Oilstone sharpening

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Project by BarbS posted 03-21-2007 06:46 AM 2216 views 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve long had a preference for oil stone sharpening in the shop, perhaps because it was the way I learned. I see advantages in it for not having to worry about stones stored in water, freezing concerns, and longer wear than waterstones. This simple box was something I designed to keep them all together and make sharpening at the bench as convenient as possible. The stones are loosely ‘French fitted’ in a liner tray, turnable and removable. I included a steel plate for diamond paste and a leather strop above, plus an open well to store things in. The box is just 2” high, rests under my benchtop on a shelf within easy reach, and is portable. The box was fully assembled, then cut apart so the lid becomes pressure fit over the 3/4” thick interior liner, which is added in last. Are there any other oil stone users here, or am I alone in this old-fashioned method of sharpening?


9 comments so far

View markrules's profile


146 posts in 4112 days

#1 posted 03-21-2007 01:01 PM

Sharp looking box!!!


View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4158 days

#2 posted 03-21-2007 01:27 PM

“sharp” :)

I haven’t had to sharpen anything yet …

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View W. Paul's profile

W. Paul

45 posts in 4087 days

#3 posted 03-21-2007 01:52 PM

I’ve been using sandpaper attached to plate glass with spray adhesive. Things get really sharp, but I keep cutting my sandpaper! I get a little frustrated by that, so I’ve been thinking about switching to a stone-based system. Your’s looks great! And convenient too!

Like you, I’d be interested to hear how common oilstone sharpening is. Is it “old fashioned”, or is it “tried and true?” I may be copying your system!

-- Paul, Wildwood, MO; (Ps 145: 1-2)

View Max's profile


56000 posts in 4270 days

#4 posted 03-21-2007 03:18 PM

I like the way that the box keeps everything together in one place. Very nice.

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4158 days

#5 posted 03-21-2007 03:20 PM

And I would like more details on the system AND a closer look at the layout of your box (if you don’t mind sharing).

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View BassBully's profile


261 posts in 4094 days

#6 posted 03-21-2007 03:33 PM


You probably already know this but you may be pushing too hard on the sandpaper when sharpening. I’ve found that a lighter stroke can be just as effective. Also, aluminum oxide sandpaper is good for sharpening metal. Likewise, make sure you’re really caking-on the adhesive and use the stronger spray adhesives.

-- There are three types of people in the world, those who can count and those who can't!

View Matt's profile


119 posts in 4413 days

#7 posted 03-21-2007 03:42 PM

Barbs that’s a nice looking set up you have there. The fact that its portable with everything you would need is a huge advantage. Not to mention also that it tucks away so nice and neatly. Clutter in a small shop like mine is a hassle, this system would be really appreciated.

-- Straight grains & sharp blades

View Thor's profile


110 posts in 4273 days

#8 posted 03-23-2007 02:10 PM

Barbs, thanks for posting your oil stone box. I too, use my oil stones, or arkansas stones and strops constantly for my carving tools. I keep them handy all the time in a portable lap board with sized pockets built for them, and have been considering building a storage box for them. Your box seems to be just what I need to consider buidling.
Really good idea.

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 4083 days

#9 posted 03-25-2007 05:42 PM

Thanks everyone, for your comments. I hope it helps someone get motivated to make one!


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