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Poll: Waterstones

 
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Which type of waterstone do you use?
Shapton
35%
 35%  [ 6 ]
King
17%
 17%  [ 3 ]
Suehiro
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Bester
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Norton
17%
 17%  [ 3 ]
Natural Stones (Japanese)
29%
 29%  [ 5 ]
Natural Stones (other country)
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Kita-yama
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Other
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
I don't use waterstones
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Total Votes : 17

Author Message
Chris Hall
Moderator


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 439
Location: Vancouver Island, B.C.

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 10:44 am    Post subject: Poll: Waterstones Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

with all the discussion lately on the sharpening forum, I was curious to know just which products people out there were using to sharpen, so voila! let's have a poll! I have focussed this one on waterstones exclusively. Feel free to post your comments below after taking the poll.

Chris
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Peter Cowick



Joined: 15 Jul 2004
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 11:24 am    Post subject: Poll: Water Stones Reply with quote

Chris,

Sorry for this format, but the poll did not let me click on more than one catagory.

I use Eze Lap diamond stones for forming the shape of the bevel and edge, then Norton for intermediate steps and on my good blades and for old fashion blades of Tamahagane and white steel (not HSS and modern mixes) natural stones for final finishing.
For Modern mixes I use Diamond, Norton and Shapton final.

Peter
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Chris Hall
Moderator


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 439
Location: Vancouver Island, B.C.

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Peter,

yeah, I had intended that the poll allow "click all that apply" but it's a no-go. Perhaps there is a better way of conducting a poll like this?

Personally, I use the New Kent #1000, followed by either a Shapton #2000, or a unknown brand of green ceramic that I have, also around #2000, then a Shapton #5000, followed by the Naniwa #10,000. I've worn out the Naniwa, and am strongly considering the Shapton 8,000 and 16,000.

Chris
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Peter Cowick



Joined: 15 Jul 2004
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 12:50 pm    Post subject: Poll: Water Stones Reply with quote

Chris,

In my opinion anything above 10,000 is for the ura side and stainless and HSS. It tends to be a problem without special handling on the bevel side of plane blades.

Your post earlier that finishing mortice chisels and for that matter tataki for rough work to real polish beyond say 4000-5000 is a true waste of time was a point well taken. Not every tool should be taken to the 30,000 level if ever that far. Finish planes are a special case all their own. Chisels that are not used for paring do not need the time spent on them.

Peter
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Chris Hall
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Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 439
Location: Vancouver Island, B.C.

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Peter,

what do you mean by "special handling"? Are you referring to the grabbiness of the stones on the jigane?

I haven't found that any of the stones I have work at all with HSS/stainless steels - not a problem actually since none of my edged hand tools are HSS or stainless.

Chris
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Peter Cowick



Joined: 15 Jul 2004
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 3:33 pm    Post subject: Poll: Waterstones Reply with quote

Chris,

Sorry I did not get back, had some errends to run. Yes, on normal laminated blades, the real fine grit is grabby on the jigane on the bevel side. I think the sideways method of sharpening the bevel is one method of dealing with that problem.

I do have HSS blades for real coarse work, but it is possible too get sharpe finished edges on them with some effort. Mine replace the old scrub planes. In my opinion, the new high end abraisives in the 10,000 and up catagory are best for industrial applications and the super hard steels like knives where stainless is used.

As the new generation of abrasives were developed to take care of the more modern steel mixes with the tungsten and vandium and chromium and molybdium and other toughening agents, and finer and finer grit man made stomes were possible due to improvements in technology, the whole feel of the process has changed. However the new grits are many times finer than natural stones.

At first, I hated diamond stones. Then as I found diamond stones that would hold their shape while I did my rough bevel and edge shaping, I found a place for them in my shop. At first I hated the feel of the steel on the stone. It did not feel like natural stones. I did however find out they remove real metal quickly with a lot more control than grinders. They also let me spend more of my time sharpening than flatening rough stones.

With the middle grade stones, natural was always a little too expensive on this side of the pond. I went with man made middle grade stones. I fiddled with Samari (old brand) , King and Suihiro at first and finally decided I liked the Samari until I could not get them any longer. They were the softest of the bunch. I favor soft stones. Then I went to King. As time went by, I got into Norton because I liked the soft feel and the quick cutting. To me they mimiced natural soft stones. The 1000 might be a little too soft, but it cuts quick. I particularly like the 5000 grit.

I feel there is a tendency to skip too far from the top of the middle grits to finish stones most of the time. Going fron a 1000 to a 4000 or 5000 grit is too big a jump. the 1500 or 2000 or a ocean natural blue at 2500-3000 is best. Sorry I did not mention that. The better time spent under 5000 the quicker the finer grits give the finish edge.

As other brands came into the market, like Bester, Kent and others, as my sharpening demonstration fees permitted, I tried as many as I could afford. With the newer generation, it is not financially possible for me to try them all.

I have a shamelessly wide variety of natural stones. Somewhere between 60 and 75 finish stones and they run the full spectrum of color and hardness from various strata and from about 9 different mines in Japan. They are my favorate from the traditional standpoint. They were however used historically for white and natural steels not the new high end blues and hybrids. I have enough variety, so finding the right stone, tool combination is not too hard. Luckily I have some high grade narrow stones I can use for narrower blades like smaller plane blades and chisels without worrying about a dig in the wider stones.

I have tried and use Shapton mostly for the hybrid steels in the finer grits. Actually I still like the soft feel of the 8000 grit Norton, but beyond that, it is necessary to go to another vender like Shapton or Naniwa.

I have some reservations about the new Shaptons on float glass, but will keep an open mind until I have used them a while.

A long time ago a brother in law of mine told me he did not want to use diamond abraisives on his knife collection because it would scratch the blades. I wonder how he sharpens without abraiding the steel to this day. However I now conceed that individuals have personal preferances based on how a product feels when they use it. I am also wise enough to avoid counceling someone to throw out what they have and use just to have the latest and greatest in technology. It is not necessary to do good woodworking.

Peter
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Chris Hall
Moderator


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 439
Location: Vancouver Island, B.C.

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Peter,

I would predict that you sharpen 90˚ on or somewhat skewed, given your preference for softer stones. Am I right?

I, on the other hand, don't like the softer stones, especially if they are gummy in feel- like Suehiro for example. The Shapton's are hard and the 5000 in particular is grabby unless I go completely sideways - which is what I do for the most part anyway. The Naniwa 10000 has a bit of talc in it, so it is soft-feeling without the gumminess. It seems to wear pretty fast, though at $65 a pop, it's reasonable.

Most of my Japanese tools are Blue and Super Blue steels, and I have been getting good results with the ceramics. Actually, I would like to try out more of those New Kent stones, as I really like the 1000. You are dead right about needing an intermediate jump between 800~1200 and 4000~6000. Going directly like that means just wayyy too much work on the 4000~6000 stone. I quite like the 2000's I use, though the Shapton 1500 was pretty good too.

I have a couple of natural stones, following your heads up on the sale they had on the Lee Valley website a couple of years back, but I don't use them too much.

It seems like a grit progression of 1000-2000-4000-8000 makes a lot of sense. I use the DMT coarse/extra coarse plate for taking care of nicks and chips. It's an okay product, but they only last me about a year before they start delaminating and I need to get another one. And i know they are not precisely flat. I almost never use a grinder, save for taking down the mimi on plane blades.

A good Japanese term to introduce here, for the benefit of those reading this post, is "togi-aji" - the 'taste of grinding', relating to how a blade feels when slid upon a given stone. "Togi-aji ga ii" - "the sharpening feeling is good", or "togi-aji ga warui", "the sharpening feel is poor". I'm not intending to lecture at all, I just thought it is interesting how the Japanese culture views the sharpening process and choice of terms used to describe it.

Chris


Last edited by Chris Hall on Wed May 10, 2006 9:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Ludo



Joined: 18 Nov 2004
Posts: 143
Location: Taiwan

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chris, Peter,

You should have more of those discussions together! There's a disctinctive mark of knowledge that one can feel when you and other experienced guys chat.

I use a king, norton (2 sides 4000-8000grit), and got also some Lee Valley natural stone (from Honyama and honyama-suita mines), and 4 small diamond stones. I like the norton as it really seem to cut fast, as can be seen on the white 4000 surface quickly darkening. I use the norton on HSS kiwa kanna blade, and it seems to work fine for me.

Since I have only few stones, I regularly use also the natural ones. But I don't feel they cut very well. Note that since I do not know what is their grit, I may be jumping on them too early in the process.

The advantage of having few stones for the amateur with little experience, is that one can more easily find out which BLADE sharpens well and which would require another type of stone. If I had 50 blades to try on 50 different stones, I'd get lost among all the possible combination (unless I had a teacher to guide me).

Ludo
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Chris Hall
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Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 439
Location: Vancouver Island, B.C.

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing I well remember from a visit to the Hiraide store in Japan was the startling number of stones they kept over in the sharpening area - there must have been 300-400 stones. These weren't for sale - they used them to sharpen tools. I also wondered, like you Ludo, how they keep track of not only which is which, but what works with what blade. It definitely gave me fresh perspective on the 3 stones I had.

One guy I worked with said that his teacher advocated 'summer stones' and 'winter stones' - it's endless.

C.
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Peter Cowick



Joined: 15 Jul 2004
Posts: 439

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 10:33 am    Post subject: Poll: Waterstones Reply with quote

Chris,

Long ago while I was sharpening for other craftsmen that I was wearing DMT stomes out in 30 days or less flattening waterstones (down to 600-700 grit) when the loose stone grit dug into the plastic behind the nickel matrix. My solution was to use diamond only on 2000 and finer grit and use DMT with the big void area only for finish stones. I have never had a problem with flattening waterstones due to the DMT not being flat enough. I just moved the stone around a lot and reversed the face and sides making contact continuously. The reason I finally switched to EZE Lap was without the matrix spacing. The continuous nickel surface did not allow the tool behind the nickel. Since they were mounted on steel plates the plates did not deform even with vigerous work on them. I also found out that EZE Lap has two different quality plates. The standard plate is 1/4" and the better plate is 3/8" thick. While diamonds like carborundum will cleave into smaller particles after continuously being struck by tools, it only produces a finer grit, it does not stop cutting. I have 20 plus year old plates that are not about 2000 grit. Back to the story. The thing that deteriorates man made diamond abraisives is heat. The thicker 3/8" plates were better heat sinks and they lasted longer. In addition and more importantly, the 3/8" plates were machined flat and were better for that reason.

You are correct I use a slightly diagonal attack on the stones and perhaps that is why I favor soft stones. The trick with soft stones is they constantly have freash abraisive to wear the steel quickly. The price you pay for that is they require more care to stay flat. After I have the perfect bevel shape and edge shape, for really finicky final edges even with natural stones it is often necessary to go to a naturally hard stone. Life can be full of contradictions.

Before the point gets lost, the way a stone feels to the user is an individual process. I never particularly liked the hard glassy feel of my Arkansas stones, but they worked well. Water stones gave me grits that were finer and made sharper edges. I was personally in heaven with soft stones, but diamond plates made sence and I had to make some compromises in order to be practicle. Now I know what to expect of them and the new ceramics. I suppose the new glass stones will be more like the diamond on steel, but with better grit availability.

Basicly the first man made stones like King were started just to give more consistant grit and more reliable prices. The technique to use them was about the same. As sharpening stones went from the old King to the next generation ceramic to work better on new materials being used in tool edges, the feel changed and it became necessary to change the sharpening technique itself. With Shapton the finer grits made sideways sharpening necessary. Perhaps the next generation on float glass may not require tuning the blade. What starts to be apparent is it is necessary to accept change to new tool steels, the sharpening material and more importantly the users technique to continue to take advantage of new developments.

The only bad sharpening product is the one you never use.

Peter
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SJohnson



Joined: 04 Apr 2006
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 11:40 am    Post subject: Sharpening Reply with quote

Just my two cents worth....I also use the DMT plates for coarse work followed up by the DLRP. I can't say enough good things about this plate,mine is going on a year and a half old and still going strong. Like most of you I then move to a 1000( norton) . This stone and the shapton 1000 seem very similar and can be rather quick to glaze abit. Then on to the 4000 norton always checking between grits with a 20X loupe under good light. The 4000 norton is extremely soft and wears super fast. I like the feel and surface left on many (not all)of my jap blades. I think I prefer soft stones as well but you can't press real hard. The 5000 and 8000 shapton I struggle with they are so hard. Currently I have been using the Norton 8000 and then a 15000 shapton which seems softer than the 5k or 8k. Where I get streaks on the surface I usually resort to 3micron or less diamond paste.

I have to keep notes on all my blades because of the diversity of metals. When I find a combination that really works well for a particular blade I right it down. I strongly urge one to try the lighted loup if don't already. It really helps to see if the previous grits scratches are gone before you move on to the next level.

Steve.
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Oakwoodforge



Joined: 24 Jul 2006
Posts: 22
Location: Fairfield, Iowa USA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use alot of waterstones when I'm making blades, mostly King stones followed by some Norton's & Shapton's as well as a few DMT & Smiths Diamond stones. I have yet to find any natural stones that I could afford, but I'd like to get some, someday.
I also use those $20 soft red stones for final shaping of blades, defining grindlines and bevels or removing stubborn sanding scratches. For actual sharpening of blades I tend to experiment alot untill I find something that works. Latley I've been forging alot of 1084 & 1095 with either a Wrought Iron or 1018 backing when I work those down to a 2000g King stone it comes out hair poping sharp, a really dynamic edge. For some of my bigger blades I use 5160 steel and the Norton 1500g stone gives me a great working edge that takes a fair amount of abuse. As far as sharpening my planes and chisels I like the King stones the best, they seem to cut fast and evenly. All I know is I'll never go back to oil stones except for a hard black Arkansas that is the only stone that puts the right final edge on a small woodcarving knife I got from Denmark, no idea what the steel is but its just this side of diamond hard and will hold a super edge all day, in a long day of carving. Well there is my $0.02 Very Happy

Jens

PS: My First after school job was sharpening Chisels and Plane Irons for a local woodworker friend of my fathers. Thats what got me to fall in love with the water stones, nothing works so well or gives a better edge IMHO
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heffesan
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

had the regional DMT reps into the woodworking school this week.
(Marc Adams School of Woodworking)

one piece of advice for their stones was to clean them with a brass brush (suede brush, bbq brush,......) in addition to a little Oxyclean, or Bon Ami/ Bar Keepers Friends.
swarf can also be removed with a soft artists eraser.

this opens the pores of stones that have gotten clogged up and seem worn out.

we had a 10 year old stone (from a student) that when cleaned looked almost as good a new stone under a loupe (magnifier).

jeff stafford
indianapolis
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