Do This, and Your Stones Will Stay Flatter

For 15 years I shared my sharpening stones with my students. Now, my stones hide beneath my bench. Why?

Students tried to turn my sharpening stones into tacos.

Sharpeners who are beginners (or indifferent) tend to work only the middle of a sharpening stone. This activity quickly turns a flat stone into a soup bowl. After a few sharpenings, the stone becomes 100 percent unreliable. And when you go to flatten this stone, you are in for a workout.

So I made a video.

If you have been sharpening for many years you will roll your eyes when you watch this. Don’t. I know you did this, too. If you are a beginning sharpener, watch it with care. It’s only 14 seconds long, but it shows something important. You need to spread out the wear on your sharpening stones with every stroke.

Sharpening stones, especially waterstones, dish quickly. A few ill-placed strokes will set you on a path to wondering what the heck is going on with your edges.

Flat sharpening stones are reliable. Yes, you can deal with a wonky stone if you are experienced. But I always prefer dead flat stones to dead anything-else stones.

So spread out the wear with every stroke. And flatten your stones after every sharpening.

Or don’t. Just don’t use my stones. They are still in hiding. Poor stones.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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21 Responses to Do This, and Your Stones Will Stay Flatter

  1. Greg3268 says:

    Can’t find a link to the video in the post🙁


  2. Harvey H Kimsey says:

    Woodworkers who don’t use already flat diamond stones are lost in some sort of antideluvian world. 😉😵😂😆😝😜🤪


  3. Chris says:

    Which guide are you using? I really like the machined construction of it. It looks reliable.


  4. ejcampbell says:

    I’ve also seen videos where a figure 8 pattern was used, though I can’t remember where. The claim was the stone was still flat after 20+ years w/o ever flattening it.


  5. I was shocked ( in a-that’s really cool that he trusts strangers-kind of way) when I saw your stones were available to use during the Will Meyers candle stand class. Hope I didnt contribute to bad in the tacofication process. Meghan was next to me keeping watch.


  6. Steve Jones says:

    And periodically flip the stone end for end since the guide roller doesn’t wear the stone.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. How often can you learn a new technique in only 14 seconds? Thanks for sharing.


  8. Mr Linn says:

    You’re all correct. Apart from the diamond stone guy. Even those wear out.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Blue Wren says:

    Aw, be nice to diamond stone guy – he used lots of emojis – I like him.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. David says:

    My comment above was supposed to say “rolling eyes.”


  11. kv41 says:

    Your comments gizmo doesn’t work, and I can’t find a link for the video you referred to.


  12. Mr Linn says:

    Sorry Diamond Stone Guy; I didn’t mean to be rude…

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Harvey H Kimsey says:

    It’s ok….there’s nothing quite like sharpening discussions


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