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Thread: The Oil on Your Stone

  1. #1
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    The Oil on Your Stone

    In a discussion a while ago the subject of different viscosities of mineral oil came up.

    In searching on this it seemed acquiring lighter oils was expensive partially due to many vendors requiring a purchases in bulk amounts.

    Then someone mentioned baby oil. Interesting enough, while grocery shopping today the aisle with baby oil was visited. All of the different brands were in clear bottles. This made judging viscosity an easy task of just wiggling the bottles.

    The store brand appeared to have the lightest viscosity. It does have trace amounts of a few other items; fragrance, vitamin E and aloe. Not sure that is the right order.

    The Johnson's baby oil, if my memory is working, is only mineral oil and fragrance. It cost twice as much and looked to be a bit thicker.

    My current oil is store brand mineral oil from the same store. Norton honing oil is a little thinner. Those have been mixed 50/50 and works fine.

    The regular mineral oil works well, but its high viscosity seems to lubricate better and slows the cutting action.

    The baby oil seemed much thinner on the stones. It came out of the bottle much quicker and spread out on the stone faster by gravity.

    So at less than $3 for a 20oz bottle it may be worth a try.

    My plan is to mix baby oil with regular mineral oil to create a viscosity between the two.

    Of course…

    YMMV!!!.png

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  2. #2
    I like WD-40 for tool honing , anything thicker seems to just slow the process. But I don’t like the WD for maintenance of seldom used
    things like pad locks, as they can get glued together, and that’s too much “security” .

  3. #3
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    I think I'll just stick to plain old 3in1 oil....and save the mineral oil for finishing cutting boards...
    A Planer? I'm the Planer, and this is what I use

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    In a discussion a while ago the subject of different viscosities of mineral oil came up.

    In searching on this it seemed acquiring lighter oils was expensive partially due to many vendors requiring a purchases in bulk amounts.

    Then someone mentioned baby oil. Interesting enough, while grocery shopping today the aisle with baby oil was visited. All of the different brands were in clear bottles. This made judging viscosity an easy task of just wiggling the bottles.

    The store brand appeared to have the lightest viscosity. It does have trace amounts of a few other items; fragrance, vitamin E and aloe. Not sure that is the right order.

    The Johnson's baby oil, if my memory is working, is only mineral oil and fragrance. It cost twice as much and looked to be a bit thicker.

    My current oil is store brand mineral oil from the same store. Norton honing oil is a little thinner. Those have been mixed 50/50 and works fine.

    The regular mineral oil works well, but its high viscosity seems to lubricate better and slows the cutting action.

    The baby oil seemed much thinner on the stones. It came out of the bottle much quicker and spread out on the stone faster by gravity.

    So at less than $3 for a 20oz bottle it may be worth a try.

    My plan is to mix baby oil with regular mineral oil to create a viscosity between the two.

    Of course…

    YMMV!!!.png

    jtk

    Cheapest baby oil from the Dollar Store mixed 50:50 with kerosene. Nice and thin and seems to work just fine for me on natural and man-made stones.
    Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.

  5. #5
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    Jim,
    Interesting that you comment on the use mineral oil. The last few days, I have been practicing my sharpening skills using some Spyderco ceramic stones. I have a few oilstones which I have never used. I want to give them a try but wasn't sure what type of oil to use and am too cheap to pay for a bottle of Norton's sharpening oil. I will try the baby oil. How do you deal with the mess during and after using the stones?

    Thanks!
    Mike

  6. #6
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    I will try the baby oil. How do you deal with the mess during and after using the stones?
    My larger oilstones are in their own boxes that absorb any stray oil. The oilstone sharpening area is on a piece of scrap 1/2" plywood that also absorbs any stray oil. Then there are shop rags purchased at various sources. The rags appear to be white tee-shirt material cut up into rags.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  7. #7
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    ASIDE: I live in t-shirts, so there are all kinds of them for shop rags - oil rags, wipe-on finishing rags, cleaning rags. A never ending free supply of absorbent, lint free rags in all your favorite designer colors.

  8. #8
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    If you're in the US, a gallon of food grade mineral oil (very refined, odorles, thin) is around $20 on Amazon.com. Mixing it with kerosene just makes it stinky, up to your sensitivities. Baby oil is also probably mainly mineral oil and some perfumes, if it's cheap, go for it.

    The branded honing oils, when you do the math, come down to a product that is several hundred dollars per gallon. I was yelled at in this forum because I objected to paying that much for what it's basically mineral oil. The yeller told me that the honing oil was a super special kind of mineral oil that justified the difference in price. I still use food grade mineral oil.

  9. #9
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    I used bacon grease once, in a pinch, and it worked.

  10. #10
    I've tried various oils and oil/kerosene mixtures. I find 3:1 oil cheap, easy to use, and the right viscosity.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rafael Herrera View Post
    If you're in the US, a gallon of food grade mineral oil (very refined, odorles, thin) is around $20 on Amazon.com. Mixing it with kerosene just makes it stinky, up to your sensitivities. Baby oil is also probably mainly mineral oil and some perfumes, if it's cheap, go for it.

    The branded honing oils, when you do the math, come down to a product that is several hundred dollars per gallon. I was yelled at in this forum because I objected to paying that much for what it's basically mineral oil. The yeller told me that the honing oil was a super special kind of mineral oil that justified the difference in price. I still use food grade mineral oil.
    At $2.79 for a 20oz bottle the baby oil costs $17.86 per gallon. Keeping babies from squeaking is a bit cheaper. Food grade mineral oil at $2.49 a pint would cost $19.92 a gallon at my local grocer. Turns out there is also a mineral oil sold in some cosmetics departments for make up removal. No info on pricing at this time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Rathhaus View Post
    I've tried various oils and oil/kerosene mixtures. I find 3:1 oil cheap, easy to use, and the right viscosity.
    Harbor Freight lists 3 in 1 oil at $3.99 for a 4oz bottle. That comes to 127.68 per gallon. One question about 3 in 1 oil is if it is considered food grade. For the small amounts that would be on my kitchen knives or on carved spoons it might not be a concern.

    The mineral oil purchased on the pharmacy department is food grade and is nice to use on cutting boards and other wooden kitchen utensils. It is also a good non-drying oil for use on tool handles.

    The cost of the various oils isn't as important to many of us as is the result and our comfort with what we achieve.

    jtk
    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 09-15-2021 at 4:19 PM.
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  12. #12
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    I use Marvel Mystery Oil for honing. It smells great, is inexpensive, and I always have it on hand anyway for my old cars.
    Your endgrain is like your bellybutton. Yes, I know you have it. No, I don't want to see it.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zach Dillinger View Post
    I use Marvel Mystery Oil for honing. It smells great, is inexpensive, and I always have it on hand anyway for my old cars.
    The cost seems to depend on where one purchases Marvel Mystery Oil:

    Marvel Mystery Oil.png

    According to Wikipedia it is mostly mineral oil:
    It is composed primarily of petroleum distillates, including mineral oil (60–100%), mineral spirits (10–30%), tricresyl phosphate (an antiwear and extreme pressure additive in lubricants, 0.1–1.0%), ortho-dichlorobenzene (a softening and removing agent for carbon-based contamination on metal surfaces, 0.1–1.0%), and para-dichlorobenzene (a precursor used in the production of chemically and thermally resistant polymers, <0.1%).
    Whatever works…

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  14. #14
    Hi Jim - That's an enlightening comparison. My calculus is a bit cruder. Since I don't go thru the whetstone oil very quickly, I didn't compare by price per gallon. I never tried baby oil but I tried various oils and ended up using food-grade mineral oil for quite awhile. It's just too thick and you have the hassle of needing and refilling a dispenser. I do like the fact that I don't worry about getting it on my skin. When I saw Will Meyers and Roy Underhill using 3:1 oil for sharpening, I decided to give it a try. I found it has the right viscosity, smells fine, and comes packaged in a dispenser. You can buy a 12 pack of 8 oz bottles for $48 from Amazon, which is still much more per ounce than baby oil or food-grade mineral oil. At the same time, I figure this box should last me several years so that so that the time saved in calculating cheaper alternatives, dealing with the additional time spent on adulterating, bottling, etc. makes it cheap to me.

  15. #15
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    I have found 2 references to Norton products with different cas numbers

    https://msdsdigital.com/norton-sharpening-stone-oil-msds

    Norton sharpening stone oil has the cas number 8042-47-5

    and there is another link

    https://www.forestry-suppliers.com/D.../2938_msds.pdf

    SHARPENING STONE OIL

    CAS: 64742-18-3

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