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Thread: Found new norton washita stones

  1. #46
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    My stone arrived on my porch today. It was a long strange trip according to the tracking and what a FedEx employee told me yesterday.

    Anyway here it is with my accumulation of other Washita type stones:

    Washita Stones.jpg

    The label on the small one towards the top center label says Norton Abrasives - Lily White Washita.

    It took a little hunting to find a chisel that wasn't sharp. Found an old Craftsman with a rough edge and a bit of pitting:

    Craftsman Chisel & Washita B4.jpg

    The feel was a bit different than my other Washita stones. That is likely due to not being broken in yet and being used without a holder.

    It didn't take long to get the edge sharp. It took a little more time to get rid of some of the pits:

    Craftsman Chisel & Washita After.jpg

    It still has a way to go. If it is ever worked any more it will likely be worked using abrasive paper before returning to the stones. With at least four other, nicer chisels in this size it likely will be done by someone else.

    jtk
    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 12-03-2020 at 12:03 PM.
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  2. #47
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    Aug 2019
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    My first thought when I saw the stone was this is way more porous than my other washitas. I put some water on it and it soaked it.

    I measured the specific gravity of this and a vintage washita and a black Arkansas. The black ark measured 2.60, the vintage washita 2.35, and the new washita 2.03. So it's definitely a coarser stone.

    I tested it with an old framing chisel.

    20201202_222000.jpg
    Before applying the chisel to the stone.

    20201202_223031.jpg
    After a few minutes, burr drawn, some reprofiling of the bevel.

    20201202_225135.jpg
    After the strop. The chisel is sharp.

    It feels coarser than my other washitas, but it did a good job. The stone is a bit concave on one side and convex on the other, maybe about 1/32".

    20201202_223621.jpg
    After use and to the left of a Washita stone. Not so distinct once once the swarf stains the stone.

    All in all, I like it. I wish it were 1" thick.

    Is it a Washita from the Pike mines? Who knows. I called Sharpening Supplies and the guy I talked to couldn't tell me one way or the other, just to treat as a coarse natural stone and not to make such a big deal out of it.

    Raf

  3. #48
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    Dec 2014
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    received mine today as well and it has a couple gouges in it...washita.jpg Sent a email to sharpening supplies to see if they'll do anything about it. What's weird about the big gouge is it looks like it was outlined with a pencil to point it out, see the gray line around it? That gray line smudged like a pencil when I rubbed it with my finger. I used the other face anyways as it seems fine. Never used a washita before but I liked the feeling of it and it seemed to cut real fast. I followed it up with a soft & hard ark and felt like my overall sharpening time was shortened a lot.

    I also bought & tried for the first time a Crystolon, that thing really will grind a new edge quickly. I tried it on a garage sale chisel and was thoroughly impressed with the cutting speed. Went course Crystolon > fine Crystolon > washita and I felt like the Washita would've left a usable edge.

  4. #49
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    Raf, did you use oil on it or water? I wish it was at least 3/4Ē or even 1Ē thick, too! I wonder how much it will wear.

    Thanks for the reports, mine is scheduled to arrive next week.

    Kevin

  5. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Adams View Post
    Raf, did you use oil on it or water? I wish it was at least 3/4” or even 1” thick, too! I wonder how much it will wear.

    Thanks for the reports, mine is scheduled to arrive next week.

    Kevin
    Kevin,

    Used correctly it will last your lifetime and the lifetime of your grandkids.

    ken

  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Adams View Post
    Raf, did you use oil on it or water? I wish it was at least 3/4” or even 1” thick, too! I wonder how much it will wear.
    I used oil.

    I don't really know how fast it will wear. Given that it's on the Arkansas "softer" side it may wear some over time, but not as fast as a Crystolon stone.

    I'm making a box for it, the mortise will need to be shallow.

  7. #52
    I don't want to be a downer, but the question of wear is pretty important. The reviews that several people have posted don't really tell us much about these "Washita" stones. A real Washita cuts quickly when freshly abraded, but is harder than a soft Arkansas and will last a good long while before it slows down. It is also more pressure sensitive than other stones--it will cut quickly with a lot of pressure, but produce a fine edge with light pressure. These two characteristics--wear and pressure sensitivity--are likely why Washitas were so prized in the first place. A review of a single sharpening session doesn't tell us much about how these new stones compare.
    My guess is that these new "Washitas" are just very coarse Arkansas stones, and have little in common with a true Washita. They certainly don't look like my vintage Washitas.
    "For me, chairs and chairmaking are a means to an end. My real goal is to spend my days in a quiet, dustless shop doing hand work on an object that is beautiful, useful and fun to make." --Peter Galbert

  8. #53
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Voigt View Post
    ... My guess is that these new "Washitas" are just very coarse Arkansas stones, and have little in common with a true Washita. They certainly don't look like my vintage Washitas.
    Given how much damage selling a misrepresented product could do to Norton and how little advantage "faking" a small batch of NOS Washitas would provide, I can't see these aren't from the Washita mine. It does seem they aren't selected with the care and properties of the premium Washitas of the past. Perhaps there are areas of the mine where stone is closer to that found in other Arkansas mines? We probably won't get the detailed answers we'd like, if anyone really still knows.

  9. #54
    Received my washita today and thereís a noticeable bow over the length and a lesser one across the width. Iím new to oil stones, should the stone be flattened first, and what would be the best method?5A66BCC0-351F-47C2-BF18-B4ADD2E041D1.jpg

    jesse

  10. #55
    I'm sure many are wondering about this. The old Norton stuff all came from one mine. Washita area. So if they did not
    come from the same mine ,they really should be named differently. Even identical twins usually have different names!
    Perhaps a polite inquiry would bring an answer.

  11. #56
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    I called their technical support line. The guy I spoke with couldn't tell me much beyond the fact that the stone came from their Arkansas mine(s) and that it is about 400 grit.

    As I noted above I measured its specific gravity last night and it came to about 2.03, which is at the bottom of the coarseness scale given at the Dan's web site. One of my washitas measured at 2.35 which comes within the expected range for a fine washita.

    From looking at the Dan's Whetstones website, a soft arkansas has a higher specific gravity than a washita. That means a soft ark is more compact than a Washita, I believe that also means that a soft ark is harder than a Washita, not the other way around.

    Given the apparent coarseness of this stone, it may turn out to be a good stone to have in the workshop. Since it's in the lower end of the compactness scale, it will wear out faster than harder Arkansas stones.

    There is a lot more information regarding "Ouachita" stones and how they differ from Arkansas stones in this report. It's an interesting read.

    https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?...ew=2up&seq=134

  12. #57
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    Jan 2007
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    West Simsbury, CT
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    Quote Originally Posted by jesse ross View Post
    Received my washita today and thereís a noticeable bow over the length and a lesser one across the width. Iím new to oil stones, should the stone be flattened first, and what would be the best method?5A66BCC0-351F-47C2-BF18-B4ADD2E041D1.jpg

    jesse
    Jesse, there are others a lot more experienced than me in this thread, so Iím sure others will chime in. In my opinion, Iíd rather have a bow (although thatís seem to be pretty large from the pic) than a dip as the former is easier to flatten plus most peopleís sharpening will naturally use more of the middle of the stone anyway so it will wear back. I use a diamond plate to flatten typically.

    Will be interested in othersí opinion on how badly that is crowned.

    Thanks.
    Kevin

  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rafael Herrera View Post
    I used oil.

    I don't really know how fast it will wear. Given that it's on the Arkansas "softer" side it may wear some over time, but not as fast as a Crystolon stone.

    I'm making a box for it, the mortise will need to be shallow.
    Thanks, Raf. Please show a pic of your box, you make some nice ones. With end grain blocks I hope!! 😁

  14. #59
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    As far as wear, I don't see anything to expect it will wear any faster than my 46 year old one that seems very similar. That old one is about worn through, in the middle, and started about 1/2" thick too. That old stone has never been flattened. I started using it when I was young, and inexperienced, so would probably use it a little more carefully after those 46 years of experience.

    If it wears out, that won't be the last $37, including shipping, that will go down the drain.

    I was glad to hear, through Rafael, that the technical guy agreed with my assessment of it being about a 400 grit, as I said earlier in this thread.

  15. #60
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    My two oldest in this picture, in wood holders, have both dished over the years:

    Washita Stones.jpg

    The long thin one next to the new stone was dished down the middle. It was purchased at a local flea market. The woman said her husband used to sharpen scissors for a living. She had a few crystolon stones that looked like waves at the beach from extended use.

    The side not shown of the skinny white stone was used against the reddish brown stone to improve both of them.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

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