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Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by chrismit, Apr 29, 2013.
Could someone give a quick explanation of how to flatten a water stone using drywall screen.
I draw nine X marks on the stone (three at either end, three across in the middle), place the screen on something flat (I use a piece of plexiglass I got at Lowe's), and then rub the stone on the screen until the X marks go away. Rinse everything very well afterwards and before using the stone- the little bits of drywall screen abrasive feel like heck on the stones if you don't rinse them off well.
Pretty much the same way I do it. And the rinse is important /img/vbsmilies/smilies/licklips.gif
Thanks guys. Sounds easy enough.
Lots of rinsing throughout the process or the screen will clog. Rinse the screen thoroughly afterwards and let it dry before using it again. You can get a few uses out of a piece of screen.
After you flatten your stones, you still have to "ease" their edges. A few passes, holding the stone at 45* to the screen for each of the 12 edges will help the stone last a lot longer.
After flattening and easing, you're still not done. You have to dress your stones, too. They need to be clean and wet before dressing. Rub each side of the coarse stone against each side of the medium until the mud gets going and rinse them. Repeat the process using the medium and fine stones.
Drywall screen is cheap and effective. It's also slow and messy. A diamond plate is significantly faster and more convenient. CKtG sells a 140# plate which is "good enough" for flattening and almost as cheap as screen. I use a DMT XXC which was all the rage for flattening when I bought it about three years ago, and is great. I don't use diamond plates for sharpening, but if I did I'd pony up for an Atoma; if I were buying another one just for flattening, it would be the cheap CKtG. Just sayin.
There's a tendency to think that you can get away with drawing one X, but multiple exes are really much better. Stones not only dish from wear, they also tend to develop "rails" along the sides as a consequence of different parts of the stone contracting at different rates when the stone dries after sharpening (same way a pot hole forms).