Cleaning a Granite Block

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Forum topic by Daibach posted 03-25-2008 02:28 AM 2483 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Daibach's profile


5 posts in 3715 days

03-25-2008 02:28 AM

Topic tags/keywords: blade sharpening question

I bought a flat granite block for tool sharpening, fastened two different grits of sandpaper on it with spray adhesive and have been happily sharpening a couple of old chisels, plane irons and started on the sole of my old cheap plane. So it’s time to put on some fresh sandpaper.
How do I get the old stuff off without damaging the block’s surface?
Can I use an old wide flat chisel, or a putty knife? Is granite harder than steel or do I risk scratching the surface? Soak the old paper in Glue Gone or…..?


-- Daibach on the Wet Coast

14 replies so far

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3740 days

#1 posted 03-25-2008 02:49 AM

You might check the label of the adhesive for clean up. When I use the sand paper technique for sharpening, I just spray the surface with water. The wet/dry sandpaper will stay in place and you don’t have the clean up problem.

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3892 days

#2 posted 03-25-2008 02:51 AM

Tenontim is right. The paper is held on by water power only.

As far as cleaning off the adhesive, when I use the spray adhesive with my scroll saw if I have a piece that won’t come off – I first try to heat it up with my hair dryer. That melts the adhesive and allows it to be pulled off. If that does not work – I use mineral spirits—- I use that as a last resort though.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Greg3G's profile


815 posts in 4081 days

#3 posted 03-25-2008 03:10 AM

Try a razor blade. That’s what I use to remove my self adhesive sandpaper from my glass sharpening plates. Adrian and I did a bit of sharpening when he was here. I soon had to remove the old paper (it had been on way too long) and was rather stuck. We finally used some “goog off” to help remove it.

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3870 days

#4 posted 03-25-2008 10:43 AM

When you get it cleaned up stick the paper on just with water. You’ll be surprised how well it works.

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3958 days

#5 posted 03-25-2008 03:35 PM

I use a 24×24 x3 inch granite surface plate to carve leather and sand wooden plane soles. My cousin, who is a tool and die maker, told me to clean it with Windex. That’s what I’ve used and it really works. If I get glue on it I use a heat gun and a sharp chisel.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View TomK 's profile


504 posts in 3870 days

#6 posted 03-25-2008 07:30 PM

On the other hand, no normal solvent is going to damage granite, short of strong acids, and the minerals that it is composed from are harder that most tool steels.

-- If you think healthcare is expensive now, wait until it's free! PJ O'Rourke

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3984 days

#7 posted 03-25-2008 07:34 PM

Razor blades and MEK. MEK will get off any adhesive.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Myron Wooley's profile

Myron Wooley

226 posts in 3892 days

#8 posted 03-25-2008 08:16 PM

Mineral spirits are easier on your nose hairs than MEK.

-- The days are long and the years are short...

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3740 days

#9 posted 03-26-2008 12:23 AM

MEK makes me happy!

View Daibach's profile


5 posts in 3715 days

#10 posted 03-26-2008 01:57 AM

Thanks for all your suggestions.
The adhesive container had no information about removing the old stuff.
I finally got up the courage to use an old chisel to gently scrape off most of the paper, then tried soaking and scrubbing the remaining paper and adhesive with isospropyl alcohol which did nothing, and then Goo Gone which worked great. No sign of any scrapes on the block.
Once the block was cleaned up I tried a piece of sandpaper with just water to hold it in place; you’re right, water is all that’s needed.
Back to taking the hollow out of the sole of my old plane.
Thanks again.

-- Daibach on the Wet Coast

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 3795 days

#11 posted 03-26-2008 02:18 AM

if you ever need to resurface it, counter guys have the tools and materials.. I am sure that you can get one to do you a solid and polish it up for a cheap price.

-- making sawdust....

View Phildo92027's profile


53 posts in 3795 days

#12 posted 03-29-2008 04:23 AM

A machinist once told me that they used WD-40 to clean the 4’ x 8’ x 12” thick surface plate (availale free of charge if you can move it.) I have used WD-40 for cleaning the surface plate (with both razor blade and putty knife with no damage. I also use WD-40 for cleaning silicon carbide abrasives (when sharpening) and diamond plaes.

-- Phil, Near San Diego, CA

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3870 days

#13 posted 03-29-2008 10:34 AM

I have also heard that WD-40 is good for cleaning.

View fredf's profile


495 posts in 3706 days

#14 posted 04-06-2008 04:51 AM

Phil, thats only about 11.6 tons—at least 1.25” counter top is about 75# a sq ft . . . . a might heavy piece of granite for sure!

-- Fred, Springfield, Ma

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