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Oilstone Sharpening Box

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Project by BarbS posted 2668 days ago 2317 views 6 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Thank you for all the comments on the sharpening box pictures. I didn’t see a way to add the ‘how to’ photos in a reply message, so new thread for these. Debbie, in answer to your question, I used two sheets of 1/4” cherry ply, one of 1/2” baltic birch ply, and about 64” of a 2-1/4” wide hardwood for the outside edges. As to dimensions, it really depends on your stone collection and what you want to put in it. Mine came out approx. 17-1/2” x 13-1/2” x 2-1/8” deep.

The left photo above shows the cherry ply box bottom laid down with 1/4” overhang all around (to fit into the grooved box sides at top and bottom) and the tray liner, 1/2” baltic birch, on top of it. I laid my collection of stones and steel plate on it, with a white piece of cardboard to trace around for the indented well space.

Middle photo is after cutting it out. I had a little chipping of the birch ply since the inner borders are so close, but solved that by gently chiseling it down one ply level so it all looked the same color with no real loss. If I’d had a wide enough pine board (13-3/4”) I’d rather have used that. When it’s inset later, it is glued down and stable, but is a little delicate until that point.

The third photo shows the basic parts: four outside edges, grooved at top and bottom 1/4” deep to leave a 1/8” roundover handplaned on the outer edges, and mitered at the ends. The cherry ply top and bottom are glued in, so the miters need not be splined or feathered. The box is fully assembled, without the liner inserted, then cut apart all around on the tablesaw, 3/4” up from the bottom (with the top of the box against the fence, the right side of the blade will cut at 3/4” in from the bottom, which is resting to the left of the blade.) Then the liner is glued into the lower half and the lid will fit down over the liner with a pressure fit. I used 1/2” ply for the liner because any higher and it topped some of my stones, making them unusable in the box. 1/2” worked fine.

And by the way, almost all of the stones/steel/diamond paste and leather strop I used came from Joel Maskowitz (sp?) at toolsforworkingwood.com.
I hope that helps if you want to make one. It is hard to write it out in 200 words or less. I’m planning on writing up a magazine article on this box and am hoping there is enough interest out there in oil stones to make it worthwhile. Thanks for your comments.

-- http://barbsid.blogspot.com/





8 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18614 posts in 2744 days


#1 posted 2668 days ago

that is a wonderful write-up. Thank you for taking the time to walk us through it!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 2898 days


#2 posted 2667 days ago

Pretty neat!

View BarbS's profile

BarbS

2433 posts in 2669 days


#3 posted 2184 days ago

Hello all-
I’ve had a full schedule and haven’t visited here as I’d liked, plus I became a foster parent last February, which threw my whole household onto a new roller coaster ride, so time is at a premium and my woodworking has taken second place to many other things right now.

I received a message from ‘Rookie’ about the oil stone sharpening box and thought more heads than mine could help in answering his question:

“I’m looking into buying stones for sharpening some hand planes and chisels that I have. If you were starting from scratch, what would be the must haves for starting out, and what would you add as you could? I am finding out that stones can be rather pricey. Finally, do you use, or like Arkansas stones?”—Rookie

Rookie, I started with oil stones, and I’ve invested in them, plus I work in an unheated shop and don’t want to deal with water baths in freezing temperatures, and the quick wear of watersones. Everyone has their preference; oilstones are mine. If just starting out, I’d recommend a good quality soft Arkansas and a hard Arkansas stone, (check toolsforworkingwood.com) plus one ceramic stone, probably a slip stone so you are set up to sharpen gouges as well as chisels. There are combination stones that work well for starting with, such as Norton oil stones in two different grits, that are more economical. The one thing I’d advise that you not do, is fall in with the advertising hype to try every new sharpening system that comes along. Sharpening can actually be handled for most hand tools with ultra-fine sandpaper glued on a hard surface. You could research a system, get set up for it, and then work with it until you’ve mastered it. There is really no need spending big dollars in search of a magic method.

If you’ll notice, my sharpening box was built around my collection of stones for several purposes, including a carver’s slip stone, and a steel plate for use with diamond paste. But every time I want to just sharpen a chisel or plane blade and get back to work, it is the oilstones I go to first. Maybe it’s habit.

I hope this helps you decide. Maybe others here will have some input to share on the use of oilstones in the shop. Enjoy setting up for your new woodworking habit!
-BarbS

-- http://barbsid.blogspot.com/

View rookie's profile

rookie

21 posts in 2241 days


#4 posted 2183 days ago

Yeah, now that I see where your at, I guess dunking a stone in a bucket of water during a mid-winter jicker would not be the most pleasant thing to do…. Small world, my wifes paternal grandmother was born and raised in Wenatchee. Maiden name was Voss. Now she’s down here in AR enjoying the humidity Anyhow, thank you for the info. I’m keeping up with you on everything, but what is a slip stone?

-- No matter where you go, there you are.

View woodspar's profile

woodspar

710 posts in 2683 days


#5 posted 2183 days ago

I need get something together for my sharpening stones. Thanks for sharing.

-- John

View BarbS's profile

BarbS

2433 posts in 2669 days


#6 posted 2183 days ago

Hi John, glad you liked it.
And Rookie, a slip stone can be Arkansas oilstone or ceramic, but is shaped on its edges
to handle carving gouges..picture a surface about the thickness of a slim cell phone, with one
long edge beveled to almost a sharp point, and the other long edge rounded over, the
curled edge tapering from a wider round over to a very narrow round over, to accomodate
different curvatures. Very useful for many tools. And no, I don’t know why they call it a
‘slip’. Maybe because one can slip a curved gouge along one long edge and a V-tool
along the other long edge. If you’ll never have gouges of any kind, carving or turning,
you’d probably never need one. They are just perfect for what they do, though.
There are half a dozen ‘Vosses’ in our telephone book, but sorry to say, I don’t know any of
them personally. Oh, and what’s a “mid-winter jicker?” :-)
-BarbS

-- http://barbsid.blogspot.com/

View rookie's profile

rookie

21 posts in 2241 days


#7 posted 2182 days ago

Ok, I have seen a few of them on Ebay, now I know what they are used for. Thanks! And a mid winter jicker is a line from Dr Seuss’s “I had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew. Sorry, 2 small children in the house, I often pick up catch phrases and one liners that often come out during conversations. Either way, a bucket of water, freezing temps and having to stick a hand in to said bucket of water doesn’t sound like much fun to me.

-- No matter where you go, there you are.

View BarbS's profile

BarbS

2433 posts in 2669 days


#8 posted 1670 days ago

Tom, it has been labeled ‘old technique’ for about the last 15 years, when magazine editors and big name professionals decided water stones cut better and faster. I have yet to find a magazine publisher who wants to use this project, and I am an experienced, published writer who submits clean, well-thought-out copy. I still think there is a large following of oil stone users, but I’m regularly outvoted. Personally, I don’t want anything to do with the water bath, and I know water stones dish with almost every use, and need to be replaced after several years of use and re-flattening. I know people who are still finding old oil stones in tumble-down barns and resurrecting them for use. Go ahead, ask me how I really feel!

-- http://barbsid.blogspot.com/

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