A New Angle on Whetstones
Can oil and water be mixed?
Synopsis: Gerald Polmateer takes a look at the care and use of oilstones and waterstones and the advantages and disadvantages of each. He discusses storage, care, and use, along with alternatives (including diamond stones and ceramic stones), and what happens when you use oilstones and waterstones in tandem. A chart breaks down the pros and cons of waterstones and oilstones.
Oilstones have been the choice of American and European woodworkers for centuries for honing a keen edge on their cutting tools. The only conflict was whether a natural white Arkansas stone produced a sharp enough edge or whether the harder and finer black Arkansas stone was needed. But, about 15 years ago, waterstones began finding their way to this continent from the Far East in quantities large enough to create a new controversy. Although the brouhaha has settled somewhat, many woodworkers are still confused as to which sharpening stones would…