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Washita Thread. Show off, discuss, etc.


What grit do you prefer to lap your Washitas and softs to? Do you lap them to the same grit level?
Not sure if you are asking me Duke? But I dress them all the same. The fine side of diamond plate followed up by a chisel. Sometimes I will put two stones together but not often. It's my soft Ark's that are on the harder side that seem to want to burnish the most through use and stop cutting that see the diamond plate the most often.


Asking every one. Thanks for the reply. Is 400 grit good? Higher/ lower? We all seem to obsess and have a favorite solution for black/trans, but don't see much posted grit wise for the heavy lifters.
I don't really know. I am of the opinion that it will kind of settle in and be what it wants to be which is one reason I help it along with the back of a chisel.
A pair of Arkansas Washita stones. A 7” Washita and a 6” Lily White. Washita stones are a versatile hone. Depending on service preparation, they can be as course, equivalent to 300 grit or lapped and burnished to be equivalent to a 7000 grit hone. When that fine, can be used as a finisher to get a “cowboy shave” out of a straight. The Lily White can do the same but this one shows how artistically beautiful a stone label can be. Another lost art that has disappeared with time

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All the old pike labels are beautiful... This all reminds me, I have a washita I was stripping and need to check on..
What grit do you prefer to lap your Washitas and softs to? Do you lap them to the same grit level?
Depends. Good washita are extremely friable and I don't spend time trying to maintain a certain RA past making sure it cuts evenly. In other words, when it clogs in spots, I clear.

After flattening with SIC, I usually lap Washita with a 140 Atoma regularly to keep the top clear and free of sludge/swarf. I 'might' consider using the 400x plate on a harder/finer example, but rarely.

Soft Arks are all over the place - many new soft Arks are so inconsistent across the stone that I don't bother worrying about the surface; lapping one end to 400x will be totally different at the other end. Very HQ soft Arks, like Nortons pure-white 8x2s usually get lapped to 200x on SIC. During use I"ll use the 140x Atome to clear and rejuvenate. If the cutting is irregular then I'll try the 400x. If I need a finer cut I'll use a harder Ark or move to synthetics.

A lot depends on what I'm sharpening and the stone in question.
Softer coarser Washita are way different than the harder finer types and using them for knives/tools or razors sorta dictates which stone, and how the surface would be in an ideal world.

I don't get too fussy with cutlery at the early stages. Razors are another story and I usually only use one particular Washita for straights, and then I skip soft Arks entirely and bounce right to a hard Ark. That's if I am committed to an Ark progression - and that's usually not the case. Right at this moment I don't even have a soft Ark in the 'kit' because it's non-essential at the moment.

For cutlery that is totally toast and in need of a complete edge reprofile, I start off with a 120 synth, then a Washita. I usually don't care too much about which Washita I use at this point; basically, I am only taking off the massive burr I made on the 120x and then polishing a little bit. If I decide to go further with the edge, I might go to a soft Ark, but I'll probably go to a synth 500x. I might choose a hard Ark if I want more polish, or I might go a different route .

Basically, in a nutshell, after much testing and comparing, I've found that a consistently surfaced stone is more important than what grit it was lapped to. Pressure/force rules the cutting action for me. My hardest stones never get lapped past 600x and the softer stones never see finer than 400x, and usually it's more like 140-200x. I did recently take a Transluent a bit higher than 600x, and while it looks nice, objectiverly, the scope shows that it didn't improve anything.
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Yeah when I buy an old kitchen knife at a flea or pocket knife I tend to hit it on the dmt first and then jump to the novaculite of choice be it a washita of a charn


So I pried one of my Woodworkers delights out of the box and on the backside (unused, original coloring) it's pretty clearly a Rosy Red.

My other is still glued in the box, but if it's a LW or RR, it's 100% a Medium Fine Lily White... no chance it's a fast coarse LW or RR.

Based on what I've seen the Soft Fast LW and RR are both FAR rarer than the Fine lily white... and with obvious reason... They're both way way way more friable than the Fine Lily whites. I could work through a RR or Soft LW ten times before I'd put a dent in one of my Fine LW. Frankly I don't think I've seen two washita more on opposite ends of the spectrum than a Medium vs Soft LW. It also kind of explains why when the labeled (or obvious from the pictures) soft LW show up they get much more aggressively fought over than the "typical"LW.
Thanks for the explanation. Helps me understand the personality of one particular LW I have. It is a soft, fast early pike. After a good work out, it is dished a few thousands in the center and need a refreshing lap. I only now seldom use to safe and retain its thickness


A couple eBay pickups.

I've had one or two of these grooved stones before. They always seem pretty decent and seems like a specialty demand for them. I assume they are for curved chisels and gouges? This one just came out of the simple green, so sides should reflect the stones color.

Also got a nice boxed woodworkers delight. It's soaking now. These seem a touch smaller than most 6x2" Nortons, ~5.75x1.75"



Nevermore Will Dcaddo Be.
Washita and soft arks must really be in demand now. Just watching some recent auctions on ebay I saw a soft go for 270 and a 6x2 LW go for 223.


That 6x2" LW was crazy... Really rare era label maybe? It spiked to like $125 right after being listed.

Absolutely no clue on the soft. I don't think I've seen them break $50 before... suddenly bam.
Depends on the washita but 150-400. My RR I keep on side 150, the other 220. My LW I go 220 one side and 400 the other. Just play with it a little and you can dial it in.


Out of the soak, still needs lapped, but looks pretty lily white to me.

Got 8 more stones from my shelf soaking now since the simple green was out. Basically all my washita's I haven't already soaked and that didn't have the labels stuck or were glued in boxes.

edit: lapped the steel off the top for the last pic.


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Ok went Back through my collection.

4” flat LW
8” flat LW
3x 8” LW
8” #1
2x 8” RR
8” boxed with label scraps. Suspect it’s carborundum co label... also suspect it’s a RR.
6” WWD
8” WWD
10” WWD
10” washita
5x8” washita
9” translucent washita