The Washita Thread

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cotedupy

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I'm excited to get this Marketplace find cleaned up...

View attachment 178171


Lovely, lovely, very consistent looking stone. Nice score :).

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Washitas can be glued into stones in a couple of ways. Either with glue, or an old technique using an adhesive putty made from whiting. If it's actually glued in then it's a little tricky to loosen tbh, the older style is easier. But for both you basically want to heat them, and whiting you'd want wet too. Which means... pour very hot but not quite boiling water over it and then start pulling, a thin blade to run between stone and box is useful too. Like all novaculites Washitas are a bit chippy and fragile, so be careful!

Sometimes though you just won't really get anywhere. I have lots of stones that I've done exactly this for, and the boxes are easily repaired after:

I take a sharp thin chisel and try to split the wood on grain near one corner with one stiff mallet blow. Usually the box breaks in a way that I can repair it after I've cleaned the stone.
 

BoSharpens

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Thanks guys, I used some of my mineral oils for now, very fun little thing, couple strokes bring my knife back to paper towel slicing sharp.

Only problem with paper towels in the era of "inflation" is they are getting noticably thinner, almost like toilet paper!!!

I gave up and use Post-It Note paper because it is consistent!

A blade which is "Sharp" without nicks will go thru with some force & noticeable sound.

Sharper blades yet will go through with less & less effort & less & less noise.

Yup it means using judgement, but much of sharpening is judgement & we want to not waste time when we can do so.
 

Logan09

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Here's that rosey red a little better cleaned up. I took the advice of Desert Rat and threw it back in. Let it dry, back in etc.. looks a lot better. It reminds me of a soft Arkansas in appearance, not like the other Washita I have.
20220506_160032.jpg
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20220506_155945.jpg
 

cotedupy

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Here's that rosey red a little better cleaned up. I took the advice of Desert Rat and threw it back in. Let it dry, back in etc.. looks a lot better. It reminds me of a soft Arkansas in appearance, not like the other Washita I have. View attachment 178278 View attachment 178279 View attachment 178280


Excellent, thank you for posting these, very interesting!

To my eye it looks kinda how I expected from the way old the old Pike literature described them, i.e. like quite a pure Washita but with bits of orange-y, pink-y colour coming into parts of it.
 

Desert Rat

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cotedupy

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A couple of super cheap n grimy finds today in town...

This is a coti that’s been pretty much totally worn through to what looks like RdS backing:

5DD7A4AC-CCAA-4DC3-AE9B-A3F8C45701E3.jpeg


And a 9” stone that I *think* is a Washita. Could be an India or something else entirely, we’ll see what comes out in the wash...

D19FC669-2B30-4C7C-91A8-48E9F48FC350.jpeg
 

cotedupy

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Nice rocks.

Cheers hombre!

I know you’ve not been so much of a fan, but that one we swapped is a little unusual. It’s very fine and comparatively slow in comparison to the others there - I imagine I could shave off it quite happily. Which is very cool to have, though not quite as good for knives.

It actually looks a lot like the old TH&Co. Turkey stones, which are about the only labelled ones you ever see nowadays. I’ll see if I can dig up a pic...
 

cotedupy

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A couple of super cheap n grimy finds today in town...

This is a coti that’s been pretty much totally worn through to what looks like RdS backing:

View attachment 179188

And a 9” stone that I *think* is a Washita. Could be an India or something else entirely, we’ll see what comes out in the wash...

View attachment 179187


And after a little scrub down we do indeed have a 9x2" mottled looking old Washita. Very little use on this which is a relief, both sides are almost flat.

Has an SG reading of 2.30 atm, so will be interesting to see if, and by how much this changes after some proper degreasing (@VICTOR J CREAZZI ). I've never really properly looked at this before, just noticed that the SGs usually seem to go down a little as you get oil out.

IMG-7789.JPG



190 x 40 piece of BBW (not RdS), which unfortunately shows something I see quite a lot here in Aus... Cotis seem to have been used predominantly as tool stones, and I've found a number, like this one, that have very weird and uneven wear. This is a kinda wedge shape, with one length (pictured here) having a minimum height of 1cm while the other is half that. It's a thin stone whatever way you spin it, so I'll probably either stick it on a bit of wood, or have a look if I've got anything to make a combi with. Can't complain at $10 Aus though I don't think, and it's got rather a nice hinged box too.

IMG-7786.JPG


IMG-7785.JPG
 

cotedupy

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Well, you think you've seen it all... and then something like this comes along.

IMG-7812.jpg


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IMG-7815.JPG



I've not had an old Washita like this before, and I love it. In an already competitive field, this stone is smoking quick. It's easily the fastest natural stone I have, and even when I throw synths in, it's probably only bested by Crystolons and Indias. Though it still finishes about what I'd consider average for a Washita, maybe on the slightly lower side - 3k ish? I've had coarser, but far slower stones anyway.

And I think that's down to a couple of factors: You can see in the video above that the stone has a very dense concentration of evenly distributed, fine porosity, which is always a nice sign. But also - this notably softer and more friable than any other I've had. And because of that it seems to be acting as much like a Turkey or Calico stone as it does a more typical Washita.

It's been soaking for about 12 hours now, and I'm not seeing the change I'd normally expect in that time. I suspect even after a long time this stone is going to stay with some brown colour in it...
 
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cotedupy

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The penultimate piece of the jigsaw arrived today, which I swapped for with someone on B&B:

IMG-7867.jpg


IMG-7898.JPG



This is a very lightly used 6x2 30s/40s era No.1, with an SG of 2.19. I actually have a labelled, wooden box, 8 inch version of this stone already, but it doesn't fit with my w*nky aesthetic requirements of having them in the old cardboard, so I'll probably put on BST now I have this stone.

You'll notice that in the pics below the style of box for the No.1 and Queer Creek is different from the others. This is how they came in 1935, immediately after Norton bought Pike. Some later versions of these two stones do have the posher cardboard boxes with triangles, but I'm quite happy with the slightly flimsier older ones.

The outlier here is the hard black arkansas. That style of label is slightly later I believe: from 1948 into the '50s (?). It appears that all of these 'Green Label' Hard Arks produced briefly were black, whereas slightly earlier, and later, stones were translucents. These old Norton blacks are pretty rare and expensive nowadays, I was more than a little lucky to find that one on the cheap last year.

IMG-7874 (1).jpg


IMG-7879 (1).jpg
 

cotedupy

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What’s the ultimate piece?

Ha... err... the Norton 'Fastcut'. The original idea was to collect all of the regular range of Norton stones from the 1935 Catalogue here. I was gonna leave out the 'Quickcut' because it's basically a Crystolon I think, but then noticed the FC was described in one part of the catalogue as a type of Hindostan. So obviously I needed that too!

The slight problem being I've never even seen a picture of one outside of this:

Screenshot 2022-05-14 191229.png



Pike FCs exist, and I'm going to be getting one soon from @Skylar303, but that Norton version seems very hard to come by. I assume they discontinued it quite shortly after. But do give a shout if ever you come across one!
 

Desert Rat

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Ha... err... the Norton 'Fastcut'. The original idea was to collect all of the regular range of Norton stones from the 1935 Catalogue here. I was gonna leave out the 'Quickcut' because it's basically a Crystolon I think, but then noticed the FC was described in one part of the catalogue as a type of Hindostan. So obviously I needed that too!

The slight problem being I've never even seen a picture of one outside of this:

View attachment 179526


Pike FCs exist, and I'm going to be getting one soon from @Skylar303, but that Norton version seems very hard to come by. I assume they discontinued it quite shortly after. But do give a shout if ever you come across one!
Strange that catalog is no longer available. Is it just me?

I do find the Hindostan's interesting. I bought one on accident and have enjoyed the stone. It's no Washita though.
 

cotedupy

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Strange that catalog is no longer available. Is it just me?

Same, content issues...


Hmm... yeah no longer available. It was when I posted that a couple of days ago.

If anybody wants - I think I have it saved as a pdf somewhere, and if you ping me your email address I can send over, the file itself is too large to put as an attachment here. It's an interesting one because it's the first catalogue after the Norton rebranding and has an accompanying cover letter explaining about it.
 
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