Whet Stone Question

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Forum topic by NavalAg05 posted 04-30-2013 11:37 AM 806 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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19 posts in 2104 days

04-30-2013 11:37 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question sharpening

Just picked up a combination whet stone yesterday and was looking for any advice on how to get the most out of it and my rather cheap planes…?

Additionally, I have read that I should ensure the stone is flat before using it, how important is it to get a flattening “stone” or will I be able to use the combination stone for awhile before it needs flattened?

Hope this makes sense…?

Thanks in Advance!

5 replies so far

View Tim's profile


3812 posts in 2195 days

#1 posted 04-30-2013 05:10 PM

Having it be flat is rather important. If it isn’t, it will not properly sharpen anything you try to use it for and will get worse. You should try to even out your wear over the whole stone but even if you do you won’t be able to keep it flat without something to flatten it. You can get by with sandpaper on a flat surface such as granite, glass, or I’ve heard some people use mdf. The sandpaper for that though will add up to more than a decent stone to flatten with over time. What grit stone did you get?

View NavalAg05's profile


19 posts in 2104 days

#2 posted 04-30-2013 05:23 PM


Thanks for the info. I think I will use some sandpaper for the time being, I tend to buy tools in little spurts throughout the year so I will wait on the stone. I picked up a combination with 800 / 4000 to use. I have some fairly cheap chisels and two cheap planes that I have been messing around with. See more tear out and figured I would try sharpening them and see if it helped out any. If nothing else I have plenty of picket knives to run over the stone to make it worth while.


View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3881 days

#3 posted 04-30-2013 06:39 PM

You don’t need a flattening stone. A drywall or floor sanding
screen laid on any reasonably flat surface will work fine. New
stones are flat. The major freehand sharpening problem you’ll
probably have is you will gouge the stones and need to
remove the gouges by flattening.

If you use most sharpening jigs your stones will become
swaybacked. The General 810 is the only handheld
sharpening jig I know of which doesn’t create this
problem with waterstones. While I have an 810,
I sharpen freehand.

View Tim's profile


3812 posts in 2195 days

#4 posted 05-01-2013 12:05 AM

I think your stone will do great for what you got it for. I hadn’t ever heard of Loren’s method but I bet it would work.

Sharpening will help tear out for sure. Here is the list of five techniques to reduce tear out when planing from Wearing's The Essential Woodworker.
1. Reverse the direction of planing
2. Sharpen
3. Take a finer cut
4. Set the cap iron closer
5. Close up the plane’s mouth

The kindle or epub edition of the book is $ 10 by the way. That’s dirt cheap for a book that comes as highly recommended as this one does.

I’ve also heard people recommend skewing the plane body and it seems to work a bit, but Wearing didn’t add that to his list so try the others first.

View NavalAg05's profile


19 posts in 2104 days

#5 posted 05-01-2013 01:35 AM

Thanks for the replys! I will post after I get back from a short vacation, hopefully I will have some time to play with everything!

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