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Thread: Substitute honing oil

  1. #1

    Substitute honing oil


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    Short of buying another can/bottle, is there a satisfactory substitute for the honing oil that is supplied with most systems using conventional stones. I supposed light machine oil would work, but looks as if it may tend to gum the pores up. Most of the stuff I've used has a reddish tint and is pretty thin, more like transmission fluid.

  2. #2
    When looking for an oil to use on your hone, the weight of the oil is the most important thing. Too heavy or light, and it won't float swarf properly and--as you mentioned--can clog or otherwise harm your stone. Neatsfoot oil, sperm oil, mineral oil cut with kerosene in a 50/50 mix are all the right weight. But why do that when honing oil is so cheap? Lansky honing oil is $1 per ounce and works fantastic. Smells nice to boot.

  3. #3
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    Simple Green works better than oil on oil stones.

    Wayne Goddard says so. I've tried it, and agree 100%.
    Best Regards,
    -Grizz

  4. #4
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    I agree, simple green or Windex have both worked great for me on non-waterstones, including diamond plates.

  5. #5
    Come to think of it, I've heard that, too. How does it work? You don't actually soak the stone in Simple Green, right? You simply spray the top? If you've already used oil on the stone, is it absolutely necessary to degrease first?

  6. #6
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    Almost anything will work. For me, most of the decision comes down to how easy it is to clean up afterwards. If not standard 'honing oil', then any other mineral oil will do (honing oil is mineral oil anyway). And if not that, water, or dish detergent + water. I've even used some mineral oil-based hand lotion on my diamond plates, which worked quite well, and it's higher viscosity also minimized the 'drippy mess' that sometimes accompanies the use of other oils/liquids.

    I have tried using the Windex, but it seems to evaporate awful fast on the hone, so it requires frequent re-application (I'm in the very dry desert southwest). I do often rely on it for a quick clean-up of my diamond hones, though cleaning them in dish detergent & hot water is more thorough.
    Last edited by Obsessed with Edges; 12-02-2012 at 12:33 PM.

  7. #7
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    Simply using simple green will degrease the stone. You can soak it in simple green if you wish but not needed, I dilute simple green with 4 or more parts water.

  8. #8
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    I don't like Windex as much, because it has a lot of ammonia. Not sure if that's compatible with stones and steel.

    Ed, I don't know if you are diluting the Simple Green concentrate, or the stuff you buy in the spray bottle, ready for use.

    I do think that what they sell "ready to use" is plenty strong enough to be diluted 50/50 at least.
    Best Regards,
    -Grizz

  9. #9
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    I just give it a couple squirts every so often, when I notice it starting to dry out a bit. I generally buy it in the bottle, then dilute it about 50/50.

  10. #10
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    The simple green I am using comes in a bottle marked Concentrated. Seems like a waste to buy the "ready to use".

    I soak the stone with as much simple green a will not run off and work the blade, as the simple green starts to show some black, I wipe off the stone with a cloth and squirt more simple green on the stone.

    Be sure and wipe the stone clean after you are done sharpening - again I use a cloth, not a paper towel.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by olddogrib View Post
    Short of buying another can/bottle, is there a satisfactory substitute for the honing oil that is supplied with most systems using conventional stones. I supposed light machine oil would work, but looks as if it may tend to gum the pores up. Most of the stuff I've used has a reddish tint and is pretty thin, more like transmission fluid.
    I always use some form of mineral oil on my silicon carbide and India stones - diamond plates, and natural stones will sometimes get soapy water though thin mineral oil works well on these too. The soapy water will help prevent the stones clogging and glazing to a large extent, mineral oil does this to additionally it floats the swarf right off the stone and in the case of SiC stones also seems to weaken the vitreous bond of the stone, allowing it to 'refresh' itself as you go and makes it act more like a waterstone.

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