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Sharpening Stones At Family Dollar $1

nib grinding

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5 replies to this topic

#1 OCArt



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Posted 22 July 2015 - 00:58

Family Dollar store has a sharpening stone for, you guessed it, $!. Approximately 6" x 2" it has a fine and a course side for nib grinding.  Some call these "Arkansas" stones, but these are from China.


They also have seven-sided nail buffer sticks (each side has a different grit.)  I use the stone for rough shaping and the buffer sticks for final smoothing of my home-ground stubs.  Works great.



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#2 Brianm-14-FRMS


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Posted 23 July 2015 - 03:30

Thanks! I will have to check these out. If they are natural, there is no reason they shouldn't be perfectly good. China's a big place and likely has the rught rock simewhere. Even today, if you know the places to look, you can harvest your own from rock formations in the wild (E.g. I know some places in Edgefield county, SC). Some were sources for commercial stones into the early 1900s.

If you feel they need truing to assure flatness, get a small section of plate glass (be sure to tape or grind those sharp edges!) and place some abrasive wet-and-dry paper on it with spray adhesive. Then grind the stone with water or oil. Plate glass is truly flat and isn't expensive in small sections (try a Lowe's or Home Depot).

Woodworkers use this trick to true and polish the bottom of a plane, as well as sharpen the blades.




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Posted 23 July 2015 - 06:16

I always seem to get the smoothness I'm looking for by doing figure eights on a. Dry piece of paper
I think a lot of poor souls over do it with All that micro mesh.
Good luck. Allan

#4 fly_us



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Posted 24 July 2015 - 01:26

I always seem to get the smoothness I'm looking for by doing figure eights on a. Dry piece of paper
I think a lot of poor souls over do it with All that micro mesh.
Good luck. Allan


I think these stones are for serious grinding or sometimes, very bad cases of baby bottom. For smoothen, i think micromesh or a nail buff is much more appropriated.

#5 Ron Z

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 12:49

A stone, or even 2000 wet/dry paper is for quick, aggressive removal of material to create the initial profile of the nib.  Polishing and the smoothing comes from progressively finer grades of abrasive.  Consistent results are achieved when you use a known grade of abrasive, which leaves out things like a paper bag.  If I thought that I could consistently get the results I want with a paper bag, I wouldn't spend the money on mylar polishing films or micromesh.  But I don't, so I do...

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#6 Beechwood


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Posted 24 July 2015 - 13:22

$1 isnt very much much is it, they have been made in China for many years, I bought this type of whetsone in 1980 in China,  I now keep it for sharpening garden shears or scissors following the nib smoothing advice given to me by Ron who asked the question 'do you play golf with a cricket bat?'

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