If I'm reading this right the Sigma II would be excellent for all steels although they might be overkill for 01 and A2 with only a marginal improvement over Bester/Imanishi etc. Lee Valley suggests soaking the Sigma IIs for a few minutes but doesn't say whether they can be left in water all the time. They suggest spritzing the Imanishi 8000 (like the Shaptons) As I'm in Southern California leaving stones in water is fine -- no real frost! I'm more confused than ever with the choices out there. What to do.....????
I think the Select II are overkill for plain steels, but they're not "just a little faster" on those same, plain steels. Depending on the steel, and how much of it there is, twice as fast? LV have overhyped the Imanishi, understated the Select II just to cover themselves.
ALL Sigma Power stones can be left in water. The Select II shouldn't be left to freeze (until I learn otherwise) but the ceramics (LV doesn't sell them, I do) aren't harmed by hard freezing as far as I have found.
Sigma Power stones do require soaking below #4000 grit, but above that (#6000 and above) do not require soaking at all.
Of course, LV don't actually sell any Sigma Power #6000 stones, but Sigma Power make 4 different types in that grit range alone. As well as a few #8000, a smattering of #10000 (LV carries only one) and a #13000...
Kind of odd, the Sigma Power are easy to find in Japan, but I find myself still being the only seller of most of their line up.
The Imanishi are easy to find outside Japan, but almost non-existent inside Japan. I can't find them, and that makes them almost the waterstone equivalent of Matsumura chisels.
i'm surprised JWW doesn't sell them, given their clown car of offerings from other places.
They do sell the stone that is a really nice stone (well, they market it as a "takenoko" 7000, but I see it's actually a 6000 stone). However, as with many things, it doesn't take much time to find it for less.
But the dizzying array of 4000-8000 stones they have, as well as the bunch of 200 grit range stones leaves me spinning. Most of the explanations do nothing to decipher what works with what.
Otherwise, most places here have one or two selections of artificial stones, and they mix in a bunch of things other than waterstones.
one aside, though, I have not used the coarse stones of the bester type, but the medium stones cut plain carbon steel and japanese irons very fast and hold their flatness well, and leave a very even scratch pattern. That flatness is extremely important when sharpening a hard japanese 70mm iron freehand, to lessen the amount of time spent on the next stone. I would bet there are a lot of japanese irons that aren't as sharp as they should be because of a 1000 stone that is not quite flat.
As for speed, though, no more than exists in shaptons and besters in the 1000 range is really needed with japanese irons, the flatness is more important.
For western tools, I literally take one side-sharpening stroke on a shapton pro 1000 with a freshly hollow ground chisel, and then probably 15 strokes with a 15k pro stone. If the stones cut faster, I'd just waste off more. If it takes more than a couple strokes to raise a wire edge on a chisel, I go over to the grinder and do a new primary, which takes less than a minute.
Last edited by David Weaver; 03-13-2011 at 9:54 PM.
I'm at the point now I won't add anything I don't know and trust.
Twas kinda shocking when I asked Sigma Power, and they said "yes, please!", and the rest is history. I'd like to add a few more stones in the near future, but won't do that until I can coax them out of the factories that make them, which might be a little difficult until I get some runs on the board.
But they are coming, and with what is coming in the next year, it'll be interesting to say the very least...
(It is nice when you got the folks who make the stuff back you to the hilt, and don't put you on a leash at the same time. )
Apologies for resurrecting an old thread....
Originally Posted by Stuart Tierney
I found reference that the Shapton stones needs to be soaked between 6 and 10 minutes. If left longer than 30 minutes the surface gets too soft and needs to removed. They also need to be regularly used otherwise small cracks might develop and need to be removed first. It was also mentioned that they have to be dried before being stored.
For full disclosure: I just bought the 1000 grit after getting annoyed with synthetic oilstones that use honing oil like no tomorrow. I've got Dan's Arkansas stone for further honing. (use a drop of oil, not quarter of a bottle like the coarser oilstones and which leave a mess).
Now need to get a decent honing guide, don't like the two cheapo's that I've got.
Well today I decided to also buy the Shapton 5000 stone and do away with any oil stones. Being plagued by arthritis I do not like the small jigs a lot so I bought Alisam's Sharpening Sled #SS2. I've read a number of reviews of these jigs and find that by and large that the reviewers do not understand its revolutionary advantage......
I've got a background of grinding relative large telescope mirrors so know perhaps a bit more than the average WW about grinding. So let me address some of the points that people raised:
- Stones need to be flat: Not absolutely true, basically the Sled works by using the rear rollers and the bevel at the tip of the tool to get the right angle. The front rollers only have a function for setting up the plane to the correct bevel. So what if the stone is slightly hollow length wise? Over that length the bevel may get a light rounding...
Sidewise hollow? Well you get a small chamber on your blade, I like that better than a straight blade leaving the edge of the blade showing up in the planed surface. Anyway you can always flatten the stone if you want a straight blade.
- Different thickness? Not a big deal imho, just make sure that the coarse grit is slightly higher than the next finer grit. Adjust the sled on the lowest (finest) stone to the eventual bevel you want and automatically you get on the coarser stones a slightly lower angle. Adjust height with a piece of paper.
Now here is the killer why I want a sled: The "usual" (won't name names here) have a roller that rolls on the stone. And what does that do? It rolls the swarf into the stone not to mention that it will get coarse grit embedded into the roller surface and carry coarse grit to the finer stones. How much are your stones worth? Shapton clearly states to clean your hands properly, even under the fingernails, to prevent coarse grit to go to the finer stone. But what about the sharpening jig carrying grit accross? Nothing is easier than using this Alisam Sled on a polished tile and keep the wheels of the stone (and clean).
It is a great bonus to me to get some nice big handles on the side reducing pain in my fingers.
This posting is just to express my take on what the problem is with the "commonly recommended approaches". It is great that we are all different and have different opinions, life would be boring otherwise so if you have a different opinion then peace upon you.
Last edited by Marinus Loewensteijn; 04-17-2015 at 1:48 AM.
if you wanted share with success with the honing guide (or stealth advertise it) a new thread would have gotten more attention ..