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any reason not to keep a sharpening stone in water all the time?

 
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I keep wetting it and drying it and wetting it and drying it.  So I thought, Couldn't I just leave it soaking in water all the time? would that shorten the life of the stone at all?  I did a search on here and didn't find anything about it.  Thanks.
 
Joshua Myrvaagnes
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OK, I found something on the web:

QUOTE:
In that sharpening article, it recommended submerging waterstones continuously when not in use to keep them from disintegrating. That’s why I put a tank in the bench. I used to use waterbed additive to keep the mold and algae at bay and to prevent the water from getting slimy. I ran out of this stuff, and I can’t find it locally anymore. Do you have any suggestions for a similar product that won’t hurt my Norton waterstones?” – John E. Adams

Tim Inman: First, I would strongly recommend you follow the stone maker’s recommendations. If they want the stone constantly wet, then there is your answer. If you use the stone often, I would keep it wet and ready. But, if you use the stone only occasionally, then it might not be so important to keep it constantly wet. It will take a little while for it to saturate correctly before you can use it properly again, though. Waterbed algaecides are commonly available. If this has worked for you in the past, then I would continue. “Blue Magic” is one brand I have used, and it is available all over the Internet.

Brian Leonard: Different waterstones will have slightly different compositions, which might react differently to additives. Try adding a little bleach to the water and keep the tank covered. This should prevent the water from getting moldy or slimy. Be sure to check your waterstones periodically.

(from woodworkersjournal.com).  

Unfortunatley, the directions for this stone are in Chinese, so I don't know if it's supposed to stay wet.  And I don't want to use algaecides or anything, but it seems changing the water would be necessary.
 
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I've always stored mine dry until I needed them and seen others do similar. I would think that if your water had much by way of dissolved minerals, they might build up on the stone over time and be irksome. But that would depend on your water chemistry. I don't know if there's a pH at which it would degrade the stone? I'd think it would need to be pretty low.
 
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Keep in mind there are lots of types of stones.  Not all have the same care.  Natural (or Arkansas stones) are different from Japanesse water stones which are different from 'synthetic' stones.  Research your stone's characteristics.

What are you using?  Is it backed or mounted?  
 
Joshua Myrvaagnes
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Jack Edmondson wrote:Keep in mind there are lots of types of stones.  Not all have the same care.  Natural (or Arkansas stones) are different from Japanesse water stones which are different from 'synthetic' stones.  Research your stone's characteristics.

What are you using?  Is it backed or mounted?  

Thanks Jack.  It's a two-sided stone, one grit on one side and finer on the other, and it's all perfectly rectangular.  I don't know the brand or anything, it's all in Chinese.  I think my partner picked it up in Chinatown.  
 
Joshua Myrvaagnes
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Heather Sharpe wrote:I've always stored mine dry until I needed them and seen others do similar. I would think that if your water had much by way of dissolved minerals, they might build up on the stone over time and be irksome. But that would depend on your water chemistry. I don't know if there's a pH at which it would degrade the stone? I'd think it would need to be pretty low.

Thanks, hadn't thought of that.  Maybe rainwater would be best?

I love that I got a reply to this from someone named "Sharpe"!!
 
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A 2 sided multi-grit stone is usually a synthetic stone.  Basically a grit material 'glued' together.  Water is usually hard on the binding material if stored for long periods of time.  The good news is they are not expensive.  Try soaking it, and if it starts to break down; replacement is easy and inexpensive.  
 
Heather Sharpe
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Joshua Myrvaagnes wrote:Thanks, hadn't thought of that.  Maybe rainwater would be best?

I love that I got a reply to this from someone named "Sharpe"!!



Of course, thanks for bringing up an interesting question! Rainwater might work. Not sure what the stone is made of. I've definitely seen slightly acidic water eat rocks.

Ha, I didn't even think of that. Pretty amusing, for sure!

Do your stones look kind of like the ones pictured below? My brother gave me these, they are from China also. But instructions are in English! So I included a pic of those, in case this is a similar stone to what you have. They suggest washing the stone off and storing in a ventilated place to dry when done.
image.jpg
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