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I Forge Iron

Cleaning a stone


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Not quite sure where i should put this. I almost put it under knife polishing and finish but then figured we all use them so here it is.

How does one clean a whet stone? I used my stone to grind off a projection on some parts i made. The steel was 12l14 and clogged it up something fierce. I dont want to use a chemical for fear of the bindings disintegrating, i thought maybe a wire wheel but wouldnt that just sharpen the wires? 

Anyway thoughts and suggestions please. 

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I clean my natural stones by spraying a lot of WD-40 on it, scrub with a piece of steel wool, wipe down with a paper towel and then repeat. Pretty simple. Just make sure you use enough lubricant on the final cycle to carry away any errant grime. I've brought some pretty grimy looking stones back to new condition this way. 

Pnut

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There's definitely a difference in cleaning a Japanese water stone from cleaning an Arkansas stone. I was referring to how I clean my Arkansas stones. Glad you reminded me Deimos ;-)

Pnut

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My Chosera 800 grit stone which I use the most came with a dressing stone (that smaller reddish stone mentioned by Demios). If I really need to flatten it up and remove some packed in stuff I use a diamond honing plate.

I wouldn't put WD-40 on a whet stone. WD-40 displaces water, whet stones are supposed to be wet and (depending on the type of stone) in some cases, to absorb water. I would be afraid WD-40 would impede that. However, maybe it works, I've never tried it.

I think a dressing stone/diamond stone will restore a nice flat surface a little better though.

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I've had good results with it since I was a cub scout 35 years ago. You can use any light oil. I prefer using WD-40 instead of honing oil for cleaning because it takes quite a bit.  I wouldn't put it on a diamond sharpener, ceramic, or a water stone. The only thing oil is for on a natural Arkansas stone is to carry away the material that you're taking off of the blade.  Truing a stone or redressing it is something completely different than cleaning filings and grime off of a clogged or dirty stone. 

Pnut

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I clean stones in an ultrasonic cleaner with a detergent like simple green or mr. clean but they must be suspended so they don't abrade themselves through the side of the tank.  WD40 leaves behind a gummy residue and will clog the pores in the stones.  I recently repaired two firearms that were locked up solid and no part would move.  The oldtimer who owned them told me he would always douse them with wd40 after he used them.  Also stones that have developed a belly to them from use can be made flat again using a coarse grit 80/120 wet dry abrasive paper wetted to a flat piece of glass or stone which will also clean them.

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I have an Arkansas whet stone and a couple carborundum oil stones. I've never loaded my Arkansas whet stone but I don't use it very often as I don't tent camp anymore. I clean my carborundum stones by spraying them with Orange degreaser, let them soak and run them through a dishwasher cycle. Cleans them nicely but if it doesn't I use muriatic acid. The only times the dishwasher hasn't worked have been the couple times someone used them on non ferrous like aluminum or brass. 

I use my kitchen carborundum stone with water, cooking oil tends to polymerize and makes a gummy mess of a stone and is a PITA to get cleaned out. Learned that one the hard way you betcha! You have to be REALLY careful what kind of solvent you use to degum a stone, you do NOT want to add toxic . . . stuff to your knives.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Never put oil on a water stone and water won't do much on a stone that has been used with oil a long time.  The "old" timers used to talk about soaking a clogged stone in kerosene for a week and then baking it---but I certainly wouldn't put a kerosene saturated stone in a kitchen oven.  OTOH I have seen people wash down stones with dish washing detergent and run them through a dishwasher for multiple cycles---again an insomnia provoking method as my wife sometimes reminds me "You gotta sleep sometime!"

Silicon carbide paper or loose grit on a glass plate with water can be used to dress a worn stone.  (When you say Abrasive Paper---LIST the type of Abrasive!  Garnet is still available and won't do squat for Aluminum Oxide or Silicon Carbide stones.)

Washing and drying kitchen knives after honing helps remove honing oil residue.

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Guess i did leave out what kind of stone. It is an "Arkansas" stone, albeit a cheap one. They call it an Arkansas stone but it is more like a block of pressed and glued sand. Arkansas stones are one solid rock, right?  I use cutting oil on the stone, Northcut 410. 

Thanks for the suggestions guys. The stone is at work and my dishwasher, she would complain if i put it in her sink. We do have dish soap in the shop so i am thinking now maybe some soap, hot water, and a scrub brush. It being a cheap stone i am just not sure of the binders holding it all together. Sure it only cost me about $15 buck i dont want to buy another unless i have to. 

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