Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Drywall Screens in the Shop

I use Japanese waterstones in sharpening my handtools and here is a simple way to keep your stones flat. Lay a sheet of fine drywall screen on top of a thick sheet of glass, marble or other hard, flat surface, spritz your waterstone with water and scrub it on the screen. It doesn't take long to bring your waterstone back to a perfectly flat surface.

You can also use drywall screen to flatten the backs of old chisels and plane irons. By lapping the back and keeping firm pressure on top of the blade, toward the cutting edge, drywall screens will very quickly remove gunk and flatten a blade.

It took literally 20 seconds to achieve just this amount of polish and flattening.


Unknown said...

You are SO out of my league for woodworking. I could never compete.

I am happy that I have intrigued you enough to add a link to me. Thank you.

Kari Hultman said...

Wyldth1ng, you most definitely intrigue me! And I'm glad to have you in the mix.

Yalcin said...

Hi Kari again.

I was wondering how long will the drywall screen remain flat?

My sharpening is improving every time
I try. I still haven't been able to
really get a sharp edge, but that is because I did not flatten the back completely. Instead I tried a microbevel for the back.

Because the back wasn't completely straight, I guess my stones were losing their flatness rather quickly.

I am using a 800,3000 and 8000 stone. For the 8000 I use a nagura stone. I am not sure, but it seems to take quite a while for me to get a lot of ''mud'' with my nagura stone.

Take care Kari.



Kari Hultman said...

Yalcin, I've never had any problems with drywall screen losing its flatness. It's very thin, so I don't know if it's possible for it to be anything but flat. Glad to hear that your sharpening is going better! Yes, it's very important that the backs of your irons are flat. Some people do put a back bevel on blades, but I do not. I have never tried it, so I can't comment on its effectiveness.

For your 8,000 grit stone--how much water are you spritzing on the surface? Maybe you just need to use a little more to get slurry. I wouldn't say that I have a huge amount of slurry when I use the nagura stone, so maybe what you're getting is sufficient. Hope that helps!

Yalcin said...

Just wanted to mention that if you
are going to use glass, then you need
float glass. Other glass plates aren't really flat.

A drywall screen will lose its flatness after a while. Also the glass under the drywall screen will lose flatness, so make sure you use different spots on your glass to minimize uneven wear on the glass.
Also using a big piece of drywall screen would be better for the same reason.

One more thing I would like to mention is that if you use softer waterstones, the particles of the drywall screen can embed themselves in the waterstone. This is especially problematic if it happens in the polishing stone.Just move the stone over the drywall screen without putting any pressure.

Take care Kari.