VH Speed Skating - Stone Maintenance

Stone Maintenance

Before reviewing the VH stone maintenance protocol, it is important to first review and highlight the fundamentals of a speed skating blade edge.

  • The edge of a speed skating blade should be a 90 degree angle
  • The closer the blade is to a 90 degree angle the sharper the edge and the longer it will last

Fig 1

A skate becomes dull when the edge becomes rounded from digging into the ice over the course of many practices and/or races, as well as coming into contact with dirt on the ice.

Fig 2

Stone Wear

As a stone wears from sharpening it creates a hollow in the stone. To assess your stone you can run your finger along it or use a straight edge.

Fig 3

Why is a flat stone important?

What is your edge going to look like if you sharpen with the hollow stone?

Fig 4

Cleaning a Clogged Stone

Part of stone maintenance involves cleaning a clogged stone. A clogged stone will have an inconsistent grit, which will greatly effect your ability to maintain your rocker. From the illustration below you can see that as you sharpen, the amount of blade steel ground will increase and decrease as the clogged areas of the stone travel across the blade.

Fig 5

Fig 6

VH Stone Maintenance Protocol

Please note that a diamond stone cannot be resurfaced using the VH Stone Maintenance Protocol.

Tools:
  • VH Carbide Grit
  • Flat grinding surface (ie. patio stone, steel plate)
  • Safety mask
  • Broom and dust pan

Step 1

Apply your VH Carbide Grit to your flat grinding surface

Step 2

Grind your stone in a circular motion. Ensure that you keep moving the VH Carbide Grit back to the center of your grinding area for the best grinding results.

Step 3

Depending on how hollow your stone has become will dictate how long it will take to flatten. Using the VH Carbide Grit will decrease your grinding time.

Fig 7Step 4

As you grind you should periodically check to evaluate your progress.
As you grind you will notice that the lower (divot) parts of the stone are different colours.
As you grind the lower areas will become smaller and smaller. This indicates that the stone is becoming flatter.
Once the stone is the same colour throughout the surface your stone has been flattened.

Step 5

Clean your stone using your sharpening lubricant. Using your broom and dust pan clean your grinding area.