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Waterstones Salem OR

Most waterstones come in two sizes: regular and large. Large stones are thicker, wider and longer, so they have more wear surface. The extra width of a large stone is handy for wide plane irons, but not essential.

The Home Depot
(503)587-7130
3021 Cherry Ave NE
Salem, OR
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 7:00am-8:00pm

Lancaster Mall
(503) 363-9191
827 Lancaster Dr Ne
Salem, OR
Store Hours
Sears Stores
Store Type
Sears Stores
Hours
Mon:10-21
Tue:10-21
Wed:10-21
Thu:10-21
Fri:10-21
Sat:9-21
Sun:10-19
Store Features
Mon:10-21
Tue:10-21
Wed:10-21
Thu:10-21
Fri:10-21
Sat:9-21
Sun:10-19

Western Tool Supply- Salem
503-588-8222
2315 25th Street SE Salem, OR, 97302
Salem, OR
 
Madrona Hills Ace Hdw
(503) 763-6323
706 Madrona Ave SE, Old Fred Meyer Home Improvement Center
Salem, OR
 
Kmart 4339 / Cross Merch
(503) 581-8511
2470 Mission St Se
Salem, OR
Store Hours
Miscellaneous
Store Type
Miscellaneous
Hours
Monday To Friday Working Hours is :8-22 and for Sat:8-22
Sun:8-21
Store Features
Monday To Friday Working Hours is :8-22 and for Sat:8-22
Sun:8-21

Northwest Timber
(541) 327-1000
3229 Jefferson-Scio Dr, SEPO Box 1010
Jefferson, OR

Data Provided by:
Fastenal- Salem
503-375-0513
2949 22nd Street SE Salem, OR, 97302
Salem, OR
 
LOWE'S OF SALEM, OR
503 589-4333
1930 TURNER ROAD SOUTHEAST SALEM, OR, 97302
Salem, OR
 
Lowe's
(503) 589-4333
1930 Turner Road Southeast
Salem, OR
Hours
M-SA 6 am - 10 pm
SU 7 am - 9 pm

Keizer True Value Hardware
(503) 393-6322
5014 River Rd N
Salem, OR
 
Data Provided by:

Waterstones

Waterstones

Hone an incredibly sharp edge with a $35 combo stone.

by Tom Caspar

For this woodworker, it doesn’t get any better than using a sharp hand tool. Not just kind of sharp, the way new tools come out of the box. I mean really, really sharp, with an edge honed to perfection by a well-maintained set of sharpening stones. In search of that perfect edge, I’ve tried oil stones, diamond plates and sandpaper. With enough time, money or elbow grease, all these materials can deliver top-notch results. But none can beat waterstones, which combine fast cutting, easy maintenance and great value in one package.

Types of Stones

Waterstones were first quarried from small mines in Japan more than 1,200 years ago. Today, most waterstones are made in a factory. They’re composed of aluminum oxide, silicon carbide or chromium oxide abrasives heated at high temperature to fuse into a brick-shaped porous matrix. Many hold water just like a sponge.

Most waterstones come in two sizes: regular and large. Large stones are thicker, wider and longer, so they have more wear surface. The extra width of a large stone is handy for wide plane irons, but not essential.

Recommended Sets

Best Value

The least-expensive way to get a decent edge is to buy a regular-size combination stone. Go for a 1,000/6,000 coarse/fine, which runs about $35 (see Sources, page 36). A large stone costs another $15 to $20 and requires reflattening less often.  A 1,200/8,000 medium/fine stone, which costs about $45, gives you a slightly sharper edge, but requires more strokes on the medium side to prepare a very dull edge for final polishing. 

More Convenience 

I use a three-stone system of large single-grit stones: 800 coarse, 1,200 medium and either 6,000 or 8,000 fine. Compared with using the two sides of a combination stone, this set requires fewer strokes on each grit. That produces less wear, so keeping the stones flat is much easier. Buying this set of three adds up to $80 or more, but considering the dough I’ve spent on good hand tools, it’s worth it. After all, your hand tools are only as good as the stones you sharpen with. 

If your tools have very high-quality blades, such as A2 or cryogenically treated plane blades, super-fine stones with 12,000 or higher grit will produce an unbelievably sharp edge. They cost from $100 to $400 (see Sources, page 36). These stones don’t help very much, though, on average-quality tools, whose steel won’t hold a super-sharp edge for more than a few licks.

Tips For Using Waterstones

Soak ’Em

Check the directions that come with your stone; some types don’t require presoaking, and others should not be soaked or they’ll deteriorate. Most coarse and medium waterstones, though, should be immersed in water when not in use. This keeps them saturated so the surface doesn’t dry out quickly when you’re sharpening. If you&...

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