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Thread: Flattening waterstones

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Flattening waterstones

    Hay Everyone,
    I just realized my Norton stones are no longer flat and they need to be flattened. I have the flattening stone. My question is on the amount of water needed to flush the grit away. I am thinking the best way to do this would be in a small plastic tub. Put in a couple inches of water and do the flattening in the water. Does this sound reasonable? Any input would be welcome.
    Izzy

  2. #2
    I don't know how other folks do it, but I leave my stones flat on the bench/table/etc and take the flattening/lapping plate to it. Just douse it with water enough to keep is lubricated, just like you would with sharpening something that spanned the full width of the stone. I tend to rub the lapping plate over the stone in a figure 8 pattern to make sure I'm getting coverage on the entire stone. I normally rub in figure 8s for a little while (10-20 seconds), check my progress, wash the stone off clean and repeat as necessary.

    I also put a slight chamfer on the edges of the stone so I don't slice myself when working close to the edges. Pretty straightforward really.

  3. #3
    It does not take a ton of water. I use sandpaper when I need to flatten, and an occasional splash is enough (for 1000 and 8000 anyway).

  4. #4
    I used to drown my waterstones whenever I used or flattened them. Then I realized I got the same or better results by being a little stingy with the water. When I'm flattening I'll just get the sandpaper wet enough to stick to my flat surface. Works pretty well.

  5. #5
    The Norton flattening stone has to be flattened on a fairly regular basis or it will transfer its shape to the working stones. Generally, the flattening stone will become convex which will cause your working stone to be concave.

    I found that out the hard way.

    A better way to flatten your working stones is with a diamond plate.

    Mike

    [After all, if you have to flatten the flattening stone, why not use whatever you're going to use to flatten it on your working stones?]
    Last edited by Mike Henderson; 06-24-2016 at 12:30 PM.
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  6. #6
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    Glad I asked this question. Lots of good info. Thanks to everyone who responded.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Izzy Camire View Post
    Glad I asked this question. Lots of good info. Thanks to everyone who responded.
    Sorry to jump in late, but I'd suggest learning how to use either loose SiC grit (cheap) or sandpaper (not so cheap) on a flat surface. You're going to have to do that no matter what to keep your "flattening stone" (which is actually just a fairly dishing-prone coarse-grit waterstone) flat.

  8. #8
    If Mike Henderson has you thinking about a replacement, I have an Eze lap coarse 2x6" diamond plate ($38ish on AMZN). David Weaver recommended it to me and it has worked fine and has stayed flat.

    Like others, I take the plate to the stone. Brian Holcombe has taught me to wipe the stone clean with a paper towel, spritz a little water, rub the plate on it. After completion I just spritz the plate and stone with water to loosen the grit, and wipe with a paper towel. This removes 95% of the grit. Any minor residual can be rinsed at the sink.

  9. #9
    Check out this article by Chris Schwartz. Good information here I think.

    http://www.popularwoodworking.com/wo...dia-flat-plate

  10. #10
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    AT LAST,a subject that has NEVER been discussed!!!

    Again,I warn you all to NOT clog up your sink and pipes with stone slurry. It won't EVER go away!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by george wilson View Post
    AT LAST,a subject that has NEVER been discussed!!!

    Again,I warn you all to NOT clog up your sink and pipes with stone slurry. It won't EVER go away!
    Out of curiosity do you see a difference between classic clay-based stones and either ceramic or resinoid ones in that regard?

    After the first time I saw you make that comment I pulled and checked the trap in my shop sink - no waterstone slurry, but then again I've never used a clay-based stone. I'd sent the equivalent of ~2 standard sized ceramic stones an a smaller amount of resinoid through it by that time. The resinoid ones shouldn't resolidify at all (at least not without a lot of heat/pressure, and even then only for thermoplastic resins as opposed to thermosets), and I *think* the same should hold for ceramics.

    EDIT: As should be clear from the fact that I pulled my trap, I take your remarks very seriously. I'm just curious to understand the context in this case.
    Last edited by Patrick Chase; 06-24-2016 at 10:51 PM.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post
    [After all, if you have to flatten the flattening stone, why not use whatever you're going to use to flatten it on your working stones?]
    I took it one step further than that. I started actually sharpening with Diamond and go to ceramic or arkansas if I need a finer edge than 1000 grit.

    When I did have waterstones I flattened them with a diamond plate held under a trickle of water outside from a hose. What kills diamond plates is the swarf from the waterstone grinding away the Nickel. The water gets rid of the waterstone swarf nicely.

  13. #13
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    leftsinksmall.jpgstonerack.jpgI use Atoma film on a granite surface plate in a sink for Sigma stones. I'm not worried if it clogs up the trap, other than maybe losing that much of the stones, which I don't see happening. Those stones don't lose much anyway, like the Waterstones of old. This setup lasted about a year until we moved on. I replaced the old metal trap with a plastic one when we left anyway. The drain for the sink in the shop exits the wall behind the sink, and drops right into an Azalea bush.

    I just included the picture of the other side of the sink in case anyone was interested who hadn't seen it. The sink to the left holds a 9x12 granite surface plate (less than 30 bucks on sale from Woodcraft. To the left is a 140 grit Atoma diamond sheet, and to the right is a 400. Between the two diamond sheets is where the sharpening takes place on a rubber stone holder base. The rubber holder stays in place just fine without bothering to tighten. Lapping takes place in a few strokes on the Diamond Lapping Film on the granite surface plate on the counter. The whole process takes a few minutes from whatever state the edge needs, to final polish.

    The whole process takes place under a light stream of warm, running water. I use the sides of the stones for the back, lower edges of chisels and irons. If I didn't have a sink to use Waterstones in, I'd use the oil stones. Oil stones will do as good of a job, but just a Lot slower, but then there's less of a mess than using Waterstones anywhere but in a sink. No buckets, or recycled dirty water for me.

    The Norton stones were my first water stones. The 4000 and 8000 flatten just fine on a surface plate with a good 80 grit wet-or-dry sandpaper, but the 1000 will eat sandpaper too fast. I used old window panes and carborundum (silicon carbide) grit for the 1000 stone. What takes 10 strokes on the Sigma stones takes 50 on the Norton stones.
    Last edited by Tom M King; 07-02-2016 at 9:57 AM.

  14. #14
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    I wonder if I have been flattening my waterstones correctly. Before starting a sharpening session I flatten them DRY on sandpaper affixed to a plate glass base. Of course, when flattening during a sharpening session, I either rub the wet stones together until they stick, or rub them on a wetted diamond "stone". Anything wrong with the way I do it?
    Last edited by Steve Beadle; 07-02-2016 at 1:21 PM. Reason: additional info

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Beadle View Post
    I wonder if I have been flattening my waterstones correctly. Before starting a sharpening session I flatten them DRY on sandpaper affixed to a plate glass base. Of course, when flattening during a sharpening session, I either rub the wet stones together until they stick, or rub them on a wetted diamond "stone". Anything wrong with the way I do it?
    Dry is fine. It's a lot easier to flatten them dry actually. I read something to this affect somewhere, tried it, and my (limited) experience verifies the claim. Granted, I rarely use waterstones so take that all with a grain of salt.

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