When I first started using hand tools I though I could get by with just hand sharpening.. I though a lot of the power sharpening systems where to expensive and uncalled for.. I the last few years I have some to relize that everyone should own at least a small bench grinder at the very least..
I own several differnt types of grinders and use a lot of them at different times but seems I still like to finish my irons with a Hand Sharpening Method .. I have a Power Sharpening Page that lists most of the commond power sharpeners..
I had read a article some place months ago about super charging oil stones or Scary Sharp..
What they did was sprinkle some SC Dust or Diamond Dust I can't remember exactly, but I had just bought some LeeValley Silicon Carbide Grit from Highland Hardware for Chisel and Iron Backs, so I when to my website Abrasive Grit Sizes With this Loose Grit you can use with with out any W/D Paper or direct on Glass or Steel Lapping Plate.. I also just found a place where the grit is 10X cheaper, same price per pound as per 4 oz's www.KingsleyNorth.com
You can also buy Diamond Compounds from the same place.
Below is a two of Equivalency Charts to see what size grit you might be looking for. I would get all starting at 100 Grit but 180 should be fine for starting most jobs.. This loose grit will work great for flatting the bottom of planes also and at $4.00 a pound seems to be a good buy to me..
|Stone Type||US Grit||Japan|
|Coarse Crystolon, Coarse India||100||150|
|Medium Crystolon, Medium India||180||240|
|Coarse Diamond, Fine Crystolon||240||280|
|Hard White Arkansas, Fine Diamond, Medium Black Ceramic||700||1500-2000|