Flattening Water Stones.

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Forum topic by Don posted 01-28-2018 03:28 AM 1016 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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6 posts in 1835 days

01-28-2018 03:28 AM

I have a few water stones that need to be flattened. Can you suggest what I need to use?

-- Don in Murfreesboro, TN.

11 replies so far

View Andre's profile


3566 posts in 2578 days

#1 posted 01-28-2018 04:31 AM

I use the Lee Valley DMT DiaFlat™ Lapping Plate, price has gone up since I got mine but it is a 1 time investment!
Or you can get the Truing Stone for Water Stones, much cheaper and will do what you need it to do!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View msinc's profile


567 posts in 1275 days

#2 posted 01-28-2018 05:26 AM

Depending on how bad the stone is I have done it two ways…if it’s not real bad, say .010” – .020” or so you can just use another stone {aluminum oxide}. It does not have to be a special “flattening” stone. Even an old razor hone {ebay} works very nice, especially to finish it. I have also used the Buck knives brand stone to put the final dress on water stones and it works fine. It also works well to keep it flat if used periodically. You should really be giving it a little dress up every time you use it to keep it good and flat.
If a stone is really bad and has a lot of wear, like more than .020” and up I put a finer belt {120 or finer} on my 6X48 belt sander and give it a kiss. i do this dry on the sander and it is easier if you lay the belt down so it’s horizontal and use a scrubbing motion back and forth across the belt while it’s running. Do not put a lot of pressure and go slow, it will get flat. Then take the razor hone to it with water and finish it. I have brought back several water stones from the dead this way and it is quick. This will no doubt make some hone “experts” cry like a fat baby, but I look at it this way…a worn out, dished out stone is no good like it is, so if you mess it up {pretty hard to do really} where’s the loss?

View TheFridge's profile


10859 posts in 2258 days

#3 posted 01-28-2018 07:26 AM

I use an atoma 400g plate. Or any coarse diamond plate would work. I’d hesitate to use any kind of mechanical sander myself.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Don's profile


6 posts in 1835 days

#4 posted 01-28-2018 02:32 PM

Thanks for the info. I bought one of the cheaper ones because I don’t sharpen that often. I have two planes a #5 and a block plane 60 & 1/2 plus some chisels.

-- Don in Murfreesboro, TN.

View Andre's profile


3566 posts in 2578 days

#5 posted 01-28-2018 07:12 PM

A quick check for flatness, make a checker pattern on the stone with a pencil, a few rubs will show low spots.
Quick and easy, wrap a 2”x4”(flat) with some 100 – 120 grit sandpaper?

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View JayT's profile


6402 posts in 2983 days

#6 posted 01-28-2018 07:37 PM

I use 220 wet dry paper on a granite surface. Once the stone is flat, the paper can easily be rinsed off.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View PeteStaehling's profile


133 posts in 1891 days

#7 posted 01-28-2018 09:47 PM

I use a flattening stone that I bought with my water stones to flatten them, but I have put an old Arkansas Stone that was DEEPLY dished on the belt sander and flattened it right up,

View Vindex's profile


109 posts in 1594 days

#8 posted 01-29-2018 05:54 PM

I use the DMT 11.5” continuous diamond stone ( It is the first stone I use when flattening my tools for their first sharpening, and it flattens all of the other stones as well. It’s expensive, but well worth it in my opinion.

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4420 days

#9 posted 01-29-2018 06:19 PM

I use a drywall sanding screen. Actually it’s
a floor sanding screen but it’s the same
stuff. One that’s too worn to sand floors
will still flatten a water stone.

Somebody suggested a cinder block. That
sounds barbaric but using the stone for
sharpening will soon remove marks from
coarse abrasives used in flattening.

The best suggestion I have for waterstones
is either use a figure-8 pattern to spread
wear on the stone when honing freehand
or use a sharpening jig which does not ride
on the surface of the stone.

View Just_Iain's profile


326 posts in 1188 days

#10 posted 02-05-2018 03:39 PM


What grit of sanding screen do you use? The options I have are 100 to 220 up here in the Canadian HomeDepot.

-- For those about to die, remember your bicycle helmet!

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4420 days

#11 posted 02-05-2018 03:43 PM

I would try 150.

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