Hand Tools

Re: Resin-based razor hones
Response To:
Resin-based razor hones ()

david weaver
Some names to look up:
* aloxite
* swaty
* american hone co (frictionite, super punjab, and a whole gaggle of others)
* tonsorial gem
* OVB (there's a cross reference to woodworking, they have some reasonably nice razor hones that don't cost much)
* Raven
* Norton (beware of the cost of these, they are a favorite on the axe circuit in australia and new zealand - 2.x by 5 inches may be in the range of $1k)
* carborundum corp other than aloxite

(using the words "razor hone" with any of the above will get you a whole bunch on google images).

Most of the above hones are made in the following fashion:
* a relatively coarse abrasive, like what we'd call 2k, is embedded in a binder, and then the surface is finished to a gloss. They are never intended to be conditioned or the coarseness of the actual abrasive will be seen quickly. their use is to thin the bevel of a razor in most cases, but not remove the edge. A very rough shave ensues until linen and leather recondition the actual edge if one goes that route.
* there are some exceptions - the frictionite 825/#00 fine side is relatively fine. Like 8k-10k and won't ruin your day. The very fine swaty, the same (there are various types), the norton axe man is very fine, but probably not more so than a shapton. An axe man is made to be used dry or wet, though, and is far better for rubbing a race axe than anything new (thus the desire for them). Same is true of frictionite.

I have pulled some old synthetic WA and other stones out of japan. They're interesting, and a lot like modern hones, but they do have some vitrified 8x3x1 sized india stones that are finer than the india stones here. I like those a LOT.

How we got from those to marshmallow kings, I have no idea. Someone (a population as a whole) lost their touch, I guess. Presumably kings were really cheap. Otherwise, I can't see how that style got much of a hold in a society where most woodworkers would've been professionals.

George handed me a pile of frictionite hones to sell for him a while ago. All but one ended up being bought by a guy in Australia who was passing them out to friends (or customers) on the wood circuit. The 2 1/2 x 5 stones averaged about $225 or something, so they're not exactly a practical choice for woodworking, but they have a superb feel.

I have a small gaggle of the other types (the more coarse ones) and use one from time to time as a novelty, but they're not good for woodworking, even though they're far better than the stones that carborundum corp sold as replacements for ark stones. I'd figure if there was a desire for stones of that type, the 8x3 hones and 8x 2 1/2 stones of alumina would've been picked up by woodworkers, but they never were. I can only assume the fine carborundum stones were a preference for carpenters. The coarse stones are nice for grinding, but the fine ones pretty much make a whole bunch of loose grit everywhere, and it's not fine enough to finish an edge, but not fast enough to do much grinding. Chunking 2x4s with a jack plane - it's good enough for that.

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