Question: My oilstones no longer sharpen as effectively as they once did, and seem to be clogged. How can I rejuvenate them?
-- Bill Plantz , Westlake , OH


Eventually, all oilstones clog with bits of worn grit and steel, and that keeps them from sharpening. To undo the clogging, lap your stone on a flat, abrasive surface, like a coarse diamond plate or some P-180 grit wet-or-dry sandpaper on a piece of thick glass. Use a lot of lubricant. I prefer kerosene, because it does a good job flushing away swarf and worn grit. I watch for the color to brighten over the entire stone to know when I’m done, but you also could draw a crosshatch over the stone’s surface. When all of the pencil lines are gone, you’re done. Finally, flush the stone well with kerosene.

oil stones

click to enlarge

A little elbow grease. Use kerosene as a lubricant and flatten the stone on a coarse diamond plate. The stone will work much faster and produce perfectly straight edges.

From Fine Woodworking #216 October 28, 2010