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sharpening stones


phlawless
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I recently bought a stone at an asian market, and it's not labeled, at least not in english, whether to use water or oil. How can I tell? It's a two grit, cost 3 bucks, and says nothing but 'sharpening stone'. Help??

"Godspeed all the bakers at dawn... may they all cut their thumbs and bleed into their buns til they melt away..."

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I have a big, old stone that I bought in an Asian grocery

years ago. It came unpackaged and unlabeled.

I have always used running water - I prop it up under

the faucet - and it works fine.

BB

Food is all about history and geography.

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I'm just wondering if I assume it's a water stone, which most Japanese are (I can't tell the difference in the asian characters), will I compromise it's use if it turns out to be an oil stone, or vice versa?

"Godspeed all the bakers at dawn... may they all cut their thumbs and bleed into their buns til they melt away..."

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You are am over my head on that.

I have 'Sharpening Hand Tools' by Max Alth - Storey Pub.

He seems to say that people choose one or the other, but says

nothing about stones being specifically one way or the other.

Mainly, he says that 'oil people' soak their stones in 10 or 20

weight oil before use - never vegetable or cooking oil

- clean them with alcohol, gasoline or kerosene.

'Water people' use them dry and clean them with soap and water.

I get the impression that the 'schools' are reversible, but I this

is only one source. Is the stone very expensive?

BB

edit - replace ambiguous comma with 'or'

Edited by Big Bunny (log)

Food is all about history and geography.

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All the stones I have now are oil stones... a regular Norton double sided (course one side and fine on the other) that's gotten pretty sway backed on the fine side after 30+ years of use, an India stone that was my grandfather's, and a black Arkansas I got about thirty years ago. Years ago I used Nye oil, which at the time was whale oil and could be found at any decent hardware store. Then the whaling ban kicked in (for which I'm mostly grateful), Nye oil disappeared, and I started using mineral oil. A couple of years ago I was in a gunshop and spotted some old tins of sperm (whale) oil on a shelf in the back room. Brownell's "natural, refined, sperm oil" in half pint cans. I bought four cans for $25 each. Whatever you think of killing whales these days, sperm or whale oil is the best oil that can be found for sharpening knives (IMHO.) It's main use is in lubricating fine machinery, such as clocks and, apparently, Nye oil can still be found for that at Bartlett & Co. Whether it's whale oil or not, I don't know. At the price they're asking, I doubt it.

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Oil and stones have traditionally been used for double ground Western knives whereas water and stones have been used for Japanese single ground knives. You can certainly use your one stone for either method and go back and forth but traditionally the stone is used one way or the other and kept that way. I have one soft stone that I use either way.

BTW I have been seeing various sources of 'Whale Oil' for many years but I seriously doubt that any of it is real. -Dick

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