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Oil/Waterstone???

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Forum topic by byerbyer posted 598 days ago 720 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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byerbyer

75 posts in 598 days


598 days ago

My father recently gifted me his two side sharpening stone. It’s a Smith’s Arkansas stone from the late 70’s early 80’s that he hasn’t used in more than a decade. He said he used gun oil as lubricant, so it looks like I’m locked into oil (I’d rather use water.) My sticking point is he has no recollection as to what grit either side is… It’s white on one side and a terra-cotta color on the other. I can tell by feel, the white side is slightly rougher than the other, but I have no clue what grit. I’d like to buy an x8000 stone as the final step in my honing process, but I’d like to know it’s not a huge jump from the stones I have… Anyone have any of these still laying around that might know what the roughness would be?

-- Byer-- "Comparison is the thief of joy" -- T.R. Roosevelt


4 replies so far

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Ross

110 posts in 599 days


#1 posted 598 days ago

I’m guessing the terra-cotta side to be about 1200 grit.
I hone to 4000 and leather strop after that for knives.
Cihisels honed to 4000 (water stone) no strop.

-- "Man Plans and God Laughs"

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lwllms

540 posts in 1908 days


#2 posted 598 days ago

Can you post a photo? Is the stone two separate stones adhered together or were they manufactured as a two sided stone? I’m guessing you have a stone made up of hard Arkansas and soft Arkansas natural stones that are glued together but a photo would be helpful. The white colored stone could be either hard white Arkansas or translucent Arkansas. If my guess is right the soft Arkansas is equivalent to a 600 grit water stone and the hard white Arkansas is about 3,000 grit but a translucent Arkansas is more like a 6,000 grit stone. I’m just not sure what all Smith’s offered when they were in business.

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byerbyer

75 posts in 598 days


#3 posted 598 days ago

Here’s a side view, and a pic of each face. I included in the lid of the case too. As you can see it calls it a “Hard/Soft Combination” stone.

-- Byer-- "Comparison is the thief of joy" -- T.R. Roosevelt

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lwllms

540 posts in 1908 days


#4 posted 597 days ago

That’s actually a pretty nice stone set up. I think the hard Arkansas is actually a translucent stone. If you’ve got a couple sheets of 100 grit silicon carbide (wet or dry) sand paper you can dress both sides to flatten and expose fresh abrasive. Just put the sand paper down on a flat surface like a table saw top.

Those stones will get you by just fine unless you’re trying to sharpen A-2 steel. Novaculite stones aren’t a good choice for A-2 steel but then I don’t think A-2 steel is a good choice for edge tools.

I prefer to dress my oil stones before each use and any time I feel the cutting action slow down. I use an extra coarse diamond stone for dressing my oil stones. I tried water stones but found myself spending more time flattening stones than sharpening. I also disliked the mess of water stones. Well maintained oil stones cut just as fast as water stones when working normal high carbon tool steel. I wouldn’t go back to water stones, I’d rather spend time working wood than flattening stones in a sloppy, messy environment.

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