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oilstone or water stone and what grade combination to get?

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scubadoo

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i'll be needing to sharpen a couple of plane blades and chisels. I have a cheap honing guide from Axminster and was wondering what type of stone is most suitable - oil or water. It's not something I've done before but am fairly practical.

And i see lots of different grades, what 2 or 3 grits would be best. If i can do it with one combination stone, that would be perfect or 2 or 3 individuals maybe.

Thanks

Dave
 

Digit

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Have you considered a diamond stone Dave? Cleaner than either oil or water and usually wider, making a honing guide easier to use.

Roy.
 

Kalimna

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My tuppence worth - I like waterstones. I like the fact that I have to use a number of different grades (and how many is a moot point, but normally a coarse at around 400-600, a medium at 1000-3000 and a fine at 6000ish), and work my way through them. I also use a honing guide.
Now, lots of folk use an oil stone, and do it freehand, and I imagine that it is a quicker (and possibly easier, but thats a hard thing to define) way to do things. Certainly if it's being done in a production environment, I can see the advantages. But I also suspect that it takes a fair bit of practice to get repeatably useful results freehand.
A hobbyist doesnt have the pressure of time so much.
Another consideration is cost. A couple of cheap oilstones and a strop will be a lot cheaper than a bunch of waterstones, and they will also last longer. You may not get quite such a fine edge on the blade from a couple of cheap oilstones, but whether that really matters outside of a finishing cut is perhaps another matter.
A further consideration would be to go down the wet-n-dry sandpaper route of scary sharpening. In the short term, cheaper again. In the long term, possibly not as the paper will need continuous replenishment. But, works well with a jig (upon a rigid surface).

So, many options, and quite a few considerations. Also there many strongly held views as to the 'best' way of doing things. But like many things in life, if there really was only one, best way, then everyone would be doing it. Cats and skinning spring to mind.

My suggestion, built from considerably less experience than most of the folk on here, would be to start off cheaply (wet n dry) and work up to waterstones if you arent happy with the result/method.

Cheers,
Adam
 

Digit

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The reason I use a diamond stone Adam is that being wider than oil stones you don't have to skew a wide iron to fit, having said that I hone with a narrow black Arkansas stone. :oops:

Roy.
 

MickCheese

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jorgoz

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Hi Dave,

Sharpening is a very personal thing, so i can only tell you what has worked and works for me so far for the past 20 odd years.

I started out with a combination oil stone. Gave up on that quickly as i didn't get proper results and was messy, it was the stone recommended by the school i was attending. At that point in time i was very green behind the ears, so it was probably my lack of knowledge that got me poor results, didn't help with ignorant teachers either.

After that i bought my very first waterstone, a combination king 1000/6000. Only one stone to buy and for the steels i was sharpening back then it was just fine. I had a power grinder, so i ground hollow. Shortly after that i bought a Belgian stone for final polishing.

Get yourself a flat piece of float glass, stick on some 180-240 grit sandpaper to flatten the waterstones, the kings dish a lot quicker than some of the newer waterstone. A lot cheaper to start out with instead of getting xtra course diamond stone which you can use for flattening and primary grinding with your jig.

The type of steel you want to sharpen also can determine which type of stone to get. Harder metals fare better with some of the harder ceramic waterstones.

Some will say a combination stone is a waste, as one side get used up quicker than the other, but you can easily stick the remainig stone on a piece of glass and work up all of the stone.

If you want to go seperate stones, an 800, 1200 to 2000 grit stone and a 6000 or 8000 grit stone would be what i would recommend, but this is my personal opinion and you will get many a different one. King waterstones are fine, but there are a lot better choices when it comes to waterstones. For getting nicks out of the bevels you'll needs something courser, for that i recently got a sigma 400 grit stone, a beast of a stone, feels like an 800 stone, but chews metal like it's not there.

A brand i quite like is Cerax waterstones, which you can get from Dieter Schmidt's finetools.com shop. They have a lovely feel and give you lots of feedback something that will help you learn sharpening. They're on the softer side of ceramics though.

Though with all my waterstones, i'm considering to getting more diamond stones, just a lot less mess to deal with and a 1 micron diamond paste for final honing.

How much you want to spend ?
 

Harbo

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I gave up on oilstones and Waterstones.
I have a choice of Tormek, Norton 3M grinding stone, Diamond stone and 3M films depending on what I am sharpening?

Rod
 

Digit

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The EZ Lap are cheaper than some of the better known ones and work well when the time comes Adam.

Roy.
 

scubadoo

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Thanks so much for all the advice, I'll have a good read through tomorrow as I'm about to fall asleep with the Axminster catalogue on my face!

Just for info, for the time being i'll be sharpening a set of Narex cabinetmakers chisels, an old Stanley No.4 Plane and a new Veritas low angle block plane.

Don't know why but for some reason I'm drawn to Waterstones.

Cheers

Dave
 

Modernist

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Good, in that case start with a 1000/6000 combination (maybe King) and see how you get on without breaking the bank.

To keep it flat scribble on it and flatten it on a piece of float glass with 80 grade wet and dry (run very wet) until the scribble has gone.
 

woodbloke

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Digit":16zu4c6u said:
Have you considered a diamond stone Dave? Cleaner than either oil or water and usually wider, making a honing guide easier to use.

Roy.
I'd go with Roy's recommendation if you're relatively new to sharpening. They're consistent, stay flat and you can get a decent edge fairly quickly. The better ones are the DMT plates but expensive, I'd go for the in-house Axminster version(s) which means you won't be needing the services of a surgeon 'cos you'll still have both arms and legs.
Alternatively you could try the Scary Sharp method using sandpaper stuck to float glass which is even less spendy :D - Rob
 

Jacob

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One double sided oilstone for almost everything, then one extra fine one for absolutely everything else. Such as these at Rutlands. Old fashioned, effective, cheap, last for life. You need to work the full surface of the stone to avoid having to flatten them. Clean in use if you have plenty of old rags on hand and a strong magnet to lift off the swarf.
Or if you want to spend some cash and have flat stones forever, I agree, the ezelap diamond are good value and very fast - Tilgear. Then perhaps also get a very fine alox stone as above, for special occasions.
I'd prefer either of these options to waterstones and scary-sharp, which both seem such a lot of bother, and more expensive in the long run.
 

Kalimna

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Jacob - I agree wholeheartedly with your recommendation (a point of view Im coming round to more and more :) ), but sometimes the using of an item is a pleasure in itself (eg waterstones) even if it isnt the cheapest and least bothersome option.
In a simillar fashion, I enjoy drinking wine out of a crystal glass much more than a china mug because of the aesthetics. Mug or crystal dosent really have any impact on the substance being drunk, but it feels better...

Cheers,
Adam S
 

Digit

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but sometimes the using of an item is a pleasure in itself
Yep! In my case hand planing of timber, with machines available logically hand planing is pointless, but so much more satisfying I find.

Roy.
 

Jacob

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Kalimna":2mopmw35 said:
Jacob - I agree wholeheartedly with your recommendation (a point of view Im coming round to more and more :) ), but sometimes the using of an item is a pleasure in itself (eg waterstones) even if it isnt the cheapest and least bothersome option.
In a simillar fashion, I enjoy drinking wine out of a srystal glass much more than a china mug because of the aesthetics. Mug or crystal dosent really have any impact on the substance being drunk, but it feels better...

Cheers,
Adam S
I know what you mean but I feel like that about the oilstones - old venerable tradition, funny old chaps in flat-hats smoking woodbines in sheds and their grandfathers (clay pipes) before them etc etc
 

Digit

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Then you'd appreciate my honing stone Jacob, I picked it up from our recyling centre. Mahogany box and a 14 inch length of Black Arkansas stone, somebody had dumped it!

Roy.
 

Jacob

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Digit":3lpoj98o said:
Then you'd appreciate my honing stone Jacob, I picked it up from our recyling centre. Mahogany box and a 14 inch length of Black Arkansas stone, somebody had dumped it!

Roy.
Sounds good!
 

Harbo

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This is not meant to be controversial but what oils did they use in the old days?
With Waterstones it's obvious.

Rod
 
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