An alternative to expensive grinding stones Answered
For some people buying a decent grinding or honing stone is a lifetime investment.
Prices of over $500 for a single stone of a very fine grid are not uncommon.
But what about the average Joe who just needs to sharpen a knife or tool every now and then?
If slicing and dicing is not your living than investing in a set of diamond plates might be better than getting a set of stones.
But there are limitations, firstly their size and then how long they last.
The later is really important if not used correctly as even diamond toold can be ruined quickly.
In some case these small sharpening tools are hard to handle.
The bigger plates can still be a pain if they don't come with a proper mount.
Well, and if you forget to clean them after use and put them in a dry place it will be quite hard to remove the rust.
A nice alternative I found is sandpaper, specifically sandpaper on a glass plate.
Good wet and dry sandpaper is available from almost gravel to a 10.000 grid, above that you might have to make a special order.
In general the finer the grid the more you pay due to the ingredients.
I use a glass plate from and old scanner as they are both heat proof and really strong, window glass is not recommended here.
The glass is covered with strips of kapton tape for the ease of later cleaning.
The tape is then evenly covered with a contact glue, preferably the spry king to get an even cover.
Same for the sheet of sandpaper.
I try to get the glue over the glass edge a bit and to have at least two sides of the sandpaper going over an edge.
Just to have an area to work close to the edge without risking to lift the paper off.
Once a sheet is too worn I place the plat in the oven for a few minutes so the glue softens and peel the sheet off.
If too much glue remians on the tape I replace it before I put a new sheet on.
Of course you need a bunch of plates although it works fine with two different sheets halfing a plate.
The thing works best under slow running water, so use your tinker skills to come with a suitable frame and water supply ;)
But even with just a spray bottle it is a cheap way to replace a costly stone, especially if you do require a bigger surface area.