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Thread: White washita?

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    Senior Member xiaotuzi's Avatar
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    Default White washita?

    I picked up a hone in the bottom of a box of tools, covered in oil. After a few days soaking in a solution of TSP it appears white. It was pretty flat on one side but still took a TON of work to lap it. It has one good usable side now and I'm guessing it's a white washita? It measures 7 3/4 x 1 7/8 x 15/16. Has a sort of "metallic" ring to it when you tap it.

    I am sorely lacking in understanding of novaculite hones. For example, is a washita the same as a soft Arkansas? And how to identify these types of stones when there seems to be so many colors and patterns?

    I know there are some guys here that use novaculites for razors. Would a stone like this one be for bevel setting? Used with oil?

    As you can see - I have about as much understanding of novaculite stones as I do jnats.

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    Then after sitting for a little while more oil comes to the surface like this... Need to soak it a little more I guess.
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    Thanks for any help and insight!
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    Senior Member bluesman7's Avatar
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    I was just helping someone getting started with honing and we found that his Washita fit nicely between his King 1k and 6k. YMMV
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    Senior Member xiaotuzi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluesman7 View Post
    I was just helping someone getting started with honing and we found that his Washita fit nicely between his King 1k and 6k. YMMV
    Thanks, and I have and use both of those so I will try it in between. These only get used with oil, correct?
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    Senior Member Steel's Avatar
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    I have used nothing but a Washita (both lily white and a dans Washita) to set countless bevels (well over a hundred) this past year. It is not only doable but very efficient if you keep one side "fresh" and let the other side burnish. I sold off my 1K stones (Norton and King) and all I use now is Washita stones.

    I use a water soluble oil-ballistol but you have many options.
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    Senior Member bluesman7's Avatar
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    We were using the Washita with Smith's honing solution, which is water soluble.
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    Washitas are even slightly less dense than Soft Arks. This means that they cut a bit faster and can be slightly more friable. Most of the time you won't notice any friability (shedding of grit) anyway though unless you're honing something like a narrow chisel.

    If you soak the stone several times over the old orangish oil will eventually stop seeping out. The black spots visible indicate that this stone wouldn't be a Lily White, but it could possibly be a #1 Washita, which is basically the same thing except not perfectly blemish-free.

    I find they are very useful for tool sharpening and can be used for razors but I'd follow Steel's above advice: keep one side freshly lapped for bevel setting and if you want a little more intermediate finish, let it settle in without lapping.
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    Senior Member xiaotuzi's Avatar
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    Thanks eKretz, that's immensely helpful. Well, one side is nice and flat but the other side has some chips and dings that will take a lot of work to get out. Sounds like it will be worth it though.
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    concerning washitas i found this one very helpfull:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgQ1xhMtoBQ
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    Oh boy...

    (I still can't always tell what's a washita and what's not, but have decided that in the end, the practical test is best. Soft ark stones never achieve the same edge smoothness for a given level of fineness when compared to a washita stone. I have no clue why. It might be interesting to take a picture of the edge from some of them, but even then, I wouldn't be surprised to find that the soft ark stone and washita edges don't look that much different. One thing is quite clear, though - the pike mine made stones that have a certain property that no stones from other mines have. It still could, and the stock is cheap and easy to get in large pieces from it. I think Norton knows that they would quickly exhaust the market if they bothered to do it again (they did it in the early 2000s)), and I'm sure one large corporate synthetic abrasive customer probably eclipses their entire line of oilstones in terms of revenue.

    I'm somewhat surprised that they even still cut and finish arkansas stones at all.
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    Senior Member BWH1980's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluesman7 View Post
    I was just helping someone getting started with honing and we found that his Washita fit nicely between his King 1k and 6k. YMMV
    Thank you again. Almost all my razors are now honed.

    I read somewhere that the Washita is a flexible stone. It was stated that depending on how you finish the stone. It can work as anything from below a 1k to over 3k. Tried to find the article or thread but have not been able to.

    As Victor stated mine fit nicely in between my 1k and 6k. All I have done is lapped it.




    Enjoy the day,
    Benson
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