Quantcast
  • We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

Getting stoned (on the bench...)

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

YoelD

Established Member
Joined
7 May 2019
Messages
47
Reaction score
0
Location
Aylesbury
So, after all the helpful advice on chisels I've managed to pick up a few decent pieces: couple of Peace, Sorby, et al.
They need a little work (especially as a couple have been reground at a skewed angle), so I was looking around for sharpening stones and have entered what can only be described as a minefield under heavy fire.
What I'm used to is an oil stone, paper and glass, and leather with the green crayon. Of course, the stone has done walkies and leather has seen better days (but the glass is still in one piece :D )
Are their advantages to water stones, diamond stones, and various other innovations?
Or is there little in it other than marketing and inconsistency between grit sizes?
What do people here personally use, and what would they discount?

Cheers
 

nabs

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2015
Messages
1,445
Reaction score
8
Location
Herts
I'll bite - as you can see from a quick Google on this forum everyone has their own preferences. My own (novice) experience - I started with diamond plates and a strop and, once I had learned to sharpen, they were fine.

Out of curiosity I bought a washita stone of eBay and now prefer using that unless there is a chip in which case I use the coarse diamond stone first.

Ps I should really be using the past tense because all my woodworking gear is still packed in boxes since I moved in October :cry:

PPS a very good overview on sharpening is available from the English Woodworker which covers pros and cons of various media amongst every other sharpening topic you can think of (you will have to pay to watch but will save literally years of time wading through internet discussion s on the same!)
 

--Tom--

Established Member
Joined
16 Oct 2016
Messages
262
Reaction score
50
Location
Cardiff
Having used a fair few different types of stones, and slogging away refurbing boot sale chisels with 80 grit sandpaper, I’ve now come to point where it’s a quick hollow grind on a bench grinder and then a quick hone on whichever stone is nearest / out on the side. A norton combi oilstone has a lot going for it, followed by something finer -washita / ark / slate / other, then strop with compound on leather

Will get you a good enough edge for most things.

I do have some nicer aftermarket plane blades that I can take through the grits to a full mirror edge, that make smoothing with the plane leave a super nice finish, but that’s mostly just because I can, and living in a flat for ages It was easier to practice sharpening than making things. Now I have a workshop I spend my time in it making rather than sharpening, and I think that’s the healthier way round
 

Ttrees

Iroko loco!
Joined
18 Nov 2012
Messages
2,283
Reaction score
72
Location
In me workshop
Same as Nabs for me
Washita and a really worn in 1800 grit small Dia-sharp ex fine diamond stone that gives me a mirror polish.
With a newly ground bevel, honed once, It doesn't take much more than 30 seconds on the washita, and about the same on the DIa-sharp
And I have those cheap 2 quid on eBay thin diamond plate jobs in 400 grit and 1000 for rougher work aswell.
Don't use a strop really, but have some autosol on a board for times I might feel the need to use it.
I'm not sure its worth the bother for me as my fine stone seems adequate.

The most explainable test is shaving hair in my workshop, I don't check anymore, if it turns out to be not quite to my liking I'll go back to the stone which is about two steps away.
I can strop about 5 or 6 strokes and can pop hairs, compared to clean shaving.. not noticing how much you have just shaved off your arm from the diamond plate on a good day, other days it requires a bit of skill to cut without feeling it pull hairs.

Not that I'm much into the ultimate edge, I don't have any other sharpening media
Well actually I have, but not a system.
For instance one King 4000 grit waterstone,what gives a much scratchier polish compared to the Dia-sharp.
Useless without a whole system, and even then it wouldn't be for me.
Every aspect of waterstone maintenance looks a pain... lapping, stone storage faff, bringing water into the shop for many reasons, needing too many, and the price of them to top that off.
No thanks

Never tried an extra fine oil stone, and might one day, but I like knowing that my diamond plate is always flat...
Actually its very slightly crowned because I sheared off the diamonds around the perimeter
with the sides of a few plane irons (unintentionally) but that has become favourable to me now.

Tom
 

John15

Established Member
Joined
27 Jun 2013
Messages
1,601
Reaction score
25
Location
Near Oxford
I use waterstones. An 800 grit to raise a burr, then a 1200 and 6000 and finally strop on a 12000 grit.

John
 

Cheshirechappie

Established Member
Joined
30 Jan 2012
Messages
4,749
Reaction score
29
Location
Cheshire
By coincidence, Joel Moskovic of Tools For Working Wood has just blogged on the subject of honing stones. Whilst I don't entirely agree with everything he's written, it's not a bad overview of the available options.

https://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/sto ... 20for%20Me?

Bear in mind that for gross metal removal when reshaping a tool edge (when badly chipped, for example, or when refurbishing a vintage tool) a means of grinding is also highly desirable, to establish the edge shape and bevel that the stones above then hone to, and maintain, a good working sharpness.
 

YoelD

Established Member
Joined
7 May 2019
Messages
47
Reaction score
0
Location
Aylesbury
Thank You all for the input, and thanks Cheshirechappie for the link. It seems that diamond and water stones are pretty popular so I'm going to have to try these for myself.
 

johnnyb

Established Member
Joined
13 Nov 2006
Messages
994
Reaction score
48
Location
Biddulph staffs
i use and recomend a 1000/6000 waterstone. then a leather strop with autosol. simple and effective. but your best having someone who isnt barmy show what they do..and copy that.
 

YoelD

Established Member
Joined
7 May 2019
Messages
47
Reaction score
0
Location
Aylesbury
Seems I posted this a little prematurely. Guess what turned up underneath a pile of junk in the shed...
I may still give the Waterstones a go, however.
 

ED65

Established Member
Joined
3 Dec 2015
Messages
3,593
Reaction score
1
YoelD":230gx8ja said:
I may still give the Waterstones a go, however.
I urge caution, the grass isn't as green as it looks on the other side of that fence :)

Waterstones will give you nothing you need but can't get elsewhere, while costing not a little and introducing watery mess to the workshop along with possibly a delay in the honing process, so you can't very quickly touch up an edge and get back to it like you're used to. And on top of that the majority of waterstones need to be reflattened with monotonous regularity; some benefit from a little attention every time they're used!

Because of the associated hassles it's not hard to find woodworkers who used to use waterstones but moved away from them. And possibly the key thing about this is that they're not subsequently disappointed with how sharp their tools are, which tells us something important about the reputation waterstones have for producing superior edges.
 

MikeJhn

Grunkel
Joined
2 Sep 2014
Messages
4,048
Reaction score
53
Location
Kent mostly and France the rest
Don't know a lot about sharpening, but the only thing I sharpen on my waterstone is the mower blades, other than that when I do use a chisel (very rare) I use a diamond plate with WD40, works for me.
 

Quickben

Established Member
Joined
23 Mar 2017
Messages
99
Reaction score
1
Location
Whitley Bay
I have a Norton 400\800 oil stone i use for Western\HSS chisels and plane blades and 400\1000 & 3000\8000 waterstones I use for Japanese chisels and plane blades.


I don't see any difference in sharpness between the oil stones and water stones on the Western blades, but for the Japanese stuff only the waterstones give me the results I want. Possibly due to the slightly harder laminate steel used on the edges.


I haven't tried using a leather strop yet, looks interesting. I'm intrigued by this "Scary Sharpening" craze on youtube as well. Anyone tried this ?


*appologies if this is a massive can of worms I've just opened...
 

Glynne

Established Member
Joined
18 Mar 2007
Messages
1,416
Reaction score
3
Location
Sutton Coldfield
I’ve tried pretty much everything and have settled on a grinder followed by freehand on scary sharp sheets on plate glass. Being hollow ground, you have the reference points to get an even bevel across the blade edge. The only flat blades I have are Japanese chisels and I again use scary sharp but with sharpening guides (sorry Jacob). I hone all edges with Autosol on a flat piece of MDF.
I still have my Japanese water stones but the need to flatten them on a regular basis and the mess they make does put me off them for regular use.
But.......use whatever works for you. Start with the cheapest system and see how you get on. Cabinet Makers have been using various systems for years and have managed to produce amazing work without coming up with a consensus so I don’t think you’ll get one here.
 

ED65

Established Member
Joined
3 Dec 2015
Messages
3,593
Reaction score
1
Quickben":ofxerx9q said:
I haven't tried using a leather strop yet, looks interesting. I'm intrigued by this "Scary Sharpening" craze on youtube as well. Anyone tried this ?

*appologies if this is a massive can of worms I've just opened...
The results from sharpening on abrasive paper can be stellar, but the system is the only one that really has an ongoing cost associated with it. So while some have chosen it as their permanent sharpening solution it's widely criticised for this by non-users, who suggest that it's fine to get started with but not ideal for the long term. Which I'd largely agree with myself.

It has another thing very much worth mentioning though, something that doesn't always come up: it tends to be slower. Because of the risk of digging in and tearing the paper/film if you push you have to use edge-trailing strokes only, when almost every other sharpening operation can be done using both forwards and backwards strokes. Effectively this can mean it takes double the time versus a stone it they're directly comparable in abrasiveness (but sideways strokes can be used instead, with little risk of a tear).

Given what you have available to use already I definitely don't need to go down that rabbit hole, everyone's mileage varies though!

Stropping is well worth trying IMO since it can make removing the last traces of the wire edge much easier and repeatable, although it must be said this is not always necessary if you're good on your stones. It is an easy sell as most people can make a strop for literally nothing, all it takes is a scrap of wood or MDF and a piece of an old belt.

If you're not using the strop bare but have a honing compound or metal polish etc. you don't even need the belt, any of the fine abrasives can be spread directly on the wood or MDF, or you can use a piece of tough cloth in place of leather.
 

Droogs

Is that chisel shar ... Ow
Joined
14 Mar 2013
Messages
3,289
Reaction score
601
Location
Edinburgh
Remarkably civilized so far. All I've got out of this is toffee popcorn stuck to my back teeth :shock:
 

ED65

Established Member
Joined
3 Dec 2015
Messages
3,593
Reaction score
1
nabs":o1s2evw2 said:
presumably using sandpaper for the occasional sharpening of edge tools goes back as long as sandpaper has been around
Definitely possible, although it may have required a step up in the quality of the abrasive stuck to the surface from flint or glass to be really viable. When custard cast doubt on my claim that written references to sandpaper sharpening go back to the 40s or 50s at least (based on the dreadful quality of sandpaper available here during the period) I went hunting for even earlier mentions and found one from 1913.

I have little doubt that it was done, even if just in a limited way, as far back as emery paper or cloth was available and this stretches the timeline back into the 19th century.
 

ED65

Established Member
Joined
3 Dec 2015
Messages
3,593
Reaction score
1
Droogs":1426ks5v said:
Remarkably civilized so far. All I've got out of this is toffee popcorn stuck to my back teeth :shock:
Aye, and we know why that is don't we?!
 
Top