I'm learning to sharpen tools. I bought a kit from lee valley, a
combination 1000x/4000x water stone and a honing guide. Last night I was
working away at my plane iron for quite a while, 'cause the blade is in
bad shape (I probably should've started with something coarser than 1000x,
but I have more time than resources).
As I was working, there was some black particulate matter collecting in
the puddles on the stone (swarf?). I'm not sure if this is metal from the
blade, or particles of the stone, or both. Periodically I would rewet the
stone and rinse off most of this black stuff. Not all of it came off
though, and now my 1000x stone has some black swirly patterns on it, like
a good cheescake, and I can't rinse them off or rub them off totally with
my fingers under running water.
Do I need to worry about these marks? How can I clean them? I can take
photos if that would help.
Was there some sort of protective coating/film on your plane iron, that
wasn't removed before sharpening? I'm guessing... (I've sharpened a
chisel with lacquer still on using a diamond stone and it put some nice
streaks on the stone, but those came off because a diamond stone isn't
porous.) You may have imbedded some of the dirty film into your stone,
and if so my first suggestion would be to flatten the stone.
I have the small 1000x/4000x stone (same kit; I outgrew it very
quickly), and the coarse side doesn't generate very black swarf. The
fine side does, and yes, I rinse off periodically.
Find a copy of Fine Woodworking #169 (April 2004) and read the article
on waterstones. I was getting inconsistent flattening results until I
started doing what they said.
Jacobe Hazzard wrote:
On further examination the black substance was coming from the brass
roller cam, was mixing with the swarf and leaving trails that followed the
blade edges. After careful cleaning of the brass hardware, the blade and
the stone, followed by continued use of the stone with frequent rinsing,
I've managed to clean out the marks completely. I'm not sure where the
black stuff came from initially, it may have been from the product I used
to lubricate the roller cam (a natural oil with a Teflon additive), I'll
try again with mineral oil.
The good news is the bevel finally looks great! After honing until my
fingers wrinkled from moisture (note to self: gloves next time) and then
honing three times as much more, I've taken out the rust and the chips and
the weird contours. I'm all set to hone the micro bevel, but I thought it
wise to have a go at that when I'm fresh tomorrow
Oil is dangerous to a waterstone. I lubricate my roller but I use very
small amounts of wd-40 and I blow as much water out before and lubricant
out afterwards as I can with a blower ("compressed air", or actually,
R-134A refridgerant). My honing guide is essentially free of any oil on
any exposed surface before I use it.
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