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I was out in the shop sharpening a few of my plane blades with my water stones, and since my shop has changed dramatically (much smaller), I find that the usual location I used to sharpen my blades is gone of course, along with my little bench I used ( I gave it away to make room for other things) and I figured I could just work off my existing workbench. The problem with that is the slurry and sledge tends to splatter and eventually the workbench gets wet and etc etc etc and it's just become a mess to maintain any type of area for a water stone station space. I did a little research and found that oil stones actually provide a cleaner environment (less messy) than their waterstone relatives. Of course there are pros and cons for both methods of sharpening, but I want to give oil stones a try and a strop. I also understand that they are more receptive to free hand sharpening which is what I like to do, and they maintain a very flat surface with free handing. I have a Washita Stone that I picked up a couple years ago, I believe it's soft grade for prelim honing, so I'd need Hard Arkansas? Not all oil stones are created equal either, some will sharpen the harder steels of today, O1 and A2 but others are only good with the older steels that may be found in the venerable Stanley's. I think Steven Newman uses oil, any suggestions from Steve would be appreciated, and any suggestions and or personal experience from anyone is appreciated. My questions: What grades of oil stones do I need? What type of oil do I need? What type of compound do I use for stropping? Any specific type of leather or is an old belt fine? Please relate your experiences with me here in this topic, and please do not link me to outside websites or charts, there is a ton of information out there on this subject, but I want to hear from you guys. not the rest of the world. Thanks a ton in advance!