Hand Tools Archive
I recently bought a Washita that after cleaning and flattening was uniformly white in color. Its dimensions are 8x2x1, so it's pretty certain it was factory made and graded. It's a pretty aggressive stone. As you sharpen a blade you can feel the abrasive action.
On the other hand I have a number of washita stones of non-standard sizes, they cut slower than the white one, they're mottled rust colored stones. I go to the strop, and now the buffing wheel, after one of these stones.
The graded washitas sold by Norton (Lily White, no. 1, no. 2, Rosy Red) were sold with additional qualifications, on a sticker applied on one end of the stone. "Soft" stones were fast cutting, "fine" stones were harder slow cutting stones.
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