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Q & A: Soaking Stones



I just bought a 6,000-grit Japanese
waterstone mounted on a wooden base.
Can I soak it like my other stones? Also,
what’s the purpose of a Nagura stone?


Your 6,000-grit waterstone absorbs
water quickly and doesn’t need to be kept
in water. Just lay the stone in a shallow pan
of water for 5 to 10 minutes before use.

Traditionally, Nagura stones were
used to flatten and clean up the surface
of natural-finish stones. With synthetic
stones, their chief benefit is in quickly
creating a paste on the stone’s surface.
The paste serves as a final polish and is
usually made up of finely ground particles
created by the sharpening process
itself. Because the 6,000-grit stone is
so hard, developing the paste simply
by sharpening can take some time.

This story originally appeared in American Woodworker December 1999, issue #77.

December 1999, issue #77

Purchase this back issue.


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