Waterstones getting too smooth.

I have a Japanese waterstone (actually purchased in Kyoto) but I don't have any instructions for it. It is marked 1000 on one side and 6000 on the other. I've read what I could find about how to use it. I sharpen mostly kitchen knives and woodworking chisels.
I soak it in water before using it and I keep it wet while sharpening with it. I maintain a wet slurry on the surface while sharpening.
I true it regularly by rubbing it on a 20"X20" piece of plate glass with a slurry made of carbide lapping grit and water. This truing keeps it flat and seems to work fine.
But I notice that the stone gets very smooth every time I use it. Toward the end of a sharpening session, the 1000 side is noticeably smoother than when I started and the 6000 side is almost like glass.
Truing the stone renews the grit, i.e. it feels slightly gritty and not glassy, and it sharpens well. I can use the stone once, maybe twice, after truing it. But after that it sharpens little if at all, so I have to true it again.
Are waterstones supposed to be re-ground every time they are used? Or is there something about my sharpening technique that is clogging the surfaces? Any ideas?
Thanks, Zaster
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I have a Japanese waterstone (actually purchased in Kyoto) but I don't have any instructions for it. It is marked 1000 on one side and 6000 on the other. I've read what I could find about how to use it. I sharpen mostly kitchen knives and woodworking chisels.
I soak it in water before using it and I maintain a wet slurry on the surface while sharpening.
I true it regularly by rubbing it on a 20"X20" piece of plate glass with a slurry made of carbide lapping grit and water. This truing keeps it flat and seems to work fine.
But I notice that the stone gets very smooth every time I use it. Toward the end of a sharpening session, the 1000 side is noticeably smoother than when I started and the 6000 side is almost like glass.
Truing the stone renews the grit, i.e. it feels slightly gritty and not glassy, and it sharpens well. I can use the stone once, maybe twice, after truing it. But after that it sharpens little if at all, so I have to true it again.
Are waterstones supposed to be re-ground every time they are used? Or is there something about my sharpening technique that is clogging the surfaces? Any ideas?
Thanks, Zaster
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It sounds like you are not keeping the stone wet enough. I would very often add water to the top to wash the excess, pore filling, slurry away.
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Sounds like you are getting the 6000 slurry mixed into the 1000 grit side. When truing the stone, care must be taken to insure the slurry is cleaned and not mixed with lower grits. Keep the 6000 sidde very wet when sharpening and clean it after each use.
Dave

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I would simply get a coarser grit stone for heavy sharpening and lay off using the carbide lapping grit. Sounds like it is getting embedded in your stone and is doing the sharpening. This depends on the coarseness of the grit, but unless it is almost powderlike I'd keep it away from the 6000 side of the stone. 6000 grit doesn't do much sharpening. It just puts a final polish on what you have done so far.
-Jack

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...

...
Hi,
Both the 1000 and the 6000 will cut very slowly. The 6000 will normally feel silky and smooth (almost like glass). The 6000 cuts so very slowly that the only way you can tell it is working is that the edge you are sharpening will come to a polished finish. The 1000 is nearly as slow, but your bevel will look a little grayish, and as you polish longer, the bevel will slowly get wider.
More aggressive sharpening takes a coarser grit stone. I like the DMT Duostones (the diamond stone, medium on one side and fine on the other) for the aggressive sharpening (preparing new blades or working nicks out of my rough chisels). The Duostone is also good for flattening my 1000/6000 waterstone. My waterstone is a common inexpensive brand (King).
I use a little water syringe to rinse most of the slurry (and metal) off the stone as I'm sharpening.
I have no experience at all with the carbide lapping compound you describe. Unless your carbide is a finer grit than 6000 (not likely!) then I might be a little concerned about contaminating my fine grit waterstone with coarser grit carbide.
You didn't mention whether or not your blades get sharp. As long as they are getting sharp it seems like the rest is just academic. :-P
Cheers, Nate
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I didn't see it mentioned before in this thread....
Traditionally, people use a nagura stone to prepare the waterstone before use, especially with the fine grits. Several grades are used, depanding on the fineness of the stone. It is used to quickly get the proper slurry so that real cutting can be done sooner.
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I have a Japanese waterstone (actually purchased in Kyoto) but I don't have any instructions for it. It is marked 1000 on one side and 6000 on the other. I've read what I could find about how to use it. I sharpen mostly kitchen knives and woodworking chisels.
I soak it in water before using it and I keep it wet while sharpening with it. I maintain a wet slurry on the surface while sharpening.
I true it regularly by rubbing it on a 20"X20" piece of plate glass with a slurry made of carbide lapping grit and water. This truing keeps it flat and seems to work fine.
But I notice that the stone gets very smooth every time I use it. Toward the end of a sharpening session, the 1000 side is noticeably smoother than when I started and the 6000 side is almost like glass.
Truing the stone renews the grit, i.e. it feels slightly gritty and not glassy, and it sharpens well. I can use the stone once, maybe twice, after truing it. But after that it sharpens little if at all, so I have to true it again.
Are waterstones supposed to be re-ground every time they are used? Could there be something about my sharpening technique that is clogging the surfaces? Any ideas?
Thanks, Zaster
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