Care of Norton stones


October 31, 2010, 06:52 AM
Hi everyone.
This is my first post on here. I have spent hours going through previous posts and the wealth of knowledge is superb on here.
I have followed the advice of SM (thanks for all the great teachings Steve!) and I have bought myself a Norton IB6 stone to sharpen all my knives. One question that I can't find an answer to is, do you clean the stone afterwards or do you just let the metal deposits build up? I use the stone dry, but after sharpening a small hatchet the grey deposits seem to just make the fine side smooth.
So what do you guys do?

Thanks in advance.

If you enjoyed reading about "Care of Norton stones" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
October 31, 2010, 07:18 AM
I'm assuming you have a good sized bench stone. Find yourself a small tupperwear or rubbermaid container and store the stone in kerosene (cheaper than cutting oil and just as good). What happens is that the small metal particles are clogging the stone. The stones are called oilstones for a reason. When you are ready to use one, take it out of the container, wipe it off, and then after setting it down on whatever surface you are going to use (I have a piece of rubber conveyor belt material on my benchtop to keep it from scooting around) dribble a few drops of kerosene or cutting oil on the top of the stone, then sharpen for a while and wipe with a coarse towel. Put a few more drops on, the sharpen some more and repeat. The cutting oil or kerosene doesn't lubricate, it keeps the steel suspended in a slurry so you can wipe it off and expose the grit on the stone. Try that and see if it doesn't help. When you are using an oilstone you always want a wet slurry of metal and oil on the top of the stone. When it's dry is when the trouble starts. But you already found that out.

October 31, 2010, 10:10 AM
Gotta clean'em or they get "clogged". I agree with sniper5 that kerosene is the traditional cleaning fluid for stones, but just about anything will do. If you oil and wipe like he explains it should keep it free of debris.

The waterstone folks know they have to flatten their stones and that's probably a lesson that everyone should learn as well. Of course, it will take a lot of sharpening to "swayback" a Norton, but keep an eye on it.

October 31, 2010, 11:13 AM
Thank you gentlemen.
I had read somewhere that you can use them dry, but I guess I read it wrong.
Everyday is a learning curve...


October 31, 2010, 12:15 PM
sniper5 gives a nice rundown.

You can use them dry, but you'll get superior performance by using lubrication. Oil prevents "loading" of the stone with particles, and keeps the cut clean and uniform.

I also use kerosene to clean my stones because it's cheap and effective.

If you enjoyed reading about "Care of Norton stones" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!