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Waterstone users: final grit?


JohnCockburn
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My Norton 8000 waterstone has just about worn out so I'm looking for a replacement.

I was just wondering what other folks use as their final "polishing" stone?

Was wondering whether to stick with 8000, go up to 10000 or down to 6000.

 

Found the Norton very soft. Didn't last long. Don't think I'll buy another.

 

Cheers

John

 

 

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Problem with water is it's messy. 
It's ok in a water bath though, with a fine Japanese stone. 

For plane irons and chisels etc I like to use diamond plates, with oil. 
I bought two from Axminster, one double side coarse and medium. 
The other is larger and very fine. 
Both work well with oil. 

Joe, I pulled two nice old Arkansas stones out of the bin at Newark, they're good for knives. 

 

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My Norton 8000 waterstone has just about worn out so I'm looking for a replacement.

I was just wondering what other folks use as their final "polishing" stone?

Was wondering whether to stick with 8000, go up to 10000 or down to 6000.

 

Found the Norton very soft. Didn't last long. Don't think I'll buy another.

 

Cheers

John

I have the same experience. They are soft.

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Waterstones are supposed to be soft, you're supposed to resurface them. 

 

 

these are designed to shed and have to be replaced...not a big deal

they are consumed more by re-flattening ..it's just a finishing stone... pressure is quite light

I know, I know. 

But the Norton stones really are quite a bit softer than most others.

I do feel that harder stones are better for knives.

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Lie-nielsen is selling Ohishi water stones.  I have no experience with them, and I hopefully will not need to replace mine for a long time.  However, if I was in the market I would look at these.  I like that these stones are suppose to be spritzed only, no soaking.  They have some useful combination stones as well if that's something you like.  Personally I'd rather have two flat sides to spread out the time between flattening, then do everything at once.  https://www.lie-nielsen.com/product/blade-sharpening/blade-sharpening-ohishi-waterstones-?node=4203 

 

-Jim

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I use the Norton 8000x as well and find I can get good edges straight from it. I agree that it's soft, it requires frequent flattening and you can gouge it quite easily if your not careful. I also have a Sigma 13000x but prefer the Norton. The Sigma has a different feel and for whatever reason I get better edges on my Gold Steel (HSS) knives with the Norton. You might find this article interesting.

 

http://www.leevalley.com/en/newsletters/Woodworking/5/4/article1.htm

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I was just wondering what other folks use as their final "polishing" stone?

Was wondering whether to stick with 8000, go up to 10000 or down to 6000.

 

Found the Norton very soft. Didn't last long. Don't think I'll buy another.

 

Cheers

John

 

I use a Japanese water stone 4000 grit, followed by leather with aluminum oxide abrasive paste.

I also have a 6000 grit (from my wife) and after trying it for a while, I went back to using only the 4000, I consider it more than enough and faster to use.

I do not know the Norton stones, but my Japanese stones (King) are also very soft and are often rectified.

However, I do not know much other brands of stones, I never felt the need to change so my experience is limited, but I believe that going on hyperfine grits is a waste of time spent at sharpening.

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The first three photos are of my water stone sharpening station.  The diamond stone is pretty worn but works perfect to put a new edge on tools and the Norton 6000 grit stone puts a mirror finish on in no time.  I would never use this 6000 grit stone for anything but flat tools like chisels and plane irons.  Trying to use it for gouges will only ruin it ( tracks and ruts ).  For gouges,  finger planes, knives, and things like that I use the oil stones and sand paper.  I've had my water stone for years and I'm sure it will out last me. 

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post-6653-0-94057200-1450537562_thumb.jpg

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I usually finish on my King 4000. I have an 8000 which I only use to finish my jointer plane blade. I bought an Ohishi 3000 and was not impressed. I had heard great things about the quality, but in the end I like my King stones better. 4000 is the sweet spot in my opinion. It's coarse enough that you can still remove material, but fine enough to polish to a mirror edge with a strop.

As for flattening, I use a Dia-Sharp diamond lapping plate which is expensive and totally worth it.

M

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I end with a King 6000, before that King 800 to 1200, then 6000.  Sometimes just touch up on the 6000. The 4000 sounds good however. I wish the 6000 had more bite. 

 

The high number Japanese stones need hardly any water, you're supposed to make a 'dry slurry' on the stone and pass the blade very lightly so it should last a very long time. I've had the 6000 for 15 years. 

 

Of course sometimes you want to take the bevels to school again and I find wet dry sand paper on flat glass and water or oil is a fast way to give them a clean bevel. 

 

If I were going to buy a new high number water stone I think it would be the King 4000.

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For me the water stones are wonderful, but only for certain types of sharpening. The are soft but cut fast. The work beautiful for flat tools, plane irons and chisels. They are terrible for small tools like gouges. You cut ruts in them because they are soft and then waist away a big part of the stone flattering them. Worthless for this type of sharpening. Hard oil stones are way better for small tools. Maybe the hard ceramic would do a good job, I don't know. I've never used one. I just know if you are going to pay big bucks for water stones why would you want to wash three quarters of them down the drain flattening to get the ruts out.

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For me, the water has the advantage of being easier to remove from hands after sharpening, greasy hands have the bad habit of permanently contaminate the wood and you have to wash them very accurately after sharpening, and it is not always so obvious that they have become decontaminated from oil.

From the functional point of view I think it is not too decisive the type of lubricant, before I switch to water I had also used petroleum (on natural Candia stones), less greasy but still too "contaminant".

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