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Has anyone gone back to water stones after Shapton?

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Forum topic by newwoodbutcher posted 04-24-2021 12:55 AM 1222 views 1 time favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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newwoodbutcher

863 posts in 3968 days


04-24-2021 12:55 AM

After 30 years of self taught woodworking, a few years ago I attended a hand tool Joinery class at Palomar College in San Diego. It took me a while after that and a fair amount of expense and effort before I could reliably produce a really sharp plane or chisel edge. Now, years later my stones are wearing very thin and replacing them is not chump change, at least for me.
My current sharpening arsenal includes,
300/1000 diamond plate
Lie Neilson honing guide
500, 1000, 4000, and 8000 grit Shapton Glass
Lately the 8000 Shapton is looking thin, so instead of replacing it I started using an old 8000 grit king water stone I had. In my opinion, It cuts a lot faster than the ceramic Shapton 8000 and the polish is at least as good as the Shapton produces. It also wears considerably faster requiring more flattening. That got me thinking I should look at these water stones again. I don’t mind spending on quality tools but I’d rather not spend big bucks on an experiment.
Im perfectly happy with the result I’m getting with the current set up. It would be very nice to speed up the process.
So, my question is, has anyone changed stones from Shapton to water stones? What was your experience? What are you using now?

Unless there’s some serious chip damage of some kind.I use the 1000 4000 and 8000 grits exclusively. When a lot of material needs to be removed it’s hard to beat the diamond plate. So much so I gave my brother in law my Tormac system last year and I’m thinking that 8” grinder with the CBN wheel and Veritas tool rest is taking up too much valuable space.

-- Ken


14 replies so far

View DevinT's profile

DevinT

1158 posts in 84 days


#1 posted 04-24-2021 01:04 AM

I have Trend diamond stone (300/1000) and Shapton 16k. Though I just got them and have not put them to use yet, but I have plenty of things to sharpen. 5 plane blades, a spokeshave blade, 4 chisels, and several knives. I wonder how long the Shapton will last. Not sure what I will do after the ceramic is worn completely down to the glass. How much did you pay for your 8k water stone? And do they come in higher grit?

-- Devin, SF, CA

View 18wheelznwood's profile

18wheelznwood

143 posts in 147 days


#2 posted 04-24-2021 01:05 AM

Have you seen the “Scary Sharp” system using plate glass and pressure sensitive adhesive lapping paper? Takes up less room than stones and is relatively inexpensive. You can hog off a lot of steel using the 180 and 250 grit sheets. Grits from 180 to 14,000.

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SMP

4149 posts in 1023 days


#3 posted 04-24-2021 01:29 AM

I have a 1000/8000 king water stone. The 8000 side is great, but the 1000 side wears too fast. The wheel of my honing jig wears a rut in it pretty fast making it to where i can only sharpen a couple irons out of it. I also have a Norton 400/1000 and the 400 side of that thing dishes out just looking at it. I switched to DMT diamond stones for Coarse and Fine, but instead of buying the x-fine DMT like Paul Sellers, i am just using my King 8000 side as that is plenty honed to move to the strop to finish. Perfectly whispy shavings on stock stanley bailey irons on all my planes.

Paul Sellers did a fairly recent blog about the cheap chinese diamond plates for $10 on Amazon and those other cheesy sites and they work well for him. I may have gone that route had I not bought these before.

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metolius

430 posts in 1848 days


#4 posted 04-24-2021 02:42 AM

Ive been using shapton for ~4-5years paired with a diamond plate to start and keep them flat. With the Splash-n-go, I’ll never go back.

To replace the 8k glass, I’d recommend the melon colored 8k Kuromaku
It has thicker ceramic than the glass.

If you are looking to speed up the process, check your results from a start at 1k then going straight to the fine grit, Rob Cosman style.

I’ve never used a honing guide, but my imagination thinks freehand may have a faster pace back to the woodwork.

-- derek / oregon

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

3888 posts in 2916 days


#5 posted 04-24-2021 03:04 AM

I see no reason for me to change. I hollow grind my A2 plane blades then go straight to my fine grit Shapton working backwards until I need to regrind the hollow.
The chisels I mainly use are Japanese so they are a perfect match with the Shapton.
I’ve used Norton’s and they are just ok.
Good Luck

-- Aj

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

8009 posts in 1692 days


#6 posted 04-24-2021 07:23 PM

Went from Oil stones 45 years or so back, to water stones, then progressed to Shaptons which I still use on occasion, but mostly have moved on the WorkSharp3000 for everyday sharpening, and ongoing maintenance.

Got a Lee Valley email today, and they can sell per piece of many different brands. You might just want to replace your 8000. 79 bux looks like.

https://www.leevalley.com/en-us/tools/shapton-sharpening-stones?utm_campaign=101572_Newsletter-Wood-ShaptonSharpening-US&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Lee%20Valley&dm_i=6EER,26DG,12V1SB,9ZZE,1

-- Think safe, be safe

View mitch_56's profile

mitch_56

59 posts in 1591 days


#7 posted 04-24-2021 08:26 PM

I took that same class at that same school, just a few years before you, I guess. Had so much fun taking classes there, I eventually got a degree in cabinet making from them, just for fun. Great teachers, great courses, unbelievable value. We’re lucky to live in North County San Diego and have such a resource close by.

Anyways, I went from Shapton glass to water stones. For the type of steel in most of my hand tools, the Sigma Select 2 remove steel more quickly than the Shaptons (or anything else I’ve ever tried), so I can be back to sharp more quickly. https://www.fine-tools.com/sigma.html

I kept my Tormek. Hollow-grinding is a huge improvement, imo, for lots of tools. Again, it makes getting sharp faster, and I’m spending way less time on the stones, so they stay flat longer, and last longer. After a fresh hollow-grinding on, say, my #4 smoother, I can get a full-width burr in about 6-8 pulls per grit. Go through 3 grits, maybe 25 pulls, takes maybe 45 seconds? Hollow grinding also made it much more easy for me to switch to free hand sharpening, which, yet again, I prefer because it’s faster. Setting up jigs is time I don’t need to spend.

And the Sigma Select 2 are spritz-and-go, so no waiting/soaking nonsense. They do dish more quickly than most stones, but they also flatten more quickly than most stones, and as mentioned, they sharpen much faster than any other stones I’ve used.

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

4547 posts in 2612 days


#8 posted 04-24-2021 09:21 PM

+1 Sigma Power Select II stones cut faster than any stone I have used?

Since I picked up WorkSharp 3000, the water stones only get used on plane blades wider than 2”. Though if stones are handy, usually quicker to free hand a splash/go touch up on 6K & 13K, when WS strop is not enough.

Hated the King stones. Started with 1K/6K combo. They wear/dish so fast, felt like I spent more time keeping them flat, then sharpening. They also cut harder steel slower than just about any stone I have used. My IBC A2 blades where PITA to sharpen on King stone, and where my original reason for moving to Sigma Select II stones.

It’s getting out dated, but Fine Woodworking did a water stone tool test in #224 Jan/Feb 2012 Issue. My experience with different stones has been well aligned with results. They did a single test on Ohishi waterstones after that test, and claimed they were as good as best overall picks? With recent introduction of Pride brand water stones, IMHO it’s time for updated water stone tool comparison!

Cheers!

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, Doom, despair, agony on me… - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View controlfreak's profile

controlfreak

2234 posts in 719 days


#9 posted 04-24-2021 09:26 PM



Went from Oil stones 45 years or so back, to water stones, then progressed to Shaptons which I still use on occasion, but mostly have moved on the WorkSharp3000 for everyday sharpening, and ongoing maintenance.

- therealSteveN


I went from water stones (very messy) to PSA sheets on float glass. I am just getting tired of putting in so much time into sharpening especially when I need to correct a bevel error or last week when I found a finish nail with my wide chisel. Seriously looking at getting a work sharp 3000, any reason not to?

View tvrgeek's profile

tvrgeek

1937 posts in 2767 days


#10 posted 04-24-2021 10:41 PM

For plain chisels and irons, I find keeping the platform square a bit difficult. Got an M-power and find it better for the primary bevel. Of course, it stops @ 1200, so I then go to either paper or the WS for hand secondary, 3000. If a big problem, the M-power will take forever where the WS can be a lot quicker. And strop. Maybe with some more fiddling I can get them to match. For hand work on gouges, it is great.

Messy? Heck. Until you have use a Makita wet wheel, you don’t know what messy is. :)

View Aj2's profile

Aj2

3888 posts in 2916 days


#11 posted 04-24-2021 11:46 PM


Went from Oil stones 45 years or so back, to water stones, then progressed to Shaptons which I still use on occasion, but mostly have moved on the WorkSharp3000 for everyday sharpening, and ongoing maintenance.

- therealSteveN

I went from water stones (very messy) to PSA sheets on float glass. I am just getting tired of putting in so much time into sharpening especially when I need to correct a bevel error or last week when I found a finish nail with my wide chisel. Seriously looking at getting a work sharp 3000, any reason not to?

- controlfreak

Hollow grinding A2 plane blades is better and for some chisels too.
Unless the steel is very soft
If you want to practice freehand sharpening hollow grinding is path with side sharpening technique.
I was taught by Harrelson Stanley a very good teacher.
Good Luck

-- Aj

View Rich's profile

Rich

6929 posts in 1707 days


#12 posted 04-25-2021 04:53 AM

You should spend as much time keeping your water stones flat as you do using them. That’s part of the process. It’s the slurry that’s created during sharpening that speeds the cutting action, but it also wears the stone.

I use a DMT DiaFlat-95 lapping plate on my stones each time I sharpen a tool. It’s large—4 by 10 inch—so it’s less likely to roll over the edge of the stone, and at 160 grit it flattens the stone in no time.

I also chose the Pride Abrasives line of stones. They’re made by a family-owned company in Wisconsin and are as good as I’ve found—both in their flatness out-of-the-box and their cutting speed. The price is reasonable as well. They offer combination stones, but I prefer individual grits.

Since the topic turned into a discussion on sharpening in general, I’ll toss in a recommendation for the Sorby ProEdge system. While pricier, it beats the pants off the WorkSharp and isn’t as messy as a TORMEK. Nor does it require time to soak your stones.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View newwoodbutcher's profile

newwoodbutcher

863 posts in 3968 days


#13 posted 04-25-2021 04:33 PM

Thank you all for responding. I have the WorkSharp3000 and find it useful for flattening the backs of irons also for changing the bevel angle but for everyday sharpening I can’t get a satisfactory final edge.After trying various bench top grinders including Tormak I’m pretty sure power sharpening is off the table for me including the Sorby ProEdge system. Like I said I’m happy with the results of my current set up but if I need to replace a stone due to wear I would like something that cuts faster. I’ve never tried Sigma Select stones, I’m going to get one and see how it works for me. Thank you all again

-- Ken

View yonatan's profile

yonatan

6 posts in 37 days


#14 posted 05-12-2021 06:55 AM

I use a mix of brands and types. Some are water stones, one is Shapton Glass. I have a strop in there too. Reason being, stone grits aren’t standardized like P grits of wet/dry paper, and maybe I’m overly particular but in my way of thinking each progressively finer stone should have grits 1/2 the size of the previous stone. Somebody (maybe it was Chris Schwartz?) published a chart of different brands, grits, and micron sizes. Not sure how accurate it is if manufacturers keep changing their processes, but at the time it was accurate enough to buy the range of stones I have and use. Seems to work okay, but I’m out of practice.

-- Cut it twice and it will still be too short.

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