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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi, :smile:
I went through most of the sharpening threads, and noticed some of you use Norton stones, but since those threads were not about Norton per se, I was hoping you would share your thoughts on these stones here.

Since the web-auction market for used tools isn't very big over here, I buy most of my tools either new or at flea-markets.
The cutters on some of the new ones -like a Stanley 151 and a Stanley 78- don't really have a useable finish, and in the #151's case it was even slightly warped (the same goes for the soles, but that's not the issue here. But it makes me wonder if they really are Stanleys), and some flea-market finds are pitted and warped and what have you.
So, that means alot of flattening to be done on the backs.
My setup is:
-150grit Black Silica paper
-A coarse/fine combo water/oil stone of unknown origin that I use with WD-40.
-1000, 4000 and 8000 Norton.
-An Extra Coarse/Coarse DMT for flattening the Nortons.

I absolutely love the Nortons, despite their frequent need of flattening (I flatten them before flattening the back, and then again before working the bevel. It doesn't take very much though.)
Since I like them so much, I decided to relieve the nameless coarse stone and substitute it with a Norton 220 grit for initial back flattening.
However, it seems that the Norton 220 wasn't up for the task, whatever I'm trying to flatten just seems to roll around on the slurry.
It works sort of OK on a narrow bevel, but it seems really fragile and wears easily. :huh:
Is this only a problem with certain batches, or are all 220's like this?

Also, have any of you ever worn out a DMT used for flattening waterstones? If so, how long did it take? (I'm not using the serrated flattener, it's a regular diamond benchstone)
 

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glh17
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Flattening the backs of chisels and plane irons that are badly out of flat has got to be the least enjoyable task of a woodworker. Sanding is more enjoyable to me, and I hate to sand.

I have a 220g/1000g Norton combination, but I don't think I've ever used the 220 side. I use a granite slab with progressive grits of wet/dry paper or the course side of DMT duo diamond stone. After I've flatten the back I continue to polish with finer Norton stones or continue through about 1500g on wet/dry paper. Fortunately, I haven't had to flatten the back of anything for a while. When sharpening, I remove the wire edge with an 8000g Norton water stone.

Be careful when you move from the stone you use the wd 40 on to your water stones. You don't want the wd 40 to contaminate your water stones. I use water on my wet/dry sandpaper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Be careful when you move from the stone you use the wd 40 on to your water stones. You don't want the wd 40 to contaminate your water stones. I use water on my wet/dry sandpaper.
Yup, eliminating the "alcohol wipedown step" of whatever I'm sharpening is partly the reason why I wanted a Norton (plus I thought it would work better). The combo stone sits in a cold workshop all winter, and obviously if I used it with water it would crack.
 

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stones

I've had similar experience to yours with my North 220. As was said, the back flattening is really a chore. I've had very good success with my Worksharp since I bought it and has made a nasty job a LOT easier. I realize that it's expensive but it truly has "paid for itself" by time saved. I'd strongly suggest it if you have the funds.
 

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I just got my first waterstone today. I had a Woodcraft giftcard I just 'had' to use, so I went and got a Norton 1000/8000 stone, and for flattening I use 400 grit wet/dry on a granite block (also from Woodcraft). I spend a couple of hours this afternoon flattening / sharpening some chisels and plane blade, and so far I really like using the stone. Only problem is that it is really messy, so next time I use it I will probably just use a piece of 3/4 ply on a couple of saw horses instead of do the sharpening on my workbench.
 
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