Question about a Norton India stone.

Discussion in 'Hones/Honing' started by Mlee, Jul 16, 2019.

    I found this India Fine stone a couple of weeks ago. Will it be good for bevel setting and if so should I use mineral oil or soap and water on it? Thanks

  1. I would not use it personally. It's something like 400 grit which is more coarse than you want for this sort of thing unless you have damage. They are more suited for knives and chisels/plane blades. They're coarse, they like a bit of pressure to cut which razors don't. I am sure there is more ppl can chime in with.
  2. duke762

    duke762 Contributor

    Good work horse stone for knives and tools but like kcb said, only as a last resort on a already damaged razor. Say like a big chip etc. Mineral oil for these babies, WD 40 will work also. I do keep a small, cleaned up one in the kitchen drawer for knife touch up's and I only use soap and water on that one because I'm not working it hard enough to load it up. I fuss over all my non razor hones just like all the others. Simple green bath and lapping. On India's and Carbo's, I call them an oil change. Lapping them is a challenge. I use silica sand and concrete to flatten them.
  3. As I recall, Norton stones (except for the natural Arkansaw stones) are pre-soaked with oil. You should continue to use mineral oil on them.
  4. At some point in time, Norton India stones came in coarse, medium, fine. Other terms were also used, like quickcut. The Fine versions, when clean, could serve as a bevel setter if the surface is lapped flat and finish lapped to a higher degree than normal. The follow up work will be extensive, compared to when using a typical 1k, but it’ll work. That one needs a week in a simple green bath first, then a full lapping. Then test. Oil is best on them.
  5. Yep, Oil.

    If memory serves, Fine India is used interchangeably with soft arkansas in tri-stone sets... so 400x from a whetstone perspective isn't really accurate (That's based on particle size and oilstones behave very different from whetstones). I find them too fine to be good for chip removal on razors. I'd say, as Gamma did, they're more in the beveler camp (Comparable to 1-2k whetstones). That said, Not ideal... but I don't know that they're any worse than a low end whetstone, like a King 1k.

    Basically... if you slurried an India fine, it'd probably be around 400x. Used with oil, it behaves far finer.
  6. Thanks for the replies @vacman @Gamma @SliceOfLife . I will probably go ahead and clean it up and try it on one of my beaters with mineral oil. If I don't like it, I can use it for knives.
  7. It's not really a good idea to try and apply grit, like we use with, say - a Naniwa Super Stone, to an India stone. I think the particle size, in theory, for the fine India is about 30 µm, so yeah - on the GUGC that's roughly 400x. On another scale that might be 800x though. I remember talking to a tech at Saint Gobain and his number was 360x. But, the particle size isn't the deciding comparator here. Remember, particle size is a fabricated concept based on a spherical model that doesn't really exist. Anyway - factors that do matter, particle shape, binder,, surface condition, honing medium, pressure. I would place most fine inda behind most soft Arks most of the time.
  8. That end pic you can see how course it is. I wouldn't put a razor on it. It would be hard to remove the stiaits going to leave on a bevel.
  9. That end pic shows the difference that Keith was talking about that comes from lapping to a different level. Look at the difference between the top surface and the end surface. The end is exactly as the hone comes from the factory - a very coarse lap. They do this because their interest is best served by getting the hone flattened as quickly as possible. After some use, the stone becomes effectively finer - as can be seen on the top surface.

    I wouldn't hesitate to try the fine India as a bevel setter if it's all you've got, just be sure it's not coarsely lapped first. Personally I prefer loose grit for lapping most hones with a hard bond (India, SiC, etc.) as in my experience it keeps them cutting quickly and readily. Lapping with a diamond plate or wet/dry produces a more "flat" abrasive surface that doesn't cut as readily and needs more pressure while honing to cut as effectively.

    And yes, absolutely use oil.
  10. LJS


    A more extreme example of what difference lapping can do for example. There so many variables and factors really:

  11. Surface prep is key here. I like a medium when properly dressed. A fine was a little redundant for me as my lily white was more usefull in that capacity, but could fill that gap if it was all you had.
  12. Actually, it's impossible to tell how coarse it is by looking at it. I have Washita that are coarser than that India, and I've set bevels on them. The end stamp says fine which puts it in a fairly usable position as a lower-grit bevel setter. Not an optimum choice but it'll work decently enough. A Carborundum 118 is similar; workable but not my first choice. For someone on an extreme budget or with limited resources, finding a fine India with a bargain/flea-market price can help get things rolling. Dressing the stone to handle the task at hand is mandatory.

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