Flatten an Oilstone to Clean It
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.