How to show respect to

 Japanese Natural Whetstones 

Yes, they’re rocks – but they need to be taken care of. Leaving a stone out is not recommended as particles in the air can settle on them; grease, soot, pollution, etc. Storing them is easy enough – a simple box or drawer will do fine. Make sure the stone is dry first though. I drip stones dry on their sides usually – and then I leave them out for a day. 

Lapping – I recommend lapping under cool or room temp water only. Not cold and not hot or overly warm water. Room temp – I believe this is best for the stone when it’s undergoing a significant amount of abrasion. Grinding away the top is harsh on the stone – I think being as gentle as possible is best here.

I’ll use a DMT to take off the bulk of the stone that needs to be relieved. After that I use w/d paper starting at 220x and I go up to 1k sometimes. Usually – I stop at 600x though. It depends on the stone. There is no recipe here – things have to be figured out as you go along. 

Sealing – there are many theories on sealing the sides of these stones. I seal all of mine, whether or not someone else does is up to them. I’ve had very expensive stones shatter in my hands while lapping, and I’ve seen other unsealed very-hard stones cleave across the top in layers for no apparent reason. I’ve been told that water ingress causes such thing to occur, so I do believe sealing is a good thing. Sealing prevents water from soaking in on the sides which is where the seams between the layers of sediment show. Sometimes we don’t see layers – but sometimes they are there anyway. Why fool around? It takes 20-30 minutes and if nothing else it’s good peace of mind. 

 This is a work in progress – I will add to this as I go along. If you have suggestions, feel free to shoot me a message here.

© Keith V Johnson 2014 - 2018