Don’t Use Oil on Waterstones
The temperature in my shop regularly dips below freezing in the winter. If there’s any water in my waterstones, it freezes, expands, and breaks them. Can I use oil to lubricate them instead?
Benton Landers, Minneapolis, MN
According to waterstone manufacturer Norton, you shouldn’t use oil on waterstones because the oil will clog the stone’s pores. That would keep slurry from developing. Slurry is a soupy mixture of water and loose abrasive particles, and it’s what does the honing.
Your best bet during the winter is to keep your waterstones in a heated area. Or you could just switch to another sharpening method.