Cheers,
andy
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Good idea. Thanks.

I'll look at it.
Rich
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On 14 Jan 2004 04:28:57 GMT, Rich Shepard

It would be so much easier to watch someone or see a video. The stone should have a constant slow drip of water if using a reservoir. I soak waterstones under water until no more bubbles surface, maybe 10 minutes. Frequently I will use a water spray bottle for some stones. When you are done using the stone for the day rinse it off. Japanese stones are fragile and can be expensive, handle with care and store them properly. I still have mine after 12 years of use.
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