Idea to deal with thirsty soaking stones

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Feb 18, 2013
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I have recently started to permasoak the following stones: Bester 200, Gesshin 400, Gesshin 2k and Gesshin 4k. The´long soaking turned the Gesshin 400 from thirsty stone, to a stone that needs adding only very little water while sharpening. I should mention that the stone has less than half of the original thickness now AND is glued on a PVC board, so there is less surface are which can loose water - only the sides.

But the Bester is more like a screen. You can see how water sips through the stone while using it. Thus it is a thirsty stone.

So - the idea is the following. If I would lacquer the bottom and the sides of the stone thus sealing it - the water would not be able to flow through the stone and it should become much less thirsty.

My question is:

Could this have any adverse effects on how the stone performs? I plan to keep on perma-soaking is, so the expected prolongation of drying would not be an issue.
On the phone, I told Maksim that I permasoak the JNS 6000 and asked him if it’s alright, which he confirmed and recommended me to seal the bottom and the sides. So, I guess its alright.
Great idea, Matus! If there aren't side effects, I may do the same for some of my soakers.
The stone will soak up a lot of the lacquer, recommend using rice paper.
The stone will soak up a lot of the lacquer, recommend using rice paper.

I will be using a water-based lacquer, not a shellac (which would partially dissolve the previous coats), so hopefully the stone will not soak too much of it. I do not want to use a rice paper as the stone will be permasoaked.
I asked Jon about perma soaking various gesshin stones. I always keep a 1K xtra large & large 600 S&G in water. Change water each time I teach. Over two years no adverse effects at all on either stone. Also keep a mist bottle of water handy while sharpening. At home perma soak 4K gesshin & whatever 1K I am using.
OK, I have an update for you guys. As I have mentioned - the Bester 220 even when permasoaked is very thirsty stone as the water simply flows through it (it is more like a filter). I have covered the bottom and the sides of the stone with a lacquer (about 5 or 6 layers). With the first coat the stone soaked quite a bit of it (about 20g), but already after second it got much better. I have then mounted the stone on a 10 mm thick piece of hard PVC. Not that it would be necessary, but the stones bump into each-other in the plastic container and this way I can protect them a little.

I have used the stone yesterday again, as expected, the thirstyness is gone. And I mean completey. The stone is still a muddy one as it was before, but I do not have to keep adding water every 20 seconds as I had to before. I like it MUCH better now :) I have worked on an O1 knife for more than an hour (clening my not too perfect grinding work after HT) and did not observe any adverse effects in the stone behaviour.

The other stones that I permasoak do not seem to need this treatment (the Gesshin 400 lost a large part of its thirstyness when permasoaked) as they are not quite as thirsty (and are already mounted on a PVC).
Great idea, thanks for sharing you results Matus.