Stone drying times and reasonable expectations

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michael1778
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Stone drying times and reasonable expectations

Post by michael1778 »

Hello Friends,
I have been away from sharpening for a few years. My living arrangement has changed making anything but “splash & go” stones awkward and unrealistic. Even more important is the drying time. It’s killing me.

I have searched the forum and found some qualitative information but not much quantitative. [edited to add: Yes, I understand that different environments will give different results. For your environment, whatever it may be, what are the answers to these questions?]
  • What stones are the fastest drying naturally?
  • I assume some form of splash and go, correct?
  • Would Shapton Glass be the fastest drying?
Currently I have a Beston 500 and a Bester 1200 that *must* be replaced. My unknown higher grit stone (maybe 3k?) likely will also be replaced for consistency with the new splash & go stones and ease of drying.

Splash and go with quick drying is my ideal.

Steel wise I have VG-10 (Tojiro), AUS-8 (Fujiwara), and two Hiromoto AS knives I am terrified to use since they are irreplaceable. Love the edge I got on the 270mm gyuto back in the day! I plan to get mostly HAP40 and perhaps one Aogami Super (for fun) this summer to round out my collection.
Strops seem to be in good shape. I will add a 3x11 nano cloth with CBN or Diamond as part of my total sharpening kit. No big changes there.
As always, I appreciate the time and knowledge you are willing to share here.

Many Thanks,
Mike
Last edited by michael1778 on Wed May 20, 2020 12:00 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Stone drying times and reasonable expectations

Post by Cigarguy »

Doubt if anyone bothered paying attention to stone drying time which is dependent on the temperature, airflow and humidity of your environment and doesn't have much to do with sharpening performance. Where I live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada where the climate is very dry it could take a day or two for a stone to dry out. On the humid West Coast I'm sure it takes longer. After washing, cleaning and if necessary lapping my stones, I'll place the stones back on the shelf naked and forget about it until next sharpening session. This is what I do for splash and go stones. I got a tupperware full of stones that are permanent soakers. The tupperware container is small, fits 6 stones on horizontal edge, always ready to go, easy to store and I never ever have to worry about stone drying time.

If I can't wait a few days for the stones to dry naturally, I'd look into an Atoma or DMT diamond stone.

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Re: Stone drying times and reasonable expectations

Post by Ourorboros »

No idea about drying time, but on a dish rack the Shapton Pro 320 takes less than an hour to have no visible wet areas.
The Shapton Pro series also comes in breathable cases.
Splash and Go stones can take in water, some are porous. The coarser ones especially so in the Shapton Pro series.

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Jeff B
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Re: Stone drying times and reasonable expectations

Post by Jeff B »

I have Shapton Pro and usually leave them out to dry for an hour or so. They have plastic breathable cases so they are more than dry enough to put away then. The cases are pretty nice for protection and not worrying about if they're still damp when you pack them up.
Very good cutting stones too that are slow dishing.
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Re: Stone drying times and reasonable expectations

Post by lsboogy »

I have a rack in one of the cupboards - stones in rotation are either there (no box) or out.

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Re: Stone drying times and reasonable expectations

Post by cliff »

I think Shapton glass is likely the fastest drying, absorbing the least. In NYC, mine dry out in a few minutes. The pros also sound like a good option.

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Re: Stone drying times and reasonable expectations

Post by ronnie_suburban »

Stones that look dry are not necessarily dry. I put one away, in its box, earlier than I should have. I was lucky that I went back for it when I did. The box was completely moldy but the stone seemed undamaged (and seems to have survived). Point is, I'm not sure how useful the 'naked eye' test is when it comes to assessing stone dryness.
=R=

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Jeff B
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Re: Stone drying times and reasonable expectations

Post by Jeff B »

cliff wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 10:14 am
I think Shapton glass is likely the fastest drying, absorbing the least. In NYC, mine dry out in a few minutes. The pros also sound like a good option.
I put a Shapton Glass 4k away in it's box after it dried for an hour or so and came back to a soggy box and mold a couple days later. They soak up more than most people think. This is why I like the plastic breathable box with the Pros, they can finish drying in the box with no mold. Even splash-n-go stones need to set out overnight if you're going to put them back in a cardboard box for storage.
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Re: Stone drying times and reasonable expectations

Post by cliff »

Interesting. I just keep them in a storage closet on their own shelf -- but duly noted. Thanks for the heads up.

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Re: Stone drying times and reasonable expectations

Post by salemj »

I think you're seeing from responses where the emphasis lies here:

-Yes, a good synthetic stone like a Shapton glass or pro is a good splash-and-go stone with reasonable dry times
-Yes, a lot of it has to do with how you use the stone: even a good splash and go will soak up lots of water if you are using it for an hour or two as part of a progression on multiple knives, so one obvious thing is to only sharpen one knife at a time and only use each stone once, for a shorter period, in the session so that the water doesn't penetrate as much...
-No, most of us don't time how long our stones dry, but...
-YES: We have developed effective strategies for protecting out stones from moisture after they are put away.

There are many easy ways to do this. As Jeff mentioned, the SPs have nice boxes with vents. But many of us also use a shelf system for permanent storage. I've attached a picture of mine: this bin stays in a closet and it has a dedicated insert. If I wanted I could drill a whole in the top of the bin, but it has not been necessary. The rack inside was maybe 8 bucks (it is a kitchen cabinet rack for plates or baking sheets or whatever; I also have a small wood one from Ikea that I use for drying stones on the counter which is very convenient and keeps the stones from getting bumped or tipped while out). It is compact, it keeps the stones secure without boxes, but more than anything, it allows air to circulate.

This is the kind of storage that allows you to put away a stone when it seems surface dry (usually overnight) with absolutely zero worries. Heck, you could probably put away most stones like this after just a couple hours if you have only sharpened one knife (and therefore not used a lot of water or soaking time for any individual stone). The idea is that air can circulate on all sides, and that the container itself isn't air tight even with a lid.
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~Joe

Comments: I'm short, a home cook, prefer lighter, thinner blades, and own mostly Konosukes but have used over a dozen brands.

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Re: Stone drying times and reasonable expectations

Post by michael1778 »

Thank you, everyone. Good information to consider. I'll lean toward the Shapton (Glass or Pro) offerings and make a plan.
My housing is in flux so that's the short term challenge.

Joe, that is a dessicant insert?

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Re: Stone drying times and reasonable expectations

Post by salemj »

michael1778 wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 3:55 pm
Thank you, everyone. Good information to consider. I'll lean toward the Shapton (Glass or Pro) offerings and make a plan.
My housing is in flux so that's the short term challenge.

Joe, that is a dessicant insert?
No, it is a stone pond. I did throw a few silica packets in there from some other packaging, and that is also worth consideration: being in a humid environment. You can easily get packets of silica gel cheap from various suppliers and could easily throw some of these in the bottom of your storage to help regulate the moisture assuming everything else was ventilated.
~Joe

Comments: I'm short, a home cook, prefer lighter, thinner blades, and own mostly Konosukes but have used over a dozen brands.

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Re: Stone drying times and reasonable expectations

Post by turko »

All of this makes me wonder if I haven't been air drying my stone long enough. Any experience with naniwa choseras? They don't need to be soaked supposedly so how long should I leave it out to dry?

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Re: Stone drying times and reasonable expectations

Post by Jeff B »

When I use my Choseras I let them dry overnight before putting them away because I use the original boxes. Never had any problems with moisture.

This is basically how I dry my stones, sitting on a counter, and usually overnight, before putting away.
20180525_224942.jpg
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Re: Stone drying times and reasonable expectations

Post by ken123 »

A few thoughts. Shapton pro and glass are splash and go. Not bone dry after use. I dont recommend putting ANY stones back in cardboard boxes. The plastic cases for pro stones are good containers. Cardboard cases grow mold. I leave my stones on a wire rack to dry until I need to use them again. Choceras hold water a bit more and can be treated the same way. They are a bit more prone to cracking but this is rare. There are other stones that are fast drying. If your criteria for stones is just drying times go with the Shaptons.
Now let's open this up. If you want zero drying time, use a strop. Not splash and go - just go and go. You can sharpen with strops entirely. 8 microns is 2k, 4 microns is 4k etc. Using strops you can go to 620k if you wish.
Another approach is to use natural stones. MANY polishing stones (I can recommend a few) can be used with just a few DROPS of water. Sharpen, wipe off with a paper towel and put it away. Ultimate splash and go.

---
Ken

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Re: Stone drying times and reasonable expectations

Post by michael1778 »

ken123 wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 11:39 pm
A few thoughts. Shapton pro and glass are splash and go. Not bone dry after use. I dont recommend putting ANY stones back in cardboard boxes. The plastic cases for pro stones are good containers. Cardboard cases grow mold. I leave my stones on a wire rack to dry until I need to use them again. Choceras hold water a bit more and can be treated the same way. They are a bit more prone to cracking but this is rare. There are other stones that are fast drying. If your criteria for stones is just drying times go with the Shaptons.
Now let's open this up. If you want zero drying time, use a strop. Not splash and go - just go and go. You can sharpen with strops entirely. 8 microns is 2k, 4 microns is 4k etc. Using strops you can go to 620k if you wish.
Another approach is to use natural stones. MANY polishing stones (I can recommend a few) can be used with just a few DROPS of water. Sharpen, wipe off with a paper towel and put it away. Ultimate splash and go.

---
Ken
I appreciate all these thoughts and the comparison information.
I had wondered about the idea of a series of different particle sizes on strops but was afraid that was too far "out of the box". It is very reassuring to know I wasn't too far 'gone' in my musings! Thank you.

We can all stop talking about cardboard boxes,original packaging or otherwise. That wasn't ever the plan. :) We have all that for posterity now. [That means you future person that found this using the search feature]

As to natural stones, I had no idea about whether they would be useful on steels like HAP40 or not. More to consider.

My default plan is looking like 2 or 3 Shaptons and one or two CBN or diamond holding strops.

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Re: Stone drying times and reasonable expectations

Post by ken123 »

Natural stones would be quite useful. Not all naturals. You need to pick right ones.
Regarding strops and compounds the art comes in picking the right ones - including compounds from 80 microns to 0.003 microns. This choice will also depend on stones selected. Send me a pm to narrow down your choices.
Ken

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Re: Stone drying times and reasonable expectations

Post by Jeff B »

You can sharpen on loaded strops but stones are more practical and cheaper in the end.
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Re: Stone drying times and reasonable expectations

Post by ken123 »

So going from 80 microns to 0.003 microns is a jump of almost 27000 times! Compare this to going from a 1000 grit stone to a 10000 grit stone is only a 10 times jump. No comparison. Compounds are a more flexible alternative.
Also look at strop compounds - they are far harder than stone compounds so they can cut a wider range of steels.
The comparison of usage is more obscure since stones cant handle the range of compounds. Usage varies with grits. I have high grit strops that have been used for years with years to go. This is a longer topic.
---
Ken

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Re: Stone drying times and reasonable expectations

Post by lsboogy »

Jeff B wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 12:29 pm
You can sharpen on loaded strops but stones are more practical and cheaper in the end.
Depends on what kind of edge you want. My pocket knife has been on stops with 1 and 0.5 micron stuff. Love the edge and it's fun to push cut paper and wave at packages to open them. I have a bunch of stops (leather/roo/balsa/felt/nanocloth) and use an old razor strap most mornings - one side bare, one loaded with 1 micron stuff. Stones are great for most, but strops are a must for shaving and I love my soft veg knives to have a super edge. Nothing like product falling apart at high speed when you have boxes of stuff in front of you.

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