Waterstones or Water Stones. What is a good source


I have done a bit of reading on waterstones and would like to see if anyone has some sources, enhancements or corrections to my thoughts on obtaining and using them.
I have several diamond stones and even the fine diamond stone is quite course in comparison to the finer water stones. My thought is to use my diamond stones for the initial sharpening stages and go to 4,000 and/or 8,000 water stones for the final sharpening stages.
I have used the "scary sharp" method and it works very well, but I have a feeling, after seeing the professionals approach to sharpening, that water stones might be the preferred way for them. I would like to experience using water stones for myself.
I have seen good comments on Norton water stones. They seem quite expensive. I get the impression that there is quite a difference in the characteristics of different brands of waterstones. Does anyone have some good experience about this?
Where is the best source you have found for 4,000, 6,000 and 8,000 grit waterstones?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I create my bevel on a Tormek system then flatten the back with a course diamond plate. My personal opinion is a 1000 then 5000 shapton stone. Expensive but they just do a beautiful job. I finish with an 8000 Takenoko Polishing Stone. When I finish I can not only shave but cut a piece of paper in half clean. Shapton stones are a dream to use. They are ceramic so they don't dish as easy and the slurry they create is not sticky like the Japanese stones. Best part is that you don't have to soak them, just wet them down. I keep a spray bottle next to my sharpening area. Problem with scary sharp system is that you, usually use, a plate glass. In my opinion plate glass doesn't seem to be very flat for the most part. Check it with your straight edge. Japan woodworker has a great selection of waterstones. Hope this helps.
Don
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

After a lot of research and asking the wreck what everbody thought, I bought a set of Shaptons. 1, 5, and 8k if I remember right. I already had a diamond. Mostly got the Shaptons because they were as good at sharpening as any others, and everybody - I mean, everybody - said they lasted many times longer than any other waterstones.
I like 'em. Bought the flattener and flattener grit too. I've had to flatten the 1k a couple times, and the 5k once. The 8k is still flat.
They've been getting a workout lately. I keep aquiring good chisels that have been beaten to death. They've all needed new bevels.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Shaptons are the best.
http://masamiki.com/mono/tools/sharpening.htm
You can buy them direct.
-j
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 29 Nov 2005 17:03:08 GMT, with neither quill nor qualm, Dan

Cha CHING! I would have bought a new car instead. <silly grin>
A piece of 1200 grit WOD paper on top of my DMT works for me. (1/2 sheet on the counter and 1/2 sheet on the DMT)
Then a strop with LVT green crayon finishes it up. Smooth as a baby's butt and shiny enough to count nose hairs.
--- - Sarcasm is just one more service we offer. - http://diversify.com Web Applications
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Yes Shapton are the best, but I took my financial status into much more realistic consideration (of course no "status" involved) and got four grits (220, 1000, 4000, 8000) in two combination stones made by Norton in the USA, and the Norton prep stone (Nagura, for slurry) for the two highest grits, and the Norton flattening plate, grand total of $136.57 (minus S/H) and it all does a great job. I get razor sharp results with bur free and glass smooth cutting edges on chisels and plane blades. I only use distilled water.
Stones: http://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/Merchant/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=toolshop&Product_Code=NO-WAT.XX&Category_Code=CNO Prep stone (Nagura) http://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/Merchant/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=toolshop&Product_Code=NO-NAGURA&Category_Code=CNO
After using the flattening plate with a stone, you will want to continue and further smooth the stone surface on 320 and 600 grit paper. But for initial back lapping, you'd want an eze-lap diamond plate, 600 grit, or a kanaban plate and diamond paste. Final back lapping can be done on the finer Norton grits.
http://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/Merchant/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=toolshop&Product_Code=MS-SFP200&Category_Code=THW
I would love to buy a Shapton 15,000 grit stone, but these 12,000 grit natural quarried stones (water use) from China are a lot cheaper:
http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?DeptID@26&FamilyIDI20
...hope this helps
--
Alex - "newbie_neander" woodworker
cravdraa_at-yahoo_dot-com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
AAvK wrote:

Same here. Having used Shapton stones, I'll be replacing worn or damaged stones one at a time with them. _IF_ I have worn or damaged stones. <G>
Damn, Shaptons are good...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Thanks, I know I will try one, one day ... up in the long distant future of mankind ... he he he ...
--
Alex - "newbie_neander" woodworker
cravdraa_at-yahoo_dot-com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In my opinion waterstones are the best way to get an edge on hand tools. I have a #220, #1000 (Deluxe), #4000 (King), and the #8000 Kitayama. I got them from The Japan Woodworker (japanwoodworker.com). They give you a decent discount if you buy 3 or more stones. I probably should've gotten a 6000# too as the jump from 4000 to 8000 is kind of big in terms of honing, but I was on a budget then (still am *sigh*). I spend a little bit more time on the 8000 as a result. A #2000 would be nice too, but my basic set is all you really need.
Nothing cuts faster than waterstones. Norton's are good stones. FWW did a test on different sharpening systems and the Norton's did well, but not as good (in terms of sharpness) as the Japanese waterstones used in the test. One of the things you'll learn is that shiny doesn't equate to sharp. I've read this from Steve Knight here on the wreck and witnessed it first hand.
I wanted to reestablish the bevels on a couple plane irons. I also didn't want to put a secondary bevel like most people do. And after doing some informal tests I've come to the conclusion that a secondary bevel is not necessary, nor does it save time or metal in the long run.
I started with the scary sharp method and went up to 600 grit sandpaper. I noticed that the bevel was taking on a shine at that level. I gave the edge the shave the knuckle hairs test and couldn't shave one hair. I then put the edge to my #4000 grit stone and noticed the shine disappearing and becoming matte. I then did the shave test and the edge easily took off knuckle hairs. So, shiny doesn't mean sharp and dull doesn't mean, well, dull. I surmised that the slurry coupled with the dulling abrasives on the sandpaper caused the polishing effect without really sharpening the edge. Also, scary sharp is great for beginners to be able to sharpen their edge tools without much initial cash outlay, but in the long run it gets really expensive, especially when you consider that a set of decent waterstones can be had for around $100 to $150 and will last a very very long time.
Since you already have diamond stones I would save the coarse diamond stone for flattening your waterstones. And the medium stones for flattening the backs of plane irons and chisels and setting the bevel. Then, use the higher grit waterstones for final honing and polishing like you said. You don't say what kind of diamond stones you have, but monocrystalline diamonds are better than polycrystalline. Also, don't forget to order a nagura stone for #4000 and up waterstones. This is necessary for best performance on the higher grits.
You could by combination waterstones, but I've always found the grit combinations either too far apart, too close or just plain weird.
Shapton stones are the ulitmate, so I've heard and read. Steve Knight even sold all his old stones so he could buy the Shaptons! They are pricey (that's perhaps an understatement). But, I'm very satisfied with my current stones. I love my Kitayama stone...perhaps cherish it. Not because it's the most expensive stone in my set, but because of the edge it puts on my plane irons and chisels and how it puts that edge on...effortless.
Tools for Working Wood has a page with good comparisions:
http://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/Merchant/merchant.mvc?Session_ID f6b11348b3ad3fe17e59af67e8772f&Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=toolshop&Category_Code=THW
Some other good sites for stones:
http://www.hidatool.com/woodpage/stones.html
http://www.misugidesigns.com/hammers.html
Layne

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That makes sense - one could polish a sphere to be shiny, but it obviously would not be sharp. So one might surmise your first pass was somehow polishing a not-completely-flat surface.
(I get that result a lot, due to careless technique, and then have to spend a lot of extra time being careful to fix it. But I imagine it's possible to get a similar result even with good technique for some combinations of tool & sharpening gear).
John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.