A little trick for cleaning dingey slip stones.
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  1. #1
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    Default A little trick for cleaning dingey slip stones.

    A micro-epiphany:

    I was visiting relatives who showed me their latest gizmo: a knife sharpener that used stones mounted on a sliding rod which guided it at a constant angle over the cutting edhe of the knife clamped in the base. Clever in concept, worked good, but was cheaply made. Amazon has dozens of models differing in price, quality, etc.

    Nothing wrong with the four stones, though. They cut efficiently and the four grit sizes worked well in progression. This started an orgy of knife sharpening 'til every cutting edge in the house was keen as a razor. However, the nice orange mounted stones were all dingey and black with swarf. SWMBO couldn't stand it. She took the stones to the sink and scoured them to like new brightness with Comet cleanser and a vegetable brush. Took minutes.

    THAT was a new one on me. I'd spent hours cleaning slip stones with everything BUT Comet. I went home and tried the Comet trick on some of my ugliest slip stones. Cleaned them right up - except it did nothing for the pins. Some staining remained but they did cut better. YMMV.

    Just saying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Forrest Addy View Post
    A micro-epiphany:

    I was visiting relatives who showed me their latest gizmo: a knife sharpener that used stones mounted on a sliding rod which guided it at a constant angle over the cutting edhe of the knife clamped in the base. Clever in concept, worked good, but was cheaply made. Amazon has dozens of models differing in price, quality, etc.

    Nothing wrong with the four stones, though. They cut efficiently and the four grit sizes worked well in progression. This started an orgy of knife sharpening 'til every cutting edge in the house was keen as a razor. However, the nice orange mounted stones were all dingey and black with swarf. SWMBO couldn't stand it. She took the stones to the sink and scoured them to like new brightness with Comet cleanser and a vegetable brush. Took minutes.

    THAT was a new one on me. I'd spent hours cleaning slip stones with everything BUT Comet. I went home and tried the Comet trick on some of my ugliest slip stones. Cleaned them right up - except it did nothing for the pins. Some staining remained but they did cut better. YMMV.

    Just saying.
    I have been using those sharpening stones for many years and it is very important to keep them clean. However, I have used them with light weight cutting oil, never dry and never with water. I clean my stones before, during and after use with more cutting oil and a simple wipe with a paper towel. The black swarf is simply wiped away.

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    One trip thru the dishwasher and they will look brand new.

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    I was taught in school to use washing up liquid (dish soap) and a stiff brush with warm water to clean white scintered synthetic ruby slips.
    I'm sure the dishwasher works great, probably just need to be careful about who notices what you are doing.....

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    Bar Keeper's Friend works even better. It has oxalic acids as an ingredient. That means it dissolves some of the tiny steel particles stuck in the stone. Just using some straight mineral spirits as a lubricant and scrubbing the stone on a flat piece of steel will usually clean it right up too. If it's persistently nasty I just re-flatten with a diamond plate.

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    WD40 works also.

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    Two other tricks:
    - an ultrasonic cleaner
    - if you want it flat for removing scraping burrs, rub it over a sheet of wet-o-dry paper (100 grit works well) lubricated with a drop of dish soap and water. Be sure you have a flat backing surface.

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    I do the WD-40 trick then lap it flat on a lapping plate with abrasive grit. I think I'll give the Comet a try on the lapping plate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ballen View Post
    Two other tricks:
    - an ultrasonic cleaner
    - if you want it flat for removing scraping burrs, rub it over a sheet of wet-o-dry paper (100 grit works well) lubricated with a drop of dish soap and water. Be sure you have a flat backing surface.
    Lapping stones flat on loose silicon carbide powder, say 60 grit, on a flat surface with some water works much better than sandpaper. The stones will be flatter and better cuttting, but it is hard on your flat surface.

    Here is a video of a new and interesting guided sharpener.


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    You can revive an old stone that has gotten swayback by running over it with a face mill. You have to take care not to get the grit in places it shouldn't be of course. It works really well and the stone is like new.

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    A wise friend of mine says the worst household product you can put down your sink is Comet. Says it gums up the works....I haven't verified this but it makes sense, considering how it looks when mixed with a little water.

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    When I got an ultrasonic cleaner a few years ago I cleaned all my old slips and hand stones. I was astonished at how clean they came out! What had looked like a nasty gray stone might have turned into a gorgeous matrix of 3 colors. Still, for cleaning one or two stones I think using cleanser would be quicker. I will give it a try.

    metalmagpie

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    I clean up and true at the same time by rubbing a set of three Bester stones together with water.
    Coarse grit on medium grit (both sides).
    Medium grit on fine grit (both sides).

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidScott View Post
    Here is a video of a new and interesting guided sharpener.
    That would make a nice DIY project!

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    Quote Originally Posted by GregSY View Post
    A wise friend of mine says the worst household product you can put down your sink is Comet. Says it gums up the works....I haven't verified this but it makes sense, considering how it looks when mixed with a little water.
    Only if you have a septic tank, the chlorine is to be avoided at all costs. The biggest gumming agent for household plumbing is fabric softener, also to be avoided at all costs if you have a leach field.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin T View Post
    That would make a nice DIY project!
    There are far better designs out there, but yeah the difference in how sharp I can get a knife on a guided system vs free hand is astounding. Enough to piss my wife off that the knives are too sharp.

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    A quick easy way to clean a stone is to saturate with WD40 then stone a piece of cardboard with it. It doesn't get it flat, but a fast way to remove swarf.

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    WD-40 does not work at all for me. Heck most of the time that is what it's saturated with.
    Scrub bush and Tide, Comet for sure as a go to blow out this. Toilet bowl cleaners also.
    Good sized ultrasonic train and the right stuff in it is magic to unload stones.
    Bob

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    I ran a couple sets of stones under a diamond wheel in the surface grinder to flatten things out, they probably aren't Renzetti quality but I think it makes a difference on how well they'll remove burrs without doing damage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ballen View Post
    Two other tricks:
    - an ultrasonic cleaner
    - if you want it flat for removing scraping burrs, rub it over a sheet of wet-o-dry paper (100 grit works well) lubricated with a drop of dish soap and water. Be sure you have a flat backing surface.
    And electroplated diamond sharpening "stones" clean up nicely if you use them to straighten your waterstone. Or just a piece of red brick.
    If you were stupid like me and scratched the finest 3000 grit diamond plate by cross-contaminating it with swarf and coarser diamond grit just use it to lap some random carbide insert and piece of red brick..


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