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Soapy water on Shapton Glass stones?

Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:25 pm

The instructions that come with Shapton glass stones said not to use soapy water when sharpening as it may damage the stone. I have been using dish soap in water for water stones but stopped on the Shapton glass. Now they seem to hold on to the metal particles more, especially the finer grits. My 8k for the EP remains dirty looking after I try to dry it and wipe it clean using only water. I can get it cleaner by washing it with dish soap when I'm done and rinsing it real well. But, if the metal is staying embedded in the stone during sharpening doesn't that reduce performance (cutting ability and speed)?

I used the stones for the EP with soapy water since I got them. They came with no directions. When I got a couple of bench stones the paperwork came with them that discussed use and maintenance of the stones. This is where it states not to use soapy water.

Any thoughts on this from those who have used Shapton glass stones for a while? Do you use a little dish soap in the water during sharpening or only plain water? The soapy water idea I got from Ben Dale, inventor of the EP. Since then I've read that soapy water is used by many people

Thanks for any help.


Re: Soapy water on Shapton Glass stones?

Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:11 am

Simple green would probably not damage the stone, but detergents could cause the binder to break down, leaving you with expensive mud :-)

You should flatten stones after or before use, so the black is removed anyway. Even if you don't do this, I haven't noticed any performance loss.

I use clean water for mine.

Re: Soapy water on Shapton Glass stones?

Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:18 am

A cheapo nagura will clean that black off of most stones. That's about the only use I find for those things in fact.

Re: Soapy water on Shapton Glass stones?

Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:22 am

I can tell a difference in stones now that I'm flattening them once in a while. Most of my life I had two Arkansas stones, med. and fine. I used any honing oil that was available at local stores. All I ever did was wipe the stone off when I was done sharpening my knife. I'm sure the stones were clogged big time. I used one set for about 15 years. It just seems like a waste to be grinding away expensive stone under the faucet. To do this after every sharpening sounds expensive. I was able to get my 6k and 8k stones clean with dish soap or comet. But, if that causes the stones to not perform their best I guess I'd rather grind a little away so they do what I paid for them to do.


Re: Soapy water on Shapton Glass stones?

Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:43 am

i use similar grit stones on whatever i wanna use so i don't worry about grit contamination.

with finer stones i have a small coticule/bbw "nagura" for making a slurry and unclogging them.

but i still use a diamond plate when things get pretty bad.
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