Waterstone Pond

Build a watertight wooden holder for your sharpening stones by Frank Klausz

Sharpening with watersion es is a lot easier if you have a "pond" to hold the stone and enough water to keep it wet and clean in use. And your bench will stay clean, too. I learned to make this simple box while working as an apprentice in my father's workshop in Hungary, The box is completely watertight, but no glue or caulk is required to make it that way. Good joiner>r does the trick, along with a little bit of magic based on wood compression and expansion. In Europe, many generations of woodworkers have used these same techniques to build wooden baby bathtubs and washtubs.

I use white pine for my box, but any type of pine other than yellow pine will work fine. Clear stock is preferable, since leaks can develop around knots. If you want to store more than one stone, you can increase the width of your box. The inside of my box is about 2 in. longer than my longest waterstone. This leaves room for a pair of wedges that hold the stone in place.

The joinery is simple. The four sides are held together with tapered sliding dovetails. The bottom is nailed to the sides. To make the sides watertight, the dovetails need to be cut accurately. I recommend cutting the joints with a router and dovetail bit. To simplify routing, I use two jigs to guide my router: one for the dovetail socket, the other for the dovetail. (See the article on page 80.)

The key to making the sliding dovetail joints watertight is to make each tapered dovetail fit tightly—but not too tightly— into its mating socket. You should be able to assemble the joint about three-quarters of the way with hand pressure, then complete it with a few firm taps from a hammer.

The base of the box is simply nailed to the side assembly. The butt joint is watertight largely because of the resilient nature of wood. By compressing the i.

44 AMtKICAN WOOOWOKKfcK A DECEMBER 1996

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