flattening water stone on concrete

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Forum topic by TopamaxSurvivor posted 12-13-2010 11:29 AM 3612 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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18425 posts in 3916 days

12-13-2010 11:29 AM

Topic tags/keywords: flattening water stone concrete

I just searched this subject and nothing popped up ;-( I have been thinking I couild flatten my water stones on a piece of concrete like a building block or sidewalk. Any objections? ;-) Maybe I should ask if anyone has any good results trying this technique?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

21 replies so far

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 3305 days

#1 posted 12-13-2010 02:48 PM

Topamax I did a search. Found this article, it dosen’t say much but it can be done.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3968 days

#2 posted 12-13-2010 03:25 PM

usually the trouble is getting imperfections in your waterstones i think.

View William's profile


9950 posts in 3082 days

#3 posted 12-13-2010 03:28 PM

I am sure I know nothing about this subject. I read your post though and moved on because, well, I knew nothing about it. I kept thinking about it though and had to some back to it.
My thought was that if you want something trully FLAT, be sure that whatever concrete surface you use is so. I have found out the hard way that most concrete surfaces are not trully flat at all. Too many times I have messed with concrete with the assumption that it was flat only to find outlater it had more bow and waves in it than I would have ever imagined.
I may be way off base with that comment. It was just a thought though.


View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 3938 days

#4 posted 12-13-2010 03:31 PM

Topamax have you ever try your belt sander?

View StumpyNubs's profile


7690 posts in 3041 days

#5 posted 12-13-2010 03:32 PM

Using concrete is not at all uncommon for flattening stones, even among the best woodworkers. I’ve heard of many doing it with great success. I’d go buy a new concrete block and keep it in the shop. i’ve also hears of using the sidewalk outside. You’d be surprised how flat concrete is.

I tried to use my big belt sander once and it worked great for a few minutes, but it wore the belt out quickly!

Many use a course diamond stone, but the concrete idea is much cheaper.

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3355 days

#6 posted 12-13-2010 04:04 PM

topamax you can use a concrete block to flatten sharpeningstones with and
knife , axes , et,etc …if you don´t have anything thats better in a tight corner
but I wont recomend it as a daily solution :-)

you flatten you watherstones an other sharpening stone iether with a corser stone
or labing them on one of those fancy labingstone there is on the market now
but I wuold surgess a corse diamontstone to do it on they are always flat and will leive your
sharpening stones deadflat

take care

View BobG's profile


172 posts in 3202 days

#7 posted 12-13-2010 04:46 PM

If you want something that is truly flat, get a machinist surface plate. Sometimes can be found at auctions for a few bucks. Or!! go to your nearest kitchen installer and ask him if he has any pieces of polished granite laying around that he can’t use “of reasonable size”. We had a lumber yard and furniture sales selling off the furniture end of the business and I got—-

! Pc of granite 2’ X 2’ X 2”——$20.00
4 Pcs of Granite 1’ X 1’ X 1”——-Free, is that good for a score? Not done!
4 Pcs of Granite 1’ X 1’ X 1/2”——also Free, now those combined should be good for a gloat!

Oh! all edges had been finished also.

Now understand that the pieces were obsolete colors but in a shop who cares, especially when they are free!

I got spoiled when I had to work for a living. I had access to 4 dead flat surface plates within 10’ Of my work bench. One of them was 6’ long and 4’ wide.

-- BobG, Lowell, Arkansas--------My goal in life is to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am! Make more saw dust!!

View HorizontalMike's profile


7770 posts in 3154 days

#8 posted 12-13-2010 05:08 PM

I have messed up a soft oilstone using a honing guide to sharpen my hand plane blades. The hard steel honing guide-wheel seems to have abraded the stone much more that the blade that was being sharpened. My hard Arkansas stone seems unaffected.

QUESTION: What good are these honing guides if they destroy the stones you use to sharpen your blades? Is there a better way?

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Alexander's profile


194 posts in 3351 days

#9 posted 12-13-2010 07:18 PM

Bob, I have some left over Granite from my kitchen counter top if you want to try the Granite trick.

-- John at Sugarloft Mountain........Don't argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.

View JuniorJoiner's profile


488 posts in 3680 days

#10 posted 12-13-2010 07:45 PM

I have to say that the concrete may be too coarse, I flattened my stones on a piece of granite with the coarsest sandpaper I had (40 grit) and that turned out to be a mistake. sure it flattened them fast, but the surface left was too coarse. So not I take my time with 180 grit paper, and lots of water. I found that flattening stones don’t stay true, so until I can afford a shapton diamond plate, sandpaper and granite for me.

-- Junior -Quality is never an accident-it is the reward for the effort involved.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3355 days

#11 posted 12-13-2010 08:41 PM

Horizontal Mike :
I can´t realy see it on the picture of the honing guide but I think
what is wrong with that type is that the wheel is too narrow
so that press that you allso laydown on the guide gives a very high pressure on the single
point the wheel resting on the stone
how can I translate my thoughts to you …hmmm yes think tires and compare a set of
wide tires on a car that so popular now a days with a normal set on a car with a little narrover
winther tires the wide wheels will just spin around and glide from side to side and the narrow
winthertires will press it self thrugh the snow and many times get the contact with the road
hope my point get thrugh my bad english I think you shuold try a honing guide alá Veritas
but also consentrate on using all of the sharpeningstone every time and not just move cheisel
and honingguide back and forth
I´m not saying that is what you do after all I have never seen you work :-)
it was just a thought that poped up while I was typing

take care

View swirt's profile


3566 posts in 3212 days

#12 posted 12-13-2010 09:23 PM

Seems to me like it would be a waste of money and a bit of a risk in the assumption that the concrete was flat and that it was fine enough. One rough bit sticking up and you essentially ruin a good stone.

Even if the concrete was flat and of fairly even grit, it is likely a bit of a waste as it may be too easy to remove too much of the waterstone, and the more you remove, the shorter the stones last, which means you are buying them more often.

Not to mention contamination by dirt or grit left behind. Flatten them with a lapping plate or with a sandpaper on glass. Faster, less risk and a minimal cost to protect the investment in your original waterstones.

-- Galootish log blog,

View swirt's profile


3566 posts in 3212 days

#13 posted 12-13-2010 09:30 PM

Horizontal Mike,
I have the same roller guide and a similar, but not identical stone. I think the problem you are running into may be more related to technique. Wearing away at the wheel might be an indication of too much pressure being applied to the jig. The jig is just meant to hold the angle. It is important, especially with softer stones, that your downward force be applied to the tip of the blade and not the jig.

-- Galootish log blog,

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18425 posts in 3916 days

#14 posted 12-13-2010 10:44 PM

You guys have brought up a lot of issues I hadn’t thought aobut :-)) Especially making it too course. I was thinking on a quick touch up everytime it is used and it way always be flat. Guess not ;-((

Alexander, I’ll PM you, sounds like a goo idea. thx,

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18425 posts in 3916 days

#15 posted 12-13-2010 11:13 PM

Eagle1 I just took a look at that. I suppose if you rubbed 2 concrete blocks together, you could get a realtively flat and fine surface???

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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