Can anyone reccomend any UK based stockist of Norton brand Oilstones? I'm
after a combination fine / medium (or is it coarse?) oilstone. I've found
stockists in the states, but postage etc is very pricey. (around 20 - 30
quid inclusive... or is this a good price for such a product?)
A couple of friends have reccomended these oilstones as they are long
lasting, and considerably better than others on the market - a stanley one
which i bought recently seems to act more like a sponge than an oilstone,
and is so soft that within 3 weeks occasional use it's 'dished' beyond
Any alternative reccomendations for decent sharpening stones also would be
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"Ash" <ashnewstead at yahoo dot co dot uk> wrote in message
Never ever use oil on an 'oilstone'.
Use a strongish solution of liquid washing up detergent and water (say at a
strength equivalent to one table spoon of detergent to 1 cup of water) -
rinse stone in fresh water after use. (Even spit is better than oil!) This
stops the pores of the stone from becoming clogged with a congealed amalgam
of crushed stone, metal swarf and dried out oil. It will keep the stone in
tip-top condition and will remain 'sharp' for it's entire life!
(If you have a clogged stone, soak it over night in a strong hot solution of
CLOTHES BIOLOGICAL washing detergent. You might have to repeat this a couple
of times. Then never use oil on it again!) This is a contentious
suggestion, especially to craftsmen with years of experience in oiling an
oilstone. But please try it. It really does make a vast difference - I have
used both methods and will never use oil again!
ALL oils will eventually dry out, dragging in the crushed stone & swarf into
the stones pores. Thin oils could be worse in as much as they are more
volatile and will dry out quicker. If you use detergent/water solution as a
lubricant all you need to do is a quick rinse in water and then put it away.
They can dry out completely and no special needs to keep it 'wetted' with
I have several carborundum stones which were my dads and have seen well over
50 years of service. Each one cuts metal as good as the day they were made.
(Do you remember the delightful way a new stone 'bites' the metal - my 50
year old stone is like a new one every time!) I use the same solutions on
my 'India' stones that I use as a hone for chisels. It even keeps the slip
stones 'clean' that I use for polishing small surfaces.
For your information, the 'wet and dry' paper that most DIY/car factors
supply can be used as a 'sharpening stone'. (After all, it is carborundum
powder of various grit sizes glued to paper with waterproof goo!)
Place about quarter of a sheet of wet and dry on a very flat & clean surface
and wet it with soapy water and sharpen the chisel or knife as if it were a
proper stone! Use 240 grade to shape a very blunt/worn/damaged edge then
sharpen with 400 grade. (scalpels can be honed with 600~800 grade). It is
pointless to use finer grade than 800 because it in theory the edge of the
blade is more perfectly formed, it will not 'cut' as well as an edge that
has very slight imperfections. (The imperfections act like the teeth on a
I always have a sheet of 400 grade in my desk drawer with a small block of
Formica covered ply. If I need to sharpen my pen knives, I use them with a
goodly dollop of spit - instant sharpener!
Just to add to that, I undished (dedished??...whatever;)) an old oilstone by
rinsing it with water / detergent, then using some coarse > fine wet/dry
paper on a flat surface, eventually got it reasonably flat.
(the things you do when Eastbenders is on telly, bleh! :))
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