for water stones the base.
I have tried most of the sharpening methods by now, sandpaper, water grinder, oil stones and diamonds, but water stones were still a black page in my book.
At first it was because I had too little knowledge to know what to buy and it was just too expensive to just test and throw away, later because I was kind of happy with my water grinder.
But after i started my journey into the Japanese tools it became clear for me that it was a road I had to take, that I needed to save the bucks for a decent set and then sharpen and hone away, especially freehand with my Japanese tools, but also for a jig with my other cutting tools and finally my kitchen knives freehand once I really master it.
Ok before we even start, water stones, that’s kind of a silly name, is it stones or water? – shut up MaFe…
So the postman came with the first parts for my new road.
320 – 1000 – 8000 grid stones, a grid 60 flattening stone and I ordered also a book about the process since the title was so seductive ‘in 60 seconds’.
So time to trawl the internet for inspiration, especially Japanese sites and after some serious surfing I was ready to give it a go.
In the meanwhile the postman returned, and I got the rest.
The setup is this:
320 Shapton stone for the rough work, for bringing tools back to shape.
1000 Shapton for sharpening.
3000 Suehiro to have less violent jump in grid and to spend less time honing.
8000 Cerax to finish up and give that mirror polish that we always read about and that I with my water grinder system only has been able to get close to on the cutting edge.
And a couple of artificial Nagura stones to build up the surface on the fine stones.
I choose different brands for different stones after what the brands was known for, and so I choose Shapton stones for the first steps since they are known for being durable and really hard, and this will help to keep them flat longer. Then Suehiro for the fine stones since these are known for being softer and the particles gets finer as you grind and so an 8000 stone should be 2000-3000 grids finer than an equaling water stone of the same grid according to the German experts on DICTUM and their microscopes… They say the 8000 Cerax leaves some of the best mirror polish on the market (so now I have to see if they are right).
Japanese Naniwa flattening stones grid 60 to flatten rough water stones, and 220 for the fine stones.
All this added up to a total of 370 Euro / 500 US dollar (but should last for a life time unless you drop a stone on the floor…).
I also collected some of my other stuff i wanted to fit into the new system.
A diamond stone on wood base.
Cut one of my glass plates into the size of a stone so it could be used with sand paper.
Leather strap glued onto a wood base also to hone with compound – I do this a lot when I use my chisels.
And finally I bought a hardwood floorboard for outdoor use, since this would make me convinced the wood was right for water (I paid eight dollar for a four meter long board, quite fair I think considering how many water stone bases I can make of it).
Ok I had to show you this box, that is pling yes?
The base for the stones.
First I cut the floorboard down to pieces that were longer than the stone, then set the saw for the width of the stone, and split up the board, I was lucky to be able to get to bases from each piece.
Then the table saw was set to a third of the board thickness and a cut was made at the ends of the board.
Notice the ling lines in the board, this is due to the fact it was a terrace board for outdoor use.
Then a cut from the end.
We now have a base that can hang between to bars.
My table saw said funny noises so I opened it and look what I found… No wonder the shop vac was not so effective…
Change into my router table (homemade router lift for Festool CMS).
Routed out a bit more than the length of the longest stone.
And the rest!
Finally I set the miter gauge to four degrees.
And made a cut at the one end just where the routing ended.
With a chisel paring out the rest.
Can you guess why?
A block of wood is cut in two by a four degree cut.
And we got us a wedge!
Cut to length.
The base needs some shaping.
First a cut at the ends to form a slope, in this way your hands are free and water will run down the slope.
Then a water stop, later you will see why.
To make the water run of I also added a cut on the sides under where there were none.
Left board none, right an extra cut (the splinter in the wood was made when I cut the board in two…).
To not get all messed up, I decided to mark the bases and the wedges with the matching stone, in this way I can also grasp the right stone when they will be on a shelf.
A little fine family.
Do I need to say oil?
Lin seed oil.
And this is where we finish the bases, as they suck plenty of oil.
I will split the blog up here, in next part I will make the box, holder or pond if you will and the system will be a reality.
Hope this blog and this blog series can inspire others to look into the wonders of the Japanese tools and way of thinking,
-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.