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sharpening stones - RichK - 10-21-2020

I come across unmarked sharpening stones at flea markets and estate sales. Is there an easy way to identify whether they are oil or water stones? .


RE: sharpening stones - cputnam - 10-21-2020

Put a drop or two of water on the stone. If the water stays beaded it is probably an oil stone.


RE: sharpening stones - Kansas City Fireslayer - 10-21-2020

My guess would be 99% of them are oil stones and most are probably less desirable ones. Every now and then you come across a beauty. Just my experiences....


RE: sharpening stones - AHill - 10-22-2020

A lot of older oil stones won't work well because the oil inside the stone has cured over time. The easiest way to refresh the stone is to throw it in the dishwasher. Another method is to soak it in gasoline or some other solvent like mineral spirits. I've also seen some who use WD-40. Make sure it's an oil stone if you're going to do either of the above. If the stone isn't flat, use some sandpaper on a flat surface or a diamond stone to true it up. Even if it's already flat, it doesn't hurt to take a few swipes on the sandpaper or diamond stone to remove any residual grime. Use mineral oil or kerosene or something like that as a lubricant.


RE: sharpening stones - Admiral - 10-22-2020

(10-22-2020, 07:39 AM)AHill Wrote: The easiest way to refresh the stone is to throw it in the dishwasher. . . .

Ha ha, if I did that I'd have the stone impaled into my forehead by my bride!!!!  Laugh


RE: sharpening stones - fredhargis - 10-22-2020

(10-22-2020, 07:41 AM)Admiral Wrote: Ha ha, if I did that I'd have the stone impaled into my forehead by my bride!!!!  Laugh

Rightfully so, and that would happen to me as well.


RE: sharpening stones - Tony Z - 10-22-2020

NO DISHWASHER! I learned the hard way, with an oily film on every surface! SWMBO ended up with a new appliance (it really worked well, though).

I have bought many dozens of stones at flea markets, antique malls and tool sales. The oilest stone can be cleaned, with oven cleaner the best method, scrubbed with a brillo pad and steaming hot water.

What to look for? First, scrape a finger nail on the stone, to determine how fine the stone is, with natural stones the finest. Second, look for well made boxes. Craftsmen of old, generally made a fancy box for their expensive stones.

I've picked up more than a dozen washitas, same number of translucent & black arkansas stones. I have been fooled a couple of times with really dirty india stones (manmade oilstones, no value), but the worse was my own fault. I saw a Norton Tri-stone hone (11" long stones), priced at $85.00. I tossed down my cash, without opening, because, well just because. When I was out of site of the tble, I opened it up, figuring to find natural oilstones. Instead were three wore out silicon carbide coarse stones, worth crap. Must have been a butchers' hone.


RE: sharpening stones - RichK - 10-22-2020

I never ran stones through the dishwasher, but I did use our coffee grinder to break down shellac flakes. Worked great until i got cocky and kept my finger on the pulse button a little too long. SWMBO selected a nice new replacement and now pays much closer attention when I go into kitchen cabinets.


RE: sharpening stones - dry heat - 10-23-2020

(10-22-2020, 11:08 PM)RichK Wrote: I never ran stones through the dishwasher, but I did use our coffee grinder to break down shellac flakes.  Worked great until i got cocky and kept my finger on the pulse button a little too long. SWMBO selected a nice new replacement and now pays much closer attention when I go into kitchen cabinets.

Sonic cleaners work well. Scrubbing with Simple Green too. Afterward, whatever method, I've found it helps some to go over them with a stout shop vac. hose, seems to pull a bit from the pours.
ED