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Happy Sharp New Year

January 1, 2011

Well happy new year to me!

Now that I have my tool cabinet mostly complete I thought it was finally time to get all of my chisels in working order. Granted they are new Lie-Nielsen’s, I still wanted to flatten the backs to a higher grit than the factory and put a micro bevel on my bench chisels. Wow!! Even with water stones lapping the backs of 8 chisels takes a lot of time. When sharpening my plane irons I use the ruler trick for the backs and go directly from 1000 to 8000. But when working chisel backs having a 4000 really pays off. I am not obsessed enough to go to a mirror polish on the backs but they definitely are much smoother now than they were from the factory. 😉

By the way. Prior to tonight I had always used just my King 1200/8000 water stone. Tonight I also used a Norton stone (1000/4000) for the first time. I like the King stone much better. Although the Norton performed well, the grit size in the King was much more consistent. When looking at the scratch patterns between the 1000 Norton and 1200 King, the Norton left some very large scratches that were not present from the King stone. Not only that, but the 4000 grit Norton left a few scratches that were larger than those left by the King 1200. Also the king seemed to work up a slurry a bit faster and was much easier to flatten. However I assume that by being easier to flatten would likely indicate that it will wear out sooner. I have heard that there are some differences between grits in US stones and “metric” stones so perhaps this is part of the equation?

So although the Norton is not a bad stone and tends to be a little less expensive, I will likely purchase another iKing next time I am in the market for a stone.

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