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With both stones (India and Crystolon) the surface has to be reconditioned sooner or later, maybe you can then put loose sic powder between the two stones and rub them against each other?! Only for conditioning the surface, not for flattening. See the discussion on flattening with the "3 stone method".
I have done this with coarse and medium Crystolons when thinning. It worked well.

I had a coarse/fine combo Crystolon and purchased the medium specifically to have a second Crystolon to use as a rub stone with and without SiC powder. The medium is a nice stone too. I don't have much use for the fine side of the combo and would not replace that one.
 
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For your use, I'd suggest a Crystolon.

Do you find Crystolons dish a little more than Indias? IME their composition is just a little bit softer (though still very hard obviously).
 
Couldn't let you all have all the fun with the Nortons. Got a course India.

Just got it so comments not based on much.

Likes.
No slurry in normal use so no haze above the contact line.
Faster in bevel setting than the 220 stones I have.
Feels better than you would think for a course stone. Does not feel like any water stones I have.
Hard.
Biggest like. The edge is very crispy for a stone in the low 100 grit range.

Dislikes.
Skaty on hard carbon ( 65+ rockwell )
Oil.

For me the whole oil thing doesn't work. Luckily the stone seems to work with water. That said I have no idea if this will cause it to glaze or dull early.

For conditioning I tried a 140 diamond plate. As some have said, its too smooth and slows the stone way down. I also needed to set the bevels on some new knives fresh out of the forge and the high rockwell steel ( 65 ) at 90 degrees did crack the abrasives making the stone fast again. Maybe that's another way of dealing with it rather than loose sic.


Thanks guys for inspiring me to try this stone.

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I'm going to chalk this up as a win... finally you have begun to understand the true power of the Dark Side!

(Sorry - I've been watching too much Star Wars lately.)

On a more serious note, obviously all of these stones - Indias and Crystolons - can be used with either water or oil. And I find the difference in effect between the two is barely noticeable on the coarse stones. In fact I often use water on the coarse ones, on fines and Mediums I tend to prefer oil. But really it's just personal preference. I don't think a coarse India will glaze or clog any faster if you're using with water - work away.

Glad you like! Though it doesn't surprise me; they're such good stonesat what they're for, that I think anybody would be able to recognise that, and particularly someone who makes knives professionally, and does a lot of sharpening.
 
Do you find Crystolons dish a little more than Indias? IME their composition is just a little bit softer (though still very hard obviously).
Yes. Especially the coarse one. I believe it's because the SiC is easier to fracture than the AlOx. My old restaurant had one of those tri-stone deals, very old. 1930-early 1950's? Wasn't a Norton branded one. The coarse and medium Crystolon's needing replacing, severely dished and too thin. The fine India was nearly flat.
 
Yes. Especially the coarse one. I believe it's because the SiC is easier to fracture than the AlOx. My old restaurant had one of those tri-stone deals, very old. 1930-early 1950's? Wasn't a Norton branded one. The coarse and medium Crystolon's needing replacing, severely dished and too thin. The fine India was nearly flat.

Ah yeah - that chimes with my impressions then. I have a Norton Coarse and Fine Crystolon combi and after heavy use for a couple of years I've managed to dish it a bit in a way I don't think I ever could with an India.

Fine Indias in particular are extraordinarily hard, and not just because people use them with lighter pressure. I found this out to my cost when I tried to take two inches off one and shape it to make a combi with a washita - that was an insane undertaking. Though once I'd started I had to see it through!
 
Ah yeah - that chimes with my impressions then. I have a Norton Coarse and Fine Crystolon combi and after heavy use for a couple of years I've managed to dish it a bit in a way I don't think I ever could with an India.

Fine Indias in particular are extraordinarily hard, and not just because people use them with lighter pressure. I found this out to my cost when I tried to take two inches off one and shape it to make a combi with a washita - that was an insane undertaking. Though once I'd started I had to see it through!
Diamond tip tile cutter. Got it. 😂
 
Diamond tip tile cutter. Got it. 😂

Definitely angle grinder territory.


Do you find Crystolons dish a little more than Indias?

I've only tried Crystolon... recently! I was surprised at how "quickly" the coarse side dished. In an absolute sense it dished slowly. But I had high (unrealistic) expectations for it being dish resistant. I didnt expect to see evidence of dishing early on... but it was there. The way swarf stained a dry stone. No doubt... fractions of a millimetre... and nothing that would concern me at all! But dishing nonetheless!
 
Obviously, the Norton India were widespread in many forms, also in Germany.

Here is a photo of a Norton India scythe whetstone, some of which are offered for sale by a private seller in Germany.
 

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I can make my big Crystolon stones in my Norton tri hones self slurry like crazy. They are all old stones so Nortons. I wonder if they break down over time or if it isn't just the larger stones having more surface area? The tendency to use more pressure on the larger stones might play a role also.
The India's don't self slurry like that.
 
I can make my big Crystolon stones in my Norton tri hones self slurry like crazy. They are all old stones so Nortons. I wonder if they break down over time or if it isn't just the larger stones having more surface area? The tendency to use more pressure on the larger stones might play a role also.
The India's don't self slurry like that.
Silicon Carbide (Crystolon's) fracture easier than Aluminum Oxide (India's).
 
For me the whole oil thing doesn't work. Luckily the stone seems to work with water. That said I have no idea if this will cause it to glaze or dull early.

For all of my "oil" stones I use this:

- 1 part pharmaceutical-grade mineral oil
- 4 parts water
- about 1/2 part (or less) Dawn dish soap -- just enough to keep things mixed

Works great. Very clean.
 
Just got mine. Did a quick tune up on my EDC knife with mineral oil. I’ve been pretty rough on this knife lately, using it for all kinds of non-knife things. It put a workable edge on it in short order, but I think it might be a little too coarse for my kitchen knives.
 
I have one of the ace hardware brand silicon carbide, crystolon knock offs. I bought it after I got my india, because i was so happy with it. I figure i should give one of the SiC stones a try. I was very disappointed with it. It hardly releases new abrasive at all. Glazes very quickly.

I've been wanting to give one of the actual crystolons a try, but have put off buying one for a while. Maybe I'll go do that now.
 
I hate to be that guy but..... New out of the box the Norton India used with water is noticeably faster than a Shapton Kuromaku 220. After setting bevels on 10 knives ( mixed trash steel, AEBL and 52100 ), its about 4 times slower. Seems the stone is hard enough that it doesn't release enough fresh abrasive to stay at max performance. It might be this slowing tendency would be less pronounced with oil but when I tried it with oil, because I am using waterstones after, the time it takes to clean the oil off the blade is not worth it.

I tried refreshing the surface with a 140 diamond plate. As several have said, this makes it worse. My understanding is it takes some very low loose grit on glass to refresh the surface. Will try this but for me, the self refreshing aspect of a stone is pretty clutch. I mean I'll barely use soakers because of the extra effort.

I'm glad I tried it. Its an interesting stone that leaves an amazing edge for its grit, just not sure its for me.
 
I hate to be that guy but..... New out of the box the Norton India used with water is noticeably faster than a Shapton Kuromaku 220. After setting bevels on 10 knives ( mixed trash steel, AEBL and 52100 ), its about 4 times slower. Seems the stone is hard enough that it doesn't release enough fresh abrasive to stay at max performance. It might be this slowing tendency would be less pronounced with oil but when I tried it with oil, because I am using waterstones after, the time it takes to clean the oil off the blade is not worth it.

I tried refreshing the surface with a 140 diamond plate. As several have said, this makes it worse. My understanding is it takes some very low loose grit on glass to refresh the surface. Will try this but for me, the self refreshing aspect of a stone is pretty clutch. I mean I'll barely use soakers because of the extra effort.

I'm glad I tried it. Its an interesting stone that leaves an amazing edge for its grit, just not sure its for me.
Try rubbing a crap knife or some kind of steel across it really hard.
 
I may have asked before but this thread is an opportunity for current experience. Any direct experience with both the Sharpening Supplies XL Oil Stone Fine and the Norton India Fine, either current or vintage? I like the fact that the SS stones are Made in USA still and I've been meaning to get one if they compare favorably.
 
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I hate to be that guy but..... New out of the box the Norton India used with water is noticeably faster than a Shapton Kuromaku 220. After setting bevels on 10 knives ( mixed trash steel, AEBL and 52100 ), its about 4 times slower. Seems the stone is hard enough that it doesn't release enough fresh abrasive to stay at max performance. It might be this slowing tendency would be less pronounced with oil but when I tried it with oil, because I am using waterstones after, the time it takes to clean the oil off the blade is not worth it.

I tried refreshing the surface with a 140 diamond plate. As several have said, this makes it worse. My understanding is it takes some very low loose grit on glass to refresh the surface. Will try this but for me, the self refreshing aspect of a stone is pretty clutch. I mean I'll barely use soakers because of the extra effort.

I'm glad I tried it. Its an interesting stone that leaves an amazing edge for its grit, just not sure its for me.
I never noticed the shapton 220 glazing. It actually releases grit quite readily when I use it. Its still not particularly fast in my experience though. Not many redeeming qualities to that stone if I'm honest. The fine india is much faster, and seems to leave a better finish.

If I have any advice it's going to be use more pressure on that stone, also if anyone is going to get a low grit shapton make it the 120. And definitely use more pressure with that one. Once it gets a slurry going it tends to keep releasing more abrasive.
 
I may have asked before but this thread is an opportunity for current experience. Any direct experience with both the Sharpening Supplies XL Oil Stone Fine and the the Norton India Fine, either current or vintage? I like the fact that the SS stones are Made in USA still and I've been meaning to get one if they compare favorably.
I'd say nearly identical. If you were blindfolded you couldn't tell. The coloring is similar but different enough to tell them apart side by side.
 
I hate to be that guy but..... New out of the box the Norton India used with water is noticeably faster than a Shapton Kuromaku 220. After setting bevels on 10 knives ( mixed trash steel, AEBL and 52100 ), its about 4 times slower. Seems the stone is hard enough that it doesn't release enough fresh abrasive to stay at max performance. It might be this slowing tendency would be less pronounced with oil but when I tried it with oil, because I am using waterstones after, the time it takes to clean the oil off the blade is not worth it.

I tried refreshing the surface with a 140 diamond plate. As several have said, this makes it worse. My understanding is it takes some very low loose grit on glass to refresh the surface. Will try this but for me, the self refreshing aspect of a stone is pretty clutch. I mean I'll barely use soakers because of the extra effort.

I'm glad I tried it. Its an interesting stone that leaves an amazing edge for its grit, just not sure its for me.

If you want to use with water I would try degreasing it fully. I use one of my coarse Crystolons with water, and this effect was much less marked once I had got all of the original oil out of it. It may not feel oily atm, but if you degrease it then I suspect you might notice that it was oil-filled...
 
If you want to use with water I would try degreasing it fully. I use one of my coarse Crystolons with water, and this effect was much less marked once I had got all of the original oil out of it. It may not feel oily atm, but if you degrease it then I suspect you might notice that it was oil-filled...
TLDR, whats the most efficent way to flatten the stone, if it becomes not flat.
 
Sorry I wasn't clear. The Shapton 220 doesn't glaze. If anything it refreshes its abrasive a little too fast.
Ah ok. Well anyway. I agree. The norton india stones are definitely faster.
 
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