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Waterstone Soaking?

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Forum topic by 12strings posted 01-10-2013 05:31 PM 1134 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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12strings

433 posts in 1129 days


01-10-2013 05:31 PM

What is the reasoning and necessity of soaking waterstones?

I just got my very first waterstone (a dual-sided 1000/6000) and the instructions say to soak for 5 minutes, or just store it in water. (It is from Japan…I don’t know if that makes it a “Japenese Waterstone” or not.)

I was always under the assumption that you could just spray some water on it and use it right away. What’s the problem with this?

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!


11 replies so far

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2847 posts in 993 days


#1 posted 01-10-2013 06:31 PM

Dunk it in water and you will see why soaking is necessary.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View MonteCristo's profile

MonteCristo

2098 posts in 933 days


#2 posted 01-10-2013 07:55 PM

These stones are like sponges in that they soak up a lot of water. You need to pre-soak them, especially the coarse ones, so that you can get water to remain on the surface and foam a slurry while you sharpen.

The really fine stones (say 4000x or higher) don’t really need pre-soaking . . .

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

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lumberjoe

2847 posts in 993 days


#3 posted 01-10-2013 08:02 PM

I find my 4000 still benefits from a soaking. When I am working with chisels and planes a lot, I just leave my stones in a tupperware container of water so I don’t have to keep soaking them.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View Mosquito's profile

Mosquito

5171 posts in 1037 days


#4 posted 01-10-2013 08:09 PM

I only use a waterstone for final hone/polish, so I typically spray my waterstone (king) with a spray bottle so that the top is fully covered (sometimes spreading the water around as needed). Then I will do my other sharpening/back flattening on the more coarse stones (I use DMT’s) and keep an eye out for any dry spots on the waterstone, and re-spray as needed. By the time I get to the waterstone it’s generally ready to go with out having to submerge the whole thing. I only use the top, after all…

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods

View Richard's profile

Richard

400 posts in 1436 days


#5 posted 01-10-2013 08:16 PM

I use a similar technique to Mos. I tried soaking my King 6000 grit for a few minutes, but found that was really not providing any benefit. I just use a spray bottle and re-apply as I go.

-- "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain

View lumberjoe's profile

lumberjoe

2847 posts in 993 days


#6 posted 01-10-2013 08:20 PM

I spray my 8k. Soaking has no effect at all. If I try to spray my 250, 1k or 4k without soaking it first it is dry almost instantly.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/KandJWoodCrafts

View Mosquito's profile

Mosquito

5171 posts in 1037 days


#7 posted 01-10-2013 08:28 PM

I guess that’s somewhere I don’t have experience, a 6k stone is all I use, everything else is DMT’s, which definitely don’t benefit from a soaking lol

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN -- Stanley #45 Evangelist - www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods

View Loren's profile

Loren

7822 posts in 2393 days


#8 posted 01-10-2013 08:43 PM

If you soak them thoroughly, they stay wetter during the
session and require less frequent spraying.

Sometimes instead of soaking them I use a wet sponge and
squeeze water onto them until it pools on the surface,
but leaving them to soak and coming back in 10 minutes
is the less effort really.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View 12strings's profile

12strings

433 posts in 1129 days


#9 posted 01-10-2013 09:27 PM

Thanks for the info…I suppose if I want to use the 1,000 grit without waiting, I’ll have to just store it in water. (I’m impatient).

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

View Francisco Luna's profile

Francisco Luna

936 posts in 2138 days


#10 posted 01-13-2013 01:09 PM

lower grits….yes, vause they are so porous
soaking higher grit stones will do anything and will afect their performance

-- Nature is my manifestation of God. I go to nature every day for inspiration in the day's work. I follow in building the principles which nature has used in its domain" Frank Lloyd Wright

View Ross's profile

Ross

120 posts in 717 days


#11 posted 01-13-2013 01:27 PM

I use an old tupperware butter dish (upside down) about 1/4 full with water to store my water stone. I keep the cover on (base) when not in use to retain the bath of water.
All my oil stones are in an oil bath as well. (wooden cases with an oil wick under the stone.)

-- "Man Plans and God Laughs"

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