Hand Tools

Re: Query regarding historical use of waterstones.

Patrick Chase
I believe that for Japanese waterstones the traditional solution was a Nagura stone.

You can also flatten most any stone (water or otherwise) by lapping with loose grit on a flat substrate, and it's still necessary to do so with very coarse stones. I flatten Crystolons and stones like the Sigma #120 that way, for example.

Diamond plates use electroplated nickel bonds to affix the diamonds to the steel substrate. If the abrasive particles on the stone stick out far enough to reach those Nickel bonds then the stone will "gently exfoliate" the diamond plate in very short order. That's why you generally want to use a diamond plate that much lower grit than the stone being flattened, such that the diamonds are large enough to keep the stone's abrasive particles away from the Nickel bonds.

Paving stones also work, though I don't think that's very traditional :-).

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