I'm a woodworker and I spend a lot of time sharpening chisels and hand plane blades, but not as much time as I used to spend. Natural stones will 'load up' with metal particles and oil until the surface of the stone will no longer cut (remove) metal from a knife or chisel blade. They then have to be resurfaced, or you're wasting a lot of time trying to sharpen something. As I mentioned on another discussion, I moved away from natural stones and went to DMT Diamond coated stones. They cut amazingly fast and never need to be flattened and they never load up with particles. You don't use oil on them, but use them dry. When you feel like you might have too much metal dust, just wash them in the sink with a little dish soap and dry them and you're back in action. I have some really high dollar Arkansas Stones that are now collecting dust. I saw these diamond coated plates in use in a woodworking school some years ago. I only needed to use them one time and I was on the phone ordering my own. I guess they last forever. I've had them 7 or 8 years now and they are as good as new. You'd need the Medium and the Very Fine DMT plates and you're in business. Woodcraft sells them by catalog or on-line. Diamond plates are WAY faster than natural stones. Trust me.
If some of you hard headed guys are going to stay with the natural stones, you can buy the coarse DMT plate and use that to resurface and flatten your old fashioned natural stones.
Last edited by 603Country; September 17, 2012 at 01:00 PM.