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Q & A: Soaking Stones


Q & A: Soaking Stones



I just bought a 6,000-grit Japanese waterstone mounted on a wooden base. Can I soak it like my other stones? Also, what’s the purpose of a Nagura stone?


Your 6,000-grit waterstone absorbs water quickly and doesn’t need to be kept in water. Just lay the stone in a shallow pan of water for 5 to 10 minutes before use.

Traditionally, Nagura stones were used to flatten and clean up the surface of natural-finish stones. With synthetic stones, their chief benefit is in quickly creating a paste on the stone’s surface. The paste serves as a final polish and is usually made up of finely ground particles created by the sharpening process itself. Because the 6,000-grit stone is so hard, developing the paste simply by sharpening can take some time.

This story originally appeared in American Woodworker December 1999, issue #77.

December 1999, issue #77

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