Flattening waterstones

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Forum topic by JSilverman posted 09-08-2011 07:51 AM 5687 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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89 posts in 2792 days

09-08-2011 07:51 AM

How do you flatten your waterstones? I have a Norton flattening stone and dislike it (it needs to be flattened itself too much). And sandpaper on granite or glass is a pain.

Anyone try and like (or dislike) the new DMT Diaflat lapping plate?

25 replies so far

View TominTexas's profile


42 posts in 3014 days

#1 posted 09-08-2011 08:47 PM

I also have Norton waterstones and the Norton flattening stone – I agree, the flattening stone is about worthless – it quickly goes out of flat and can add to the aggravation of keeping the other stones flat. The only negative about the Dia Flat that I’ve read is its coarseness – others have reported that it leaves a flat surface but the coarse diamond grit scores the surface of fine waterstones leaving a less desireable surface for refining your edges – don’t know this from experience – it’s just what I’ve read.

The Dia Flat is pricey at nearly $200 so I don’t see one in my future. I’ll be curious to see the responses from others.


-- East Side of Big D

View Alster's profile


101 posts in 3392 days

#2 posted 09-08-2011 09:07 PM

I read a book by a reputable, even well-known woodworker (just can’t remember who) who said that he flattens his waterstones against one another. Just a few quick passes after each tool is all it takes, and he made no mention of cross-contamination (which I think is probably a bit overblown, anyway). I’ve tried this, and it seems to work fine.

For what it’s worth, in the olden days they didn’t have dia-flats or flattening stones. They either rubbed one stone against another, or more likely, they used a stone that wasn’t perfectly flat. And they ended up with very sharp tools capable of turning out some spectacular work.

View ChuckM's profile


612 posts in 3844 days

#3 posted 09-09-2011 03:36 AM

Strictly by the wet/dry sandpaper on a thick glass plate method. Cheap but effective with my 100, 4000/8000 water stones. I do it often so each flattening time is short, as there`s little cave to remove. Use a straight edge to check the stones after each flattening.

-- The time I enjoy wasting is not time wasted

View ksSlim's profile


1286 posts in 3068 days

#4 posted 09-09-2011 03:47 AM

Out of frustration with a purchased “flattening stone”, I tried the door stop (concrete block). Worked well.
Available at home centers everywhere, probably best to check with a straight edge for extreme flatness.
My neighbor uses the concrete on his driveway. He says the “oldtimers” used whatever was flat and “coarse enough”.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View SouthpawCA's profile


272 posts in 3411 days

#5 posted 09-09-2011 06:40 AM

wet/dry sandpaper 600 grit on glass from the local auto supply store

-- Don

View woodjewelry's profile


49 posts in 3086 days

#6 posted 09-09-2011 09:20 PM

Me too, sandpaper on a glass plate, or rubbing against another stone.

-- Mark, Lithuania,

View Rileysdad's profile


110 posts in 3457 days

#7 posted 09-10-2011 01:41 AM

Cut a 16” piece of 120 grit from a role and clamp one end to your jointer’s infeed table. No need to stick it down. Place stone near the clamped end a push. Reverse and repeat. A few passes should do it.

-- Measure twice, cut once, buy extra stock.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3826 days

#8 posted 09-10-2011 04:13 AM

I use a floor sanding screen on a cast iron or glass surface. MDF works too.

Long after the screen is too dull for sanding floors it works for waterstones. The
dust falls down in the square holes so flattening is quick indeed.

View ksSlim's profile


1286 posts in 3068 days

#9 posted 09-10-2011 04:23 AM

> Loren Doh, a Homer moment! Why didn’t I think of that? Great suggestion.

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic

View Mark's profile


1807 posts in 3452 days

#10 posted 09-10-2011 05:23 AM

i haven’t done it but when a buddy of mine (phenomenal woodworker/retired carpenter) bought me my 8000 grit he told me to sand it down with emery paper.

-- M.K.

View Millo's profile


543 posts in 3228 days

#11 posted 09-10-2011 06:26 AM

I just recently prepared my first chisels. Wow, tons of work on those backs, or it could very well be I am doing something wrong. Anyhow, I flatened the stones on sandpaper over a granite block.

I am considering the extra-coarse 8x3 DMT Dia-Sharp to cut the backs of these new Narex chisels a bit quicker (huge ripples on those backs), and to flatten my waterstones…. seems like it would be faster. Any ideas on how would these work?

View Millo's profile


543 posts in 3228 days

#12 posted 09-10-2011 06:37 AM

Don’t mean to hijack the topic, but: a question regarding waterstones that are kept in water (not the fine grits)—how often do you change the water in the container?

View Goodsh's profile


80 posts in 2098 days

#13 posted 07-06-2013 02:56 AM

I just tried the sand screen and it worked great. Fast and cheaper than sandpaper. Nice idea!

View Pete Pedisich's profile

Pete Pedisich

139 posts in 2825 days

#14 posted 07-06-2013 03:06 AM

Millo, I use that one and it works great

View JADobson's profile


1256 posts in 2289 days

#15 posted 07-06-2013 03:17 AM

Pete, thanks for resurecting this thread, I learnt a few things. I, like Goodsh, would be interested to know how often the water should be changed.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

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