Using Sharpening Stones Using Sharpening Stones

Sharpening stones just like all other tools, need to be properly maintained to achieve good results. Sharpening stones are used to sharpen basic cutting tools like knives, scissors, chisels, razors and other carpentry tools. They come in various forms, ranging from the basic block to those manufactured in the form of rods, wheels or bench stones. It is also worthwhile to note that sharpening stones can be made from a natural hard stone or from manufactured materials, mainly diamond stone or ceramic. This article will discuss the basic aspects involved in using sharpening stones.

The Need for Proper Care and Maintenance

Prior to using sharpening stones, you need to make sure that they are in good shape to ensure satisfactory results. First of all, following each use, it is important to clean the stone well. Scrub it with a plastic scrubber, using warm soapy water to remove dust and other residues. If your sharpening stone was left uncleaned for a long period of time, it will probably not be enough to clean it with water. In such a case you should clean it with paint thinner first. Apart from cleaning it after each use, you should also apply some oil to the sharpening stone from time to time. By rubbing honing oil onto the stone, you will be able to keep it in good condition and free from any debris. If you notice that the sharpening stone is getting clogged, you should pass it over a piece of sandpaper to remove the clogged areas and other irregularities until it looks flat. Then, rinse it under running water and allow it to dry.

Prior to Using the Sharpening Stone

Prior to using the sharpening stone, make sure that it is clean by following the steps outlined above. Then, moisten it with some water, as this will improve its effectiveness.

The Process

The most important aspects of using a sharpening stone is the motion and the angle. While sharpening, you should try to work at a consistent angle. In order to do so, you may need to use an angle guide. Carefully place the blade against the sharpening stone and tilt it to the desired angle. The optimum angle will differ according to the type of tool you intend to sharpen. Once you have settled on the angle, start grinding and rubbing until you have achieved the desired sharpness at each point. You will need to move the angle guide until all the edges have been tackled appropriately. Also, always remember to start off at the coarse side of the sharpening stone, and then use the fine side afterward. The motion you should use is quite basic. Commence by moving the knife or tool you wish to sharpen away from you, and then turn it around and move it back towards you, each time sliding it along the sharpening stone. Repeat this until you have achieved the desired level of sharpness.


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