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
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?