Oilstones advice

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Just thought I'd send an update. I'm very much enjoying the fine India stone. It definitely took some getting used to after the diamond stone system but I'm very impressed by the edges it leaves. I always noticed that the diamond stones left a sticky sharp edge and I always assumed this was the top end of sharp. So I when I didn't get that with the fine India I started to panic a little. But when I sliced through end grain with it I was astounded. I believe now that the oilstone is leaving a smooth edge whereas the diamond was more serrated?

I am still using the extra coarse diamond stone for grinding the whole bevel and then just doing the edge with the fine India and then a charged strop. I did come across a coarse India stone for a good price so took it as a possible replacement for the diamond stone when it gets too worn. This brings me to my question of whether you guys think it's OK to use my broken in extra coarse DMT plate for conditioning the oilstone surface, given that I need it to grind my tool edges too? I have read in a couple of places that oilstones will quickly wear good quality plates, so use cheaper ones. But ideally I don't want to keep accumulating extra kit. I'm not too worried about flattening because I know the stones are hard and I am always trying to use all the surface. Just for keeping them cutting well. Cheap diamond plates seem hit and miss and the 3M diapad is fairly expensive.

Thanks again for all your advice. Really pleased so far that I made the switch!
I use a coarse 3m diapad for freshening up stones. Black or red. Yes they are pricy but seem to last for many years. They flex slightly so you don't have to flatten the stone to get at the whole surface.
In fact you never have to flatten the stone - a slight hollow across is good for cambering the blade and dishing along the length has no effect on anything.
You have to un-think 90% of modern sharpening practice to get back to trad freehand sharpening, but it's worth the effort - simpler, faster, cheaper, effective, stones last for life.
I did have an expensive set of Ezelap plates but sold them on
PS I don't grind thin plane blades or narrow chisels but for heavier plane blades the coarse side of a combination stone is good if you use a holder - a length of 2x1" with a slot for the blade. You can then work it fast and with pressure from both hands. Not needed for chisels of course as they have their own handles!
 
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I use a coarse 3m diapad for freshening up stones. Black or red. Yes they are pricy but seem to last for many years. They flex slightly so you don't have to flatten the stone to get at the whole surface.
In fact you never have to flatten the stone - a slight hollow across is good for cambering the blade and dishing along the length has no effect on anything.
You have to un-think 90% of modern sharpening practice to get back to trad freehand sharpening, but it's worth the effort - simpler, faster, cheaper, effective, stones last for life.
I did have an expensive set of Ezelap plates but sold them on
PS I don't grind thin plane blades or narrow chisels but for heavier plane blades the coarse side of a combination stone is good if you use a holder - a length of 2x1" with a slot for the blade. You can then work it fast and with pressure from both hands. Not needed for chisels of course as they have their own handles!
Thanks Jacob. So are you saying that you only need to go to the fine India when you do regular sharpening of thin plane irons and chisels?
 
You're in the UK, aren't you?
Boxed Washitas are not uncommon nor expensive on UK Ebay.
I do have a washita but the box it came in had the ends nearly knocked out so I discarded it. First project will be making a new box for it but I'm getting my workbench finished first. Are you suggesting that the washita will do the work of the diamond stone?
 
Thanks Jacob. So are you saying that you only need to go to the fine India when you do regular sharpening of thin plane irons and chisels?
I'd hone them all on fine india but only pre-grind the bigger items which need more metal removing - but not every time I hone.
 
Get some loose SiC powder if you want a cheaper way to lap stones. Makes a mess but works.
 
Get some loose SiC powder if you want a cheaper way to lap stones. Makes a mess but works.
Thanks. Yes I thought I'd do this if they do need flattening at some point. I was thinking more about a quick non messy method for conditioning the surface every so often.
 
I do have a washita but the box it came in had the ends nearly knocked out so I discarded it. First project will be making a new box for it but I'm getting my workbench finished first. Are you suggesting that the washita will do the work of the diamond stone?
No, it is a finer stone than that. If you haven't cleaned it yet, soak it in the equivalent of Simple Green over there for a few hours. If it cleans up well, give it a try and compare with the India.
 
I do have a washita but the box it came in had the ends nearly knocked out so I discarded it. First project will be making a new box for it but I'm getting my workbench finished first. Are you suggesting that the washita will do the work of the diamond stone?
Do you know the manufacturer of the washita? Many stones were given that name. Our own David Weaver knows tons of info on natural oilstones and maybe he’ll pop in.
 
Thanks. Yes I thought I'd do this if they do need flattening at some point. I was thinking more about a quick non messy method for conditioning the surface every so often.
Diapad ideal, with white spirit or similar, and takes 5 seconds. I just happen to have them from another job, but a stainless steel pan-scrubber would do, or a bit of coarse stone etc etc.
It's no big deal - just to clean off the swarf and the wire edges which tend to get stuck to the surface.
For reviving an old stone just do the same a few times.
It doesn't help to over-think these very simple processes!
 
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Do you know the manufacturer of the washita? Many stones were given that name. Our own David Weaver knows tons of info on natural oilstones and maybe he’ll pop in.
No manufacturer. I bought it before I saw David's video unfortunately. It does have some mottling in it but the stripe down it seems odd and I think it's in the stone rather than swarf staining because it remained after flattening it on sandpaper.
 

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Diapad ideal, with white spirit or similar, and takes 5 seconds. I just happen to have them from another job, but a stainless steel pan-scrubber would do, or a bit of coarse stone etc etc.
It's no big deal - just to clean off the swarf and the wire edges which tend to get stuck to the surface.
For reviving an old stone just do the same a few times.
It doesn't help to over-think these very simple processes!
Thanks. You'll be relieved to hear I think it's finally sticking!
 
Just thought I'd send an update. I'm very much enjoying the fine India stone. It definitely took some getting used to after the diamond stone system but I'm very impressed by the edges it leaves. I always noticed that the diamond stones left a sticky sharp edge and I always assumed this was the top end of sharp. So I when I didn't get that with the fine India I started to panic a little. But when I sliced through end grain with it I was astounded. I believe now that the oilstone is leaving a smooth edge whereas the diamond was more serrated?

I am still using the extra coarse diamond stone for grinding the whole bevel and then just doing the edge with the fine India and then a charged strop. I did come across a coarse India stone for a good price so took it as a possible replacement for the diamond stone when it gets too worn. This brings me to my question of whether you guys think it's OK to use my broken in extra coarse DMT plate for conditioning the oilstone surface, given that I need it to grind my tool edges too? I have read in a couple of places that oilstones will quickly wear good quality plates, so use cheaper ones. But ideally I don't want to keep accumulating extra kit. I'm not too worried about flattening because I know the stones are hard and I am always trying to use all the surface. Just for keeping them cutting well. Cheap diamond plates seem hit and miss and the 3M diapad is fairly expensive.

Thanks again for all your advice. Really pleased so far that I made the switch!
Glad it's working out!

Use as much of the stone as possible with consistent pressure. Doing so will greatly reduce the need for flattening.

Avoid any process that feels like you're diging a pit.

Hone narrow edges at the end of the stone.
 
Thanks for all the tips everyone. Plenty to be getting on with here! I need to get my workbench completed so I can make a good job of a box. For now I'm going to get a Faithfull or RST beech wood one so I can at least get practicing.
... And you think this thread will just stop just because you've had plenty of advice? If give it at least another 2 pages😄
 
Promoted by this thread I decided to try out my Dad's stone. He managed to survive with a couple of videos and a few other tools. I used to go to his shed and wonder how he did anything with the chisels. Now I know why they were always blunt, I can't remember when I first saw the stone he had, it was always cupped and gouged.
I found it in my box of odd tools last week and flattened one side, and today tried it out. It's VERY soft, he used water on it so I did the same. Useless for getting a worn edge sharp, but used after a normal stone - I could see my face in the result. Perfect for those here who like a polished cutting edge.
So, here's a question: is this a water of ayre stone? It's a full size stone but it never had a box, Dad just dropped it into his tool box
 

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Promoted by this thread I decided to try out my Dad's stone. He managed to survive with a couple of videos and a few other tools. I used to go to his shed and wonder how he did anything with the chisels. Now I know why they were always blunt, I can't remember when I first saw the stone he had, it was always cupped and gouged.
I found it in my box of odd tools last week and flattened one side, and today tried it out. It's VERY soft, he used water on it so I did the same. Useless for getting a worn edge sharp, but used after a normal stone - I could see my face in the result. Perfect for those here who like a polished cutting edge.
So, here's a question: is this a water of ayre stone? It's a full size stone but it never had a box, Dad just dropped it into his tool box
Looks like it according to google but apparently it's very variable. Soft - for silver polishing apparently.


Screenshot 2023-02-27 at 19.47.42.png
 
It looks like one, on one of the google search results it's described as being used to polish silver, some versions of this stone must be really fine.

It's also described as a pumice in one place and as a claystone in another, very different things. Both would be very friable.

I've a small stone in my workshop, but I've not used it yet.
 
Promoted by this thread I decided to try out my Dad's stone. He managed to survive with a couple of videos and a few other tools. I used to go to his shed and wonder how he did anything with the chisels. Now I know why they were always blunt, I can't remember when I first saw the stone he had, it was always cupped and gouged.
I found it in my box of odd tools last week and flattened one side, and today tried it out. It's VERY soft, he used water on it so I did the same. Useless for getting a worn edge sharp, but used after a normal stone - I could see my face in the result. Perfect for those here who like a polished cutting edge.
So, here's a question: is this a water of ayre stone? It's a full size stone but it never had a box, Dad just dropped it into his tool box
Tam o shanter- fine water stone, can be used for razors and knives. Large ones get a good premium on eBay.
I had one for a bit but wasn’t a fan so gave it to a wood carver who found it worked well for quick touch ups between stropping
 

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