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Are my oilstones "good enough"?

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Forum topic by Brett posted 01-11-2013 07:55 PM 578 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Brett

634 posts in 1406 days


01-11-2013 07:55 PM

How can I determine whether my oilstones are adequate for sharpening chisels and plane irons?

I sharpen freehand, and can usually hone a cutting edge with my oilstones and a stop so that the cutting edge is sharp enough to slice through the edge of a piece of paper. What I’m unsure about is whether I could sharpen a lot faster with better oilstones. Is there any way to know whether I need to upgrade?

-- More tools, fewer machines.


8 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

2696 posts in 1074 days


#1 posted 01-11-2013 08:02 PM

If you are happy w/ the results, why change? Personally, I get faster results w/ water stones. The trade off is that they are messier and I can’t store them in the shop or they will freeze.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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Brett

634 posts in 1406 days


#2 posted 01-11-2013 08:20 PM

I don’t like the mess of waterstones, and I’m concerned about them freezing in my unheated garage shop. I prefer oilstones for these reasons and others, but I do wonder sometimes if I’m spending too much of my (limited woodworking) time sharpening.

-- More tools, fewer machines.

View Kreegan's profile

Kreegan

1452 posts in 870 days


#3 posted 01-11-2013 09:54 PM

How long does it take you to sharpen? If it’s less than 5 mins, your stones are likely fine. I use DMT diamond stones and finish with a strop and it takes me perhaps 2 mins to resharpen an edge dulled from use, a little longer if it’s gotten chipped or dented.

View Brett's profile

Brett

634 posts in 1406 days


#4 posted 01-11-2013 09:58 PM

Maybe 2-5 minutes for a chisel, a little longer for a plane iron.

-- More tools, fewer machines.

View Loren's profile

Loren

7809 posts in 2371 days


#5 posted 01-11-2013 10:20 PM

Oil stones can get clogged.

If you want faster sharpening, try hollow grinding the bevels.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

7321 posts in 1406 days


#6 posted 01-11-2013 11:50 PM

I use three different oil stones, that makes a total of five grits. IF they get a might too nasty, I will run them across the belt sander both to flatten them, and to clean them up a bit.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Oldelm's profile

Oldelm

75 posts in 898 days


#7 posted 01-12-2013 02:06 AM

In my experience if the method you are using allows you to cut (not scrape) end grain in the type of wood you use than you are probably OK. Most of the carpenters I learned from used oil stones of some type to sharpen everything in their kit. We have all kinds of methods today and myself I have some options. I use diamond stones for chisels and water stones for plane irons, knives and carving tools all followed by strops. In today’s world I feel like sharpening has become a hobby in itself.i would agree that if it takes more than 5 minutes to touch up a chisel you may need to add another grit to your method. I never saw a water stone as we know them today until I was thirty. I thought a water stone was one of those wheels you saw farmers using to sharpen their tools. I realize I’m a high risk of a whipping from the sharpening crowd on this one.

-- Jim, Missouri

View TheBronzeoakleaf's profile

TheBronzeoakleaf

19 posts in 686 days


#8 posted 01-12-2013 02:17 AM

I, too, was new to water stones a couple years ago, but love them now. They should be resurfaced before every use, but they cut fast, and you can go to a much higher grit. I flatten mine with a DMT. Developing a system for convenient flattening and use makes the mess easier to control. Check YouTube for Rob Cosman using Norton water stones. He does it right.

-- Sam

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