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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, I'm new to the forums and glad to be here!

I purchased a cheap sharpening stone from Ace Hardware the other day with the intent to practice honing on some of my dad's old chisels. The stone is double-sided but the sides are just "coarse" and "fine," rather than grit numbers.

Does anyone have experience with these oil stones? I know it's not going to work as well as a Norton or anything but is it workable for someone just getting started in honing and sharpening?

Here's a link to the actual product: http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1286690

Thanks everyone!
 

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I have a couple of those no-name hardware store stones.
In a completely ignorant and totally biased and subjective test =
set out several grades of sandpaper, say 80, 120, 180, 220.
Run your finger tips across the stone then find a paper which sort of
feels the same.
My guesstimate is that I have 80 and 120 on one stone, 120 and 180 on the other.
 

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+1 with Robson Valley to attempt to equate each side to a grit.

I expect the Coarse is too coarse, and the Fine is not fine enough for your chisels.

The Fine is likely to work to sharpen, but not likely to be fine enough to hone the face.

I use a flat granite surface and abrasive paper. Available in many grits and I know what grit I am using.
 

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The 5/35 Pfeil wood carving gouge isn't cheap. Hit some big sand grains in dirty wood. Decided that I'd have to joint the end and reform the bevel. My so-called "80 grit" made short work of squaring off the bevel beyond the damage. Only time I ever use it.
Hindsight shows that I shouldn't get too enthusiastic about staying on the 80 for very long, certainly not in the bevel reforming process. Takes a long time to get rid of the last big grit scratches.

As DP points out, sandpapers of known grit size on a FLAT surface is an inexpensive way to do long straight edges. No concern ever at all about how flat the stone surface is. Wrapped around 3/4" tubing, 800 & 1500 W&D do a great job on crooked knives. I have 8, should be 9 next week.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Does the package say oil stone? If not I wouldn't be putting cutting oil on it.
Yes, the packaging on the one I bought indicates it's an oil stone.

Thanks for your replies, everyone. Looks like I'll start the rough work on the "fine" side of the stone and then look around for some scrap granite or glass on which to mount some sandpaper.
 

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Don't assume you have to go with the expense of Norton to do a good job with stones. I use a relatively inexpensive (<$40) water stone that is 1000/6000 grit. I've used it for about three years and am very happy with it. I do final honing on a strop with green compound.

There are many different options out there for sharpening/honing and just as wide a range of prices. Choose a method that works for you/your budget and stick with it.
 

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Thanks for your replies, everyone. Looks like I'll start the rough work on the "fine" side of the stone and then look around for some scrap granite or glass on which to mount some sandpaper.
If you are not able to find a piece of granite or glass, a plan "B" surface can be a piece of MDF, just do not expose to water.

I hold my abrasive with one hand and use my sharpening jig with the other.
 

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When I need a flat sheet for my spokeshave blades, I stick one end down with masking tape, pull strokes only. I get a lot of milage out of a single sheet of 1500 W&D paper. When the strip starts to look glazed = time for a new one.

I guesstimated that one spokeshave did more than a running mile in birch before I thought that it might need a lick of a tune-up. Stopped with the 1500, didn't bother with the strop (chrome green on cereal box cardboard.)

I use good, old Pennzoil 5W40 motor oil on all the oil stones. To carry away the swarf, works just fine.
 
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