Hand Tools Archive

Subject:
Norton Washita from Sharpening Supplies *PIC*

Jack Dover
It has arrived a few days ago, got some shop time yesterday to play with it. Please note everything below is quite subjective, because I don't have lots of stones to compare it to.

The stone is thinner that I was expecting and a bit cupped on one side. It looks exactly like it was pictured on the website. Those streaks are actually pinkish in color when wet, I wonder how were they formed, they look quite bizarre.

The stone cuts fast. Initially it left scratches like a coarse crystolon, but quickly smoothed out. It's of medium density (I guess I could calculate exact density) - my other stones of this size is slightly heavier, also it wicks oil unlike my other Arkansas stones, but not as fast as a crystolon stone.

Overall this Norton Washita is quite similar to one unidentified stone I own. That stone has a dirty yellow hue, which I attribute to old oil, and shows dull white spots when refreshed with a diamond plate. I tried washing it and it doesn't seem to affect its color significantly. There are pictures of Washitas on internet that look like my stone (Mechanic Delight for ex), but there's also a bunch of similarly looking soft Arkansas stones. The only difference with the new stone is that it's less aggressive, even when refreshed. Both stones cut faster than a soft Arkansas. This Norton Washita stone seems to be somewhat pressure sensitive in a sense that with a light enough touch it doesn't leave scratches but still removes material, with heavier pressure it seems to remove material quicker. I compare this to my diamond stones where heavier pressure results just in heavier scratches.

I'll be using it more, my primary interest is whether it will cut those few Japanese blades I'm having issues with. It's also about time to figure boxes or holders, there's a number of loose stones already and using them becomes a hassle.

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