|Review by BigDawg||posted 01-04-2013 11:44 AM||3235 views||2 times favorited||15 comments|
I owned a series of Norton waterstones previously, and while they worked well, they didn’t perform as well as I would’ve liked. Plus you have to make sure they get a good soaking well before your sharpening session, which creates a wet mess.
I took Bob Van Dyke’s sharpening class at the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking in November. I had looked at the Shapton stones many times before, but I have always hesitated due to the high price tag. After the class I bought a set of 1000 and 8000 grit ceramic stones as a bundle so that they were cheaper than buying them separately.
After a quick lapping to make sure they were perfectly flat, I got to work honing my Irwin-Marples chisels. The 1000 grit was great since it removed a good amount of metal pretty quickly while still leaving a decent shine. Then I proceeded to use the 8000 and got a perfect mirror. I’ve never been able to achieve that before and it only took a matter of minutes!! I used my Eclipse-style honing jig and polished up the bevel to the same mirror shine. I could shave off the hairs off my arm like I was using a shaver! And the chisel pared through end grain like butter.
And that brings me to another great feature of the stones; you just spray them with some water and off you go without any presoaking.
Bottom line; don’t be too put off by the price tag if you can afford it. I recommend just getting the 1000 and 8000 grits since I don’t think you need anything more or less than that. I don’t think you could get a better shine than what these waterstones give you. All you need are these two stones for all your honing needs. They will last forever in my shop.
-- Shawn DuGay, Wallingford, CT http://www.bigdogwoodworks.com