Hand Tools Archive

It's worth pointing out..

david weaver
..that early on when stu tierney started selling atomas, and I had to beg him to carry them, that they were not recommended for oilstones because the wafer that holds the abrasive is affixed to the aluminum milled backer with some kind of adhesive that may not tolerate some of the things we put on oilstones.

I've seen several people using them on oilstones with no complaints, so I don't really know what the score is there (I don't use mine on oilstones, because I want them to last as long as possible and not lose their adhesive bond).

Also, something to think about on oilstones - when you use a diamond hone or something on a pore-less stone like an oilstone, a jasper, a very hard nakayama stone or something like a ceramic stone of the spyderco type, you leave small grooves all over the surface of the stone. It takes a while to work through those or have them dull so that they don't affect the fineness of a stone. I don't know that it matters to most, but if you do anything with your stones (like sharpen a razor) that requires a really fine edge, those grooves make a difference.

That's another reason that I like to rub natural stones together instead. There's no "contamination" that really occurs because of it, either, because the particles are so dull within a few passes of hardened steel.

Oh...and one last thing, I never had much luck avoiding flattening 3 inch wide stones. Those stones always become hollow on me. If you never lap a stone again, it becomes immediately evident why most of the old oilstones are about 2" wide - because at that width, they do not become hollow in their width, only in their length (and even at that, only if you allow them to in their length - my settled bone colored hard ark stone has been used quite a bit, but it doesn't have any noticeable sway or dip in it other than a tiny amount laterally, which is preferable, anyway.)

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