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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,
How do the experienced 'Smiths' maintain their collection of stones?
I have inherited several India and Arkansas stones of various grits and shapes. Some seem to be 'loaded up'!
What is the best way to clean them, and once cleaned, what is the preferred method of maintaining / storing them?
 

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Several ways to restore abrasive stones. If you have a dishwasher and you can load and use it when SWIMBO is away...you can clean the stones very well.
You can lap them with abrasive grit on a glass sheet. One can also rub the stones against each other to flatten and deglaze them. I have a diamond plate from DMT that can flatten and restore a stones surface.
Once they are to your liking the companies that produce stones recommend coating them with the fluid of your choice and wiping them off before storage. This serves to remove the swarf ( metal residue that clogs stone surfaces) so the next use is efficient.
India stones and Arkansas stones are fragile so treat them with care and don't drop test them. They will fail the test. Don't ask me how I know this...
There are also ceramic stones available. They are less breakable than natural stones but aren't generally available in as great a variety of grits. Some are very fine in grit size and are made with very sharp corners which can be a big asset.
Joe
 

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Stones, whether natural or man-made, need to be stored like files, in a box or drawer individually wrapped or protected from damage. They need to be dressed to keep them the proper shape for the task.
And they need to be lubricated with water, oil [but not both].

A diamond coated steel plate is the best way to dress a stone. A worn stone might be OK for sharpening a pocket knife, but won't do for gun works.
 

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Hey all,
How do the experienced 'Smiths' maintain their collection of stones?
I have inherited several India and Arkansas stones of various grits and shapes. Some seem to be 'loaded up'!
What is the best way to clean them, and once cleaned, what is the preferred method of maintaining / storing them?
India stones are best cleaned with a petroleum solvent, some tool and die makers will keep their stones in a container of kerosene. I have found that Hoppes 9 works fantastic on the India and all oil stones. Soap and water works quite well on the ceramic stones, but would never suggest that an oil stone should be cleaned in that manner.

I like to store them in plastic tubes.

LOG
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the help.
Most of the stones I have are stored in a covered baking pan that is filled with transmission oil. I guess that they are well saturated since they have been stored this way for years. I assume being 'oil filled' for all this time didn't hurt them. I'll wipe them down and give them a once over.

Bringing these stones back to life will save some bucks.
Where does one find a diamond coated steel plate?
 

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Thanks for the help.
Most of the stones I have are stored in a covered baking pan that is filled with transmission oil. I guess that they are well saturated since they have been stored this way for years. I assume being 'oil filled' for all this time didn't hurt them. I'll wipe them down and give them a once over.

Bringing these stones back to life will save some bucks.
Where does one find a diamond coated steel plate?
If need be you can use silicon carbide paper on a flat surface, but is that really necessary? Stones will wear and as they wear they expose new cutting edges, unless they are badly worn, chipped, wavy, use them and add new ones as needed. India stones work well and are inexpensive. Ceramic are expensive, but last forever. For trigger work invest in some new stones that you only use for that. The rest can be done with what you have.

LOG
 

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I lube mine with a drop of honing oil ( you can use any gun oil) before using and then hose them with Brakleen or Gun scrubber when I'm done.
I would try soaking yours in some Mineral spirits ( available in the paint section of home depot). Remember to relube them before use.
Mineral spirits is also great to have for gun cleaning. just don't soak any wood, rubber, or plastic in it. But something like a caked up slide, or bolt. awesome!
Lately I haven't been using my stones much. I take a flat piece of mirror or glass about 10"x12" and put a piece of 320 or 400 grit sandpaper on it. a drop of oil and rub the part on it. The glass gives the abrasive a perfectly flat surface. The paper gets discarded when done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If need be you can use silicon carbide paper on a flat surface, but is that really necessary? Stones will wear and as they wear they expose new cutting edges, unless they are badly worn, chipped, wavy, use them and add new ones as needed. India stones work well and are inexpensive. Ceramic are expensive, but last forever. For trigger work invest in some new stones that you only use for that. The rest can be done with what you have.

LOG
Again, Thank you.

I guess all that's left is to head out to the garage and start tinker'in ! If man made it he can screw it up. If he screws it up, he should be able to fix it !!! Or buy a new one:biglaugh:
 

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India stones are best cleaned with a petroleum solvent, ... I like to store them in plastic tubes.

LOG

Ditto. The best thing I have personally found to clean stones is pressurized, canned brake cleaner. I have tried to clean them with soap, dishwasher, etc. and the brake cleaner does a vastly better and quicker job by far - the gunk literally blows right off. I too store them in the original capped plastic tubes they came in.

Best,
Jon
 

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Ditto. The best thing I have personally found to clean stones is pressurized, canned brake cleaner. I have tried to clean them with soap, dishwasher, etc. and the brake cleaner does a vastly better and quicker job by far - the gunk literally blows right off. I too store them in the original capped plastic tubes they came in.

Best,
Jon
Yes, you should never clean an oil stone with soap and water. The reason I really like using Hoppes 9 better than brake clean is it cleans and oils and works well as a stone oil. Brake cleaner works, but strips the oil. Some don't realize that Hoppes 9 is a solvent but leaves an oil behind. Set some out in a cap for a week and you will see that a fine oil is left.

LOG
 

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What are the best stones to buy for gunsmithing purposes and where do you get em. I'm thinking 1911 sear and hammer work. I know someone is going to say Brownells, so which number is the best?

When I need to know, I go to the experts first!!:rock:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Because of the great, helpful folks on this forum, in less than 24 hrs, I've gone from a stone idiot to a stone pro !

Thanks to all that took time to educate me.

Tinker Too
 
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