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Norton Combination Stone

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Jacob

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Thought I'd buy a new stone for my up coming sharpening demo, as a bench mark if anything - all my other stones are anonymous, well worn and second hand. Did a lot of research into trying to find the difference between a Norton IB6 and IB8 but gave up. Suddenly realised one is 6" long and the other 8". Doh!
Anyway it turned up pronto from Rutlands by return post, in a very pretty box.
They are a bit vague about grit sizes on web sites but I guess this doesn't matter: starts out coarse becomes finer?
PS 240/400 grit, apparently. Wouldn't please the enthusiast but good enough for 99% of normal woodworkers :lol:
 

Trevanion

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It would be interesting to see how well a new one holds up to the rigours of day-to-day use. Are they still as hard as they used to be?
 

AndyT

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As far as I understand it, the point of a manufactured oil stone is that the abrasive grit is sieved so that all the particles are of the same size, then cemented together. This makes the stone consistent throughout its life - quite the opposite of starting out coarse and becoming finer.

I can't see an IB6 or IB8 on the Rutlands site or on Norton's, but if you have bought a combination stone from Rutlands it must be this one, which is 8" x 2" and clearly listed as 60 grit on one side and 600 on the other.

 

Sheffield Tony

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+1 for Classic Hand Tools.

I have an older Norton 2 sided stone, and strangely the coarse side does not, to my judgement, appear to cut any faster than the medium grit side. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I end up never using the coarse side. I've cleaned it with a bath in paraffin thinking it was just clogged up, but still don't get on with the coarse side.
 

Jacob

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AndyT":3o7o7zz7 said:
As far as I understand it, the point of a manufactured oil stone is that the abrasive grit is sieved so that all the particles are of the same size, then cemented together. This makes the stone consistent throughout its life - quite the opposite of starting out coarse and becoming finer.

I can't see an IB6 or IB8 on the Rutlands site or on Norton's, but if you have bought a combination stone from Rutlands it must be this one, which is 8" x 2" and clearly listed as 60 grit on one side and 600 on the other.........[/img]
Yes its IB8 it says so on the box.
The particles start out the same size but those on the surface get worn and effectively finer up to a point. Same with diamond stones. Or any abrasive I imagine. You can refreshen the surface of a natural or synthetic stone, which you can't with a diamond plate, which is why the stones last 100s of times longer - for life as a rule!
it says 60/600 but doesn't say if this is grit size. :roll: I think it's a made up number there's nothing on the box nor on Norton's web sites.
Sheffield Tony":3o7o7zz7 said:
.....I have an older Norton 2 sided stone, and strangely the coarse side does not, to my judgement, appear to cut any faster than the medium grit side. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I end up never using the coarse side. I've cleaned it with a bath in paraffin thinking it was just clogged up, but still don't get on with the coarse side.
I've used the coarse side when no machine about. Quite successfully but it's hard work. This is where freehand comes into its own - you can work fast, over the full length/width of the stone and with as much force as you can muster, which isn't easy with a fiddly little jig.
Helps on the coarse side if you have a holder (not a jig) - basically a length of wood with a saw kerf for the blade, or a bolt through to hold a slotted blade. You can really put some force into it and also have better control of the angle. Little blades like spokeshaves really need a holder - only takes a few seconds to knock one up from an offcut.
IMG_2972.JPG
 

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Jacob

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phil.p":2dm5d36a said:
How on earth will you get it hollow in time?
In time for what? Armageddon?
They don't have to be hollow they just turn out that way if you let them.
 

worn thumbs

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I've had one of those since,I think, 1979 and its a good stone.I don't remember anybody getting worked up about precise grit numbers at the time and it just worked.I did actually flatten it for the second time last summer.Took me about 25 minutes to do both sides and now its back to being excellent-just a shame about the horrible noise sharp sand on glass makes.
 

Cheshirechappie

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Sheffield Tony":2cuiftsd said:
+1 for Classic Hand Tools.

I have an older Norton 2 sided stone, and strangely the coarse side does not, to my judgement, appear to cut any faster than the medium grit side. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I end up never using the coarse side. I've cleaned it with a bath in paraffin thinking it was just clogged up, but still don't get on with the coarse side.
That's my experience, too - both with Classic Hand Tools (quick delivery, excellent packaging, first class website, goods always as they describe), and with the combination India. Like you, I find that the coarse side isn't much quicker than the fine side, it just leaves a less refined finish to the edge. Nowadays, if the fine side won't take off the required amount in a reasonable time, I turn to the grinder.

With the benefit of hindsight, I'd just buy an 8" x 2" x 1" fine India stone, and have the benefit of two faces and two edges to use.
 

Jacob

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Cheshirechappie":580f67vb said:
.....Nowadays, if the fine side won't take off the required amount in a reasonable time, I turn to the grinder......
Same here, but the double sided stone is your failsafe if you are on site without power etc. Coarse side is fast if you put enough effort into it, which you can't with a jig.
 

Jacob

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Just drafting some notes for my forthcoming demo. Will turn it into a web page

Woodwork tools basic sharpening the freehand traditional way

Part One


[Picture of pile of assorted edge tools, planes, chisels, spokeshaves, gouges etc etc. Other snaps to be inserted]

All these tools have one thing in common - in normal use for nearly all purposes their edges are sharpened at the same angle: 30º.

The sharpening process is the same - rubbing the thing up and down on an abrasive surface.

Doing it freehand is quickest, easiest and cheapest. It’s also the ideal fall back default system involving least kit and being most portable. Once you’ve got the hang of it it will do for 99% of woodwork ops. and will be your principle method.

Only one stone is needed though having two - fine and coarse, may help speed things up.
The synthetic double sided Norton IB8 or similar have been widely used for very many years, or natural stone alternatives.
Flooding the surface with oil helps float off the swarf which can be wiped off with a cloth. Any fluid will do but most used is ordinary light oil (3 in 1 etc) or white spirit or a mix of both.

1
How to maintain the 30º angle judging by eye.
Practice practice!! Get into the habit of visualising 30º. It’s half the corner of an equilateral triangle, it’s a third of a right angle. It’s the corner of a 30/60º set square. Practice drawing it by hand. It quite quickly becomes second nature but doesn’t need to be spot on anyway.

2
How do you avoid exceeding this angle in an attempt to speed things up (a.k.a. ‘rounding over’)?
Start the sharpening stroke at 30º and thrust the blade forwards but dipping it slightly as you go. More of a scoop action. The edge will not exceed 30 but the back of the bevel will be rounded slightly, but under the angle of 30º.

3
How do you know if a thing needs sharpening?
Eventually it becomes second nature and you suddenly feel the inclination to sharpen, but if in doubt do it anyway. You may be able to see light reflected from a blunt edge as a very thin polished line.

4
How do you know when to stop?
This is perhaps the most unfamiliar thing for beginners but is critical.
You don’t stop until you have brought up a burr or “wire edge” across the whole width of the blade.
You may be able to see this or feel it by sliding a finger over and off the edge (not ALONG it!!). If previously you could see a reflection from blunt edge it should now have disappeared.

5
What do you do then?
Next step is to remove the burr by turning the blade flat on to its face and rub it about flat on the stone. This may bend the burr back to the bevel side in which case you gently repeat the action in 2 above and turn the burr back and remove it. Sometimes takes several goes - just a few repeated gentle rubs on the bevel (at 30º!!) and then flat on the face.

6
What if a burr doesn’t seem to be appearing in stage 4?
This means the edge is probably very blunt and you need to remove more metal. Either keep going patiently or move on to a coarser faster cutting stone before reverting again to the fine.

7
What if a burr doesn’t seem to want to drop off in stage 5?
This probably means that the face is not flat enough and the edge/burr itself isn’t coming into contact.
Two solutions - A. the easy one is to lift the tool a tiny bit to form a very tiny bevel on the face side, or B more difficult is to flatten the face of a chisel for 20 mm or more, or a plane blade just 10mm so that the cap iron sits tight.

8
What about stropping and other finishing processes?
Stropping on a piece of leather helps remove bits of burr but more importantly polishes the bevel and/or the face, reducing friction where it is likely to be greatest in use. It can make a noticeable difference, depending on what you are doing.

Part Two pending

Camber, holding devices, non flat stones, finer stones, other problems etc
 

AJB Temple

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Assuming some super keen person sticks around for this tedium, the first problem is that someone is bound to say that he or she (I can guarantee no woman are daft enough to endure this) on you tube Mr X says sharpen at 25 degrees. And they will be right - a lot of people do sharpen the primary angle on plane blades at 25 degrees, and some go to 15 degrees for chisels. And before you know it the audience is introduced to the whole boring sharpening debate.

Seriously Jacob - you will not interest the average punter with this. Tell them where they can see a you tube video, say" it's dead easy don't let sharpening put you off", give a 30 second demo if you must, and then show them what they can do with a sharp tool. People love tissue thin shavings off a piece of nice rock maple or something. Even my wife is impressed by that!
 

Jacob

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AJB Temple":z9ue04qr said:
Assuming some super keen person sticks around for this tedium, the first problem is that someone is bound to say that he or she (I can guarantee no woman are daft enough to endure this) on you tube Mr X says sharpen at 25 degrees. And they will be right - a lot of people do sharpen the primary angle on plane blades at 25 degrees, and some go to 15 degrees for chisels. And before you know it the audience is introduced to the whole boring sharpening debate.

Seriously Jacob - you will not interest the average punter with this. Tell them where they can see a you tube video, say" it's dead easy don't let sharpening put you off", give a 30 second demo if you must, and then show them what they can do with a sharp tool. People love tissue thin shavings off a piece of nice rock maple or something. Even my wife is impressed by that!
Won't be the average punter they know what I'm offering and they have some interest in woodworking already. Actually thousands of people seem to have an interest and may even have unused/unusable planes/chisels kicking around and it's getting them into use is the biggest stumbling block. If they want to go off on a sharpening debate I'll explain that they are here for this one simple thing first, but then to have a go themselves with the tools.
PS is there a vid out there which shows the trad way we were taught all those years ago? Can't say I've ever seen one.
 

Jacob

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Trevanion":wx3nxnpx said:
You should record it and post it up, Jacob. Might make for interesting viewing.
I might take a few snaps. It's all a bit informal - I just volunteered it as a fund raiser, possibly a bit of a laugh, ending in the pub.
If I was going to film it I'd want to set it up really carefully and be director and editor with total control!

PS this time Alzheimers, next time https://www.tfsr.org/ perhaps. Looks a really good idea, could collect donations and old tools. Get rid of some of mine too.
 

Sean Hellman

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The Norton India stones are certainly the better ones out there, I have about 20 oil stones of this type. Definitely buy from Classic Hand Tools, great people and great service. They do seem to glaze over in time, some are definitely harder than others. I have found that the best way to freshen them up or flatten them is by using a loose grit 40 grit or so, for example, aluminium oxide. Sharp sand is slow and a pain. I do not use any fluid just dry and you will need to add more grit as the stuff does wear out.
Although I can get a sharp edge with the fine side I always want to go finer. It has been proved that a refined polished edge will stay sharper than one done say just with a 600 or even 1000 grit abrasive.
So stropping, the number of old boys who said they stropped on their hands is huge, and these are blokes who had mast making apprenticeships in Devonport dock etc. I always poo-pooed this as I always strop on leather with a fine polishing compound. I have had reason to do this recently and it is possible without cutting your hand and it can help to get rid of that wire or foil edge.
 

Jacob

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Sean Hellman":14i36ukx said:
The Norton India stones are certainly the better ones out there, I have about 20 oil stones of this type. Definitely buy from Classic Hand Tools, great people and great service. They do seem to glaze over in time, some are definitely harder than others. I have found that the best way to freshen them up or flatten them is by using a loose grit 40 grit or so, for example, aluminium oxide. Sharp sand is slow and a pain. I do not use any fluid just dry and you will need to add more grit as the stuff does wear out.
Although I can get a sharp edge with the fine side I always want to go finer. It has been proved that a refined polished edge will stay sharper than one done say just with a 600 or even 1000 grit abrasive.
So stropping, the number of old boys who said they stropped on their hands is huge, and these are blokes who had mast making apprenticeships in Devonport dock etc. I always poo-pooed this as I always strop on leather with a fine polishing compound. I have had reason to do this recently and it is possible without cutting your hand and it can help to get rid of that wire or foil edge.
Surprised you use them dry - isn't that why they glaze over? Any fluid will do - it helps float off the swarf. I freshen mine with a 3m Diapad - only takes a few seconds. Other things will do it - wet n dry, or another small piece of coarse stone etc. I strop on my hand too - not sure why but it feels OK! I do it on leather if I feel the need. I tend to chop and change the way I do things, for no good reason.
 

Sean Hellman

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Jacob, I do not use fluid when flattening the stones, just loose grit. I use baby oil on all my oil stones when sharpening. Sorry not to state that clearly.
John Juranitch wrote a book on sharpening years ago, The razor edge book of sharpening, and he states very clearly never to use oil on an oil stone as it will degrade the edge. I do not know what oil stone he uses, but I know the ones I have will glaze. Unless a stones bonding is friable then the surface will glaze, even diamond stones work better with cutting fluid. So I do not understand his reasoning.
 
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