Reply To: Do’s and Don’ts of Oilstones: a recent convert requests advice

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#757157
Martin Hartley
Participant

I mostly use the two-sided combination stones. I feel that Norton make the best ones and they pre-soak them in oil for you. I put a little 3-in-1 onto the stone each time i sharpen and just enough so the surface remains wet. Start on the coarser side of the stone and actually work the primary bevel just a little bit. Flip to the finer side of the stone and use this to make the secondary bevel and use a few passes on the back of the iron to flip the burr (wire edge). Then use the leather strop. Green chromium oxide polishing compound helps. Buy it as a large bar for use on polishing spindles. It will be enough to last you a lifetime on a leather strop.

I have found that it pays to get into the habit of touching up the edges of tools each time you use them, even if it is just a couple of swipes on the fine side of the stone and the strop – even just the strop sometimes is enough to make the edge cut that much finer.

Oilstones are less prone to hollowing out or dishing than water stones, but you can still wear a hollow. Try to make it a habit to use the whole of the surface of the stone and keep it reasonably flat. You may need to “wash” the stone every so often (once or twice a year) using household kerosene then soak the stone in more oil. 3-in-1 can be a bit expensive for that, so I mostly use chainsaw bar oil to re-soak the stone, though it is sometimes a little thicker than I would like.