New norton india combo cleanup

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Hi All,

Getting my first norton india combo stone later today. I hear the new ones come gunked up with some oil/waxy filling. I'd like to use it with water so I'm assuming I need to strip this out. I've seen something about leaving it out in the sun to get enough of it out, but the weather here is turning cool and I'm not waiting for spring. What are some other "reasonable" ways to clean these out?
 
It's impregnated with a substance similar to (or exactly) petroleum jelly. Here's a good thread about Crystolons that would also apply to Indias:

https://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/threads/how-to-use-nortons-crystolon.54603/
If you're fully set on removing the oil from it, you basically need to keep it heated for a bit in some water to have the oil flow out and separate above the stone. That's also documented in a thread somewhere...here it is:

https://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/threads/the-greatest-sharpening-stone-in-the-world.57999/page-7
Also has a ton of discussion around Indias
 
Thx, I had read through most of that "greatest stone in the world" thread and there were a couple of very interesting suggestions on how to get it clean. I was looking for something that fell into the easy and wasn't particularly wasteful, I suppose I can go grab a pan from goodwill to sacrifice if that's the best way.

I'm assuming you need to remove the oil from it if you want to use it as a water stone?
 
I don't use mine with water regularly but I have and I don't strip them first. In my mind, the impregnated oil might help prevent glazing and clogging when using with water.

It will feel dry when you get it, meaning there isn't like an oily film covering it. Give it a try first and see what you think.

That said, if you go that route, keep them segregated from water stones and thoroughly clean your knife before going to water stones just to be sure you don't bring any oil.
 
That's interesting, if you can still use it as a water stone with the petroleum in it, then why is everybody stripping it out?

I suspect just to eliminate the oil contamination concerns but not really sure. I've asked before but not sure I ever saw an answer.

Again, I don't use mine with water routinely so take my input with a grain of salt.
 
Thx, I had read through most of that "greatest stone in the world" thread and there were a couple of very interesting suggestions on how to get it clean. I was looking for something that fell into the easy and wasn't particularly wasteful, I suppose I can go grab a pan from goodwill to sacrifice if that's the best way.

I'm assuming you need to remove the oil from it if you want to use it as a water stone?
I recently got a brand new India combo stone. I use it with water mixed with a tiny bit of soap. I haven't done anything to it other than use it. Works for me.
 
i removed as much as possible from mine (without boiling it in organic solvent or something), but i actually haven't used it since because all of my knives have only needed touch ups on finer stones.

@deltaplex linked to my experiment above (split up into a few posts). there's a video clip of how porous the stone is... water just falls through it when it's degreased.

my final thoughts are here:

oh, it definitely retains moisture. excess just might not pool on the surface anymore since it's such a porous stone.

i'll see how it is to sharpen on. it will be funny if i decide i liked it more in a partially-degreased state. i guess i could add a little back in if i really want.

it's possible that the stone actually works best with water when it's still jelly-filled, but the surface has been stripped. that way, water can soak in just a bit to interact with the surface to lube the knife and clean the swarf out. 🤷‍♂️

i wish i could tell you how to best prepare the stone for use with water, but i don't think it's a settled thing. my theory is that it might be best partially degreased.

to do this, you could try a simple green soak.

you can also try pouring some tea kettles of boiling water over the stone outside to wash out some of the grease. i think that's the easiest/fastest way. don't worry, you won't get all of it out by doing that.
 
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It is designed to work with oil. They put the stuff in the stone to keep the oil from soaking through.

I used oil for years. After sharpening use soap and water to clean the oil off. Always worked for me.
 
If all the oil and petroleum were stripped out I don't think they would work very well as a water stone. They are not like a proper water stone that gets saturated, and then the water pools on top. Water would just run right through an non oiled India, and it would not float away the swarf. And since they are not at all friable the surface would just glaze up in no time.
 
I will switch back and forth between oil and, soap and water sometimes. Dish soap added to the water for a wetting agent or to approximate the viscosity of oil. I don't strip them unless it's an old stone like Stringer says.
 
I don't want anything with oil or fat even in the neighbourhood of my waterstones. So, yes, oil gets boiled out with a bit of detergent.
 
Here's why I strip the old ones.

Here is a lot I just got in from the bay.

Screenshot_20221027-160907.png


You can't tell much of anything because they are so dirty. That's the only reason why my low-ball offer won.


One of these is slate and the other one is unknown. I am hoping for an ancient washita.

PXL_20221027_004925446.jpg



Of the other three I figure they are all synthetics. The little skinny one has a Norton mark on it I have never seen before which unfortunately didn't make it through the Simple Green. Still not sure what the stone is.

Screenshot_20221027-161350.png

Turns out one of the ones I thought was synthetic is a Queer Creek in great condition. These are nice stones to have for putting a final polish on a lawnmower blade, machete, axe, etc. Kind of meh for knives.
PXL_20221027_200317410.jpg

One is definitely synthetic. Looks to be Alox/India type.

PXL_20221027_200402255.MP.jpg


The slate is definitely slate. These are hit or miss. Will be interesting to see how it performs.

PXL_20221027_200353657.jpg


Still don't know what this beast is. But I am super stoked about it. Gonna do a few more rounds of stripping.


PXL_20221027_200412379.MP.jpg
PXL_20221027_200408742.jpg

PXL_20221027_200414960.jpg


These are the types of things I strip oil out of. Probanly wouldn't bother for a BNIB stone. If I have issues with water not working I use propylene glycol or dish detergent or oil. I am really comfortable with whatever. I don't worry too much about cross-contamination either. Oil will stain water stones but I haven't noticed that the stains affect use too much. And I go back and forth between oil and water for coticules and novaculite.
 
Here's why I strip the old ones.

Here is a lot I just got in from the bay.

View attachment 205431

You can't tell much of anything because they are so dirty. That's the only reason why my low-ball offer won.


One of these is slate and the other one is unknown. I am hoping for an ancient washita.

View attachment 205433


Of the other three I figure they are all synthetics. The little skinny one has a Norton mark on it I have never seen before which unfortunately didn't make it through the Simple Green. Still not sure what the stone is.

View attachment 205434
Turns out one of the ones I thought was synthetic is a Queer Creek in great condition. These are nice stones to have for putting a final polish on a lawnmower blade, machete, axe, etc. Kind of meh for knives.
View attachment 205435
One is definitely synthetic. Looks to be Alox/India type.

View attachment 205436

The slate is definitely slate. These are hit or miss. Will be interesting to see how it performs.

View attachment 205440

Still don't know what this beast is. But I am super stoked about it. Gonna do a few more rounds of stripping.


View attachment 205437View attachment 205439
View attachment 205438

These are the types of things I strip oil out of. Probanly wouldn't bother for a BNIB stone. If I have issues with water not working I use propylene glycol or dish detergent or oil. I am really comfortable with whatever. I don't worry too much about cross-contamination either. Oil will stain water stones but I haven't noticed that the stains affect use too much. And I go back and forth between oil and water for coticules and novaculite.
Could the mystery stone be a Hindostan? Any signs of layers on the sides?
 
I've never had a Hindustan. But I do not think so. I am leaning toward washita. But it is more yellow than any washita I have seen. But I honestly don't know.



Kind of looks more sand stoney than novaculite, but a week or two in degreaser will probably clear it up one way or the other.
 
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