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When I teach people to sharpen edge tools, I am very much an “I’m OK, you’re OK” guy about the kinds of systems out there and whether you should use jigs or not. But there is one thing I’m all fire and waterstones about: Stick with one system until you know it – at least 12 months.

I call it “sharpening monogamy.” I also practice “saw monogamy” and the regular kind of monogamy (sorry ladies!).

About a month ago I finally rendered my Shapton Pro 8,000 stone unusable. It had been dropped many times by me and students, re-glued together and flattened until it was wafer thin. Then I glued the bits onto some Corian. Now the stone is about as thin as a Dorito (and just as useful for sharpening).

It’s time for a new polishing stone.

That Shapton 8,000 stone was one of the first to enter the United States when Harrelson Stanley introduced Shapton to North America. It has served me well, and my gut reaction was to replace it with another Shapton 8,000.


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