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Are my oilstones "good enough"?

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Forum topic by Brett posted 463 days ago 467 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Brett

615 posts in 1185 days


463 days ago

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

2231 posts in 853 days


#1 posted 463 days ago

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

View Brett's profile

Brett

615 posts in 1185 days


#2 posted 463 days ago

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 648 days


#3 posted 463 days ago

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

615 posts in 1185 days


#4 posted 463 days ago

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

-- More tools, fewer machines.

View Loren's profile

Loren

6762 posts in 2150 days


#5 posted 463 days ago

Oil stones can get clogged.

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

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

5393 posts in 1185 days


#6 posted 463 days ago

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 677 days


#7 posted 463 days ago

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

17 posts in 465 days


#8 posted 463 days ago

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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