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May 19, 2011
I received this letter from a reader asking me about my experience with the Shapton Ceramic/Glass water stone products.
I was wondering what sharpening kit you use? I have the shapton glass-ceramic stones and although I love them I have gone through two of the 1000 grit stones in the last few years. Do you use or know anyone that use the professional shaptons? Thanks…
Unfortunately I’ve never used them but have heard that they work really, really well. Two 1000 grits in two years sounds like alot but maybe you do a ton of wood working.
I see how this system may be out of reach for some wood workers due to the expense of the lapping plate that keeps them running smoothly. But if value means what you get back from a tool and not how much the price tag says then these seem to be the bomb. From 1000 grit up to 30000 I think ?? I should go and check but keeping it short for today….
If the reader has gone through two 1000 grits I’d say use a less expensive method of removing that initial metal. Grind it, sand paper it, heavy grit oil stone what ever…there are cheap methods to get rid of metal.
To budget the sharpening kit try keeping the super fine ( and higher priced ) water stones for the sweet spots. Just for the final polish or maybe use the 1000 for the secondary bevel and a grinding wheel or coarse stone for the initial removal.
Well that’s my two cents…hey, it’s Thursday afternoon on May 2-4 wekend in Toronto.
I have classes all weekend ~ no rest for the wicked !
cheers and play safe where ever you’re at this weekend.
you know, just in case…… ( cue Science fiction music)
I have been using the Shapton pro stones for about 8 years now. I am on my second 1000 grit stone. The 1000 pro stone is 4 times as thick as the 1000 glass stone and is twice the money. In otherwords – a much better use of funds. The only downside to the pro stones is they do not like A2 all that much (neither do I). If the OP is using high carbon steel most of the time – the pro stones are perfect.
I’m not so sure that I agree that Shapton Pro’s are not friendly with A2. Actually I don’t agree with that at all. Shapton Pro’s may sturggle a bit with HSS, although is doable if used correctly, but def can buzz up a wonderful edge on A2. It may be a bit harder than O1 but really should be of no issue if using the stones correctly.
I have my best luck with A2 on any stone using micro-bevels and the simple eclipse side clamping honing guide. Others may prefer the Veritas MKII honing guide but I just have not felt the need to splurge on one yet, the cheapo’s work fine. For a while A2 was troublesome for me on any stone until I started using micro-bevels and of late have been using hollow grinds which gets rid of the honing guides all together. I do agree that any stone tends to struggle with A2 and HSS if trying to hone the entire bevel.
The other alternative is switching to laminated Japanese tools in white and blue steel, which you just can’t go wrong with. Sorry for the long winded response.
thanks for the comments. I guess I should have been clearer with my not friendly comment. I am a bit of an old school sharpener – I flatten the back, hollow grind the bevel, and only hone the primary bevel (no micro bevels). Flattening the back of an A2 plane iron on the pro stone is quite a bit more work than on a Shapton glass stone. The bevel side is obviously not nearly as bad – but is still more work (and takes longer). I was simply comparing the difference between the two different stones doing the same task (flattening the back of an A2 plane blade).
It is certainly possible to hone an A2 blade on the pro stones… but I was suggesting that the glass stones are better suited to the task than the pro stones are. It is my understanding that the Shapton glass stones were developed to work with the A2 and other allow steels.
Sorry for the confusion.
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