The Washita Thread

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They're nice eh! The jury is still out on where the colour comes from, with some people thinking it's discolouration through use. Though I'm not sure I buy that tbh, my hunch is that this stone is that colour all the way through and has always been like that. I've never heard of someone managing to degrease one to pure white for instance, and there are plenty of very old and well used trans arks out there with no discolouration whatsoever.

Not that they act any differently. It's basically exactly the same as a good quality translucent, but prettier.
Translucents are as white inside as an Oreo, if you get one freshly cracked open. And the butterscotch is shallower than people think. Washita and softs it goes deeper, of course.

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Translucents are as white inside as an Oreo, if you get one freshly cracked open. And the butterscotch is shallower than people think. Washita and softs it goes deeper, of course.

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Ah yeah, I remember seeing that pic of yours before. You’ve inspired me to go do some investigatin’!

I’m still not 100% convinced by it* but watch this space on the morrow...

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* Spoiler alert. I’ll say now - there is definitely some colour in my stone that hasn’t come from anything else.
 
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Here is a couple of group photos of the Washitas I have tried, from top to bottom in the first picture: 1) Lily White from Ebay, got it luckily with end label (which the seller forget to photograph for some reason), saying its Soft, fast cutting grit - Oli already wrote a report about it earlier in this thread, its one of the very best natural stones for edge sharpening I have ever tried, I really, really love it! 2) The Tomahawk brand stone 3) A very hard and dense stone I bought more or less incidentaly on Ebay along with some coticules which were my main target that time, it was actually the stone which turned my attention towards Washitas...It took ages until I got it completely flat with my old, worn atoma, but it was really sweet, with a wide range and provided lovely edges, I sold to a good friend of mine who liked it similarly as I did, its the second best edge finisher after the LW mentioned above 4) an Ebay stone which has been selected by the seller as the fastest of a batch he had for sale, but it was actually pretty slow, at least compared to any other Washita on this picture, it was simply nothing special and I sold it 5) the WWD

But guys, please, tell me one thing! We all know that Washitas are generally known as oilstones, but can also by used with water, although most people prefer to use them with oil...But can somebody explain me why? Or better, I would like to hear the opinions of the particular people why they are using them with oil rather than with water...

Of course, I know that the surface can be burnished pretty easily and quickly, especially in the harder and finer specimens, so that the stone would then stop cutting and become super slow...or do almost nothing...And oil should help to keep the stone cutting...

I am also aware that oil should prevent the stone surface from clogging with the swarf particles which might again decrease its speed and efficiency...So, what I am typically doing is raising a little bit of slurry using my worn Atoma 600...I know that I have tried only a little fraction of Washitas as compared to some experienced guys like @cotedupy , @Desert Rat , @stringer , @Legion74 and others, barely those 5 pieces above, but IMO, it was a relatively representative selection for what Washitas can offer, ranging from very soft and fast stones with a low SG up to very hard and fine stones...

And I can only say that every single stone had a totally lovely feedback when used with that little of generated slurry...Even the lower quality ones which had somewhat inconsistent grit and feeled rather unpleasant when used with oil...And of course, every single stone I have tried this way worked definitely faster than it worked with oil...One may argue - but this way you will wear down the stone quickly! Yeah, that would certainly be true with something like some softer coticule where one would just burn money this way...But is that really an issue with something THAT hard and rather cheap like Washitas? Especially when the amount of material which gets lost is really minimal, using for instance that worn Atoma 600 (and actually, when working with such fast and softer stones like the WWD, creating of slurry is not necessary at all, its fully sufficient to just refresh the surface lightly)? I don't think so, to be honest...And raising that little amount of slurry solves also that eventual clogging problem (which, all the more, is maybe not that serious, when I once compared the WWD stone when used with water and then with oil, there was optically a much more significant clogging when used with the latter) as you always get some fresh grit which ensures that the stone will cut quickly...

And one can always use the stone with just water to finish the work and refine the edges...I typically do this for instance with my beloved LW and get really excellent edges this way...And of course, the water management is also easier with water, using a sprinkler with water, at least for me...And you don't get that bloody slippery surface with water as if you use the stone with oil...

Simply - I don't see there any significant arguments against using Washitas with just water (of course, with a little of generated slurry), but, on the other hand, I see there some advantages! But would really appreciate everybody's input to this topic, as I mentioned, I am far from being an experienced Washita user...

And last but not least, I would like to thank publicly @cotedupy and @ethompson for their kindness and help with obtaining some of the above mentioned stones and even saving me money for custom duties - the WWD seller didn't ship outside US at all, but Edward kindly offered to forward the stone to me, the same applies for Oli who even forwarded me two stones and, moreover, shared with me a lot of his knowledge about Washitas!
For a time Smith's recommended water, probably before they came out with their own honing oil.

I don't use slurry but I could see where you might prefer water with slurry. A slurry probably prevents the stone from glazing and keeps the surface fresh and your getting good contact between stone and steel.

I will flip back and forth between water and oil. Not using a slurry I think oil is faster on a Washita if I have much work to do or using pressure, with light pressure I think water (with a little dish soap) is faster and even the hard arks will have some feedback.

That's just my opinion and it's worth exactly what you paid for it.
 
For a time Smith's recommended water, probably before they came out with their own honing oil.

I don't use slurry but I could see where you might prefer water with slurry. A slurry probably prevents the stone from glazing and keeps the surface fresh and your getting good contact between stone and steel.

I will flip back and forth between water and oil. Not using a slurry I think oil is faster on a Washita if I have much work to do or using pressure, with light pressure I think water (with a little dish soap) is faster and even the hard arks will have some feedback.

That's just my opinion and it's worth exactly what you paid for it.
How come you don't use slurry? I'm not as familiar with Arks/Washita but I'd assume it would cut faster with a slurry...polishing reactions or final edge preference?
 
Arkansas slurry is very fast cutting, also very hard on diamond plates.

Arks fall into three main use cases for me.
  1. Washita coarse edge work
  2. Deburring (anything from washita to soft/new "hard" dark grey Arks)
  3. Razor finishing (black, translucent, old real hard Arks)
Most of the cutting niche these provide is dictated by surface prep and pressure, due to the hardness of the mineral itself.

I suppose I could slurry a Washita to make it cut faster but it should already be pretty fast. I moderate the level of refinement with pressure, and that creates a broader range of options than a synthetic stone. Adding slurry means I'm working only fast and coarse, but it's easy enough to rinse off and keep refining. Don't see any reason not to, other than diamond plate abuse.

Deburring, I'm only there for a few edge leading swipes. Slurry would be counter productive.

For razors, I've carefully prepped the surface to a given level of polish through a series of SiC powders, and using a diamond plate to make slurry would spoil that work.

A translucent Ark slurry is surprisingly fast. I can set a bevel with it pretty easily. The stone is like 99.9% silica, the main abrasive in Jnats (I think). It's even-grained, so grinding is also consistent. But it'll kill the diamond plate and then I need to re-prep the surface for razors. Arks offer about the highest level of refinement you can get out of natural razor finishers, so the surface prep is pretty important.
 
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@captaincaed @deltaplex very helpful, thank you. Didn't think about what a PITA purposely raising mud would be on them. My head was in the Belgian space of slurry then dilute.

Well see buddy, clearly what you need is a new Arkansas stone to play with. Self-learning and all that. I recommend starting with a soft. :)
 
I even got a washita not too long ago but have only used it once :/
Rectified this, and have now seen the light.

VG7 finished on my little Washita just outperformed a fresh coti ginsan edge on tomatoes. Yeah that was not a huge shock and I'm playing to toothy strengths, but it's the only thing I had around.
 
Rectified this, and have now seen the light.

VG7 finished on my little Washita just outperformed a fresh coti ginsan edge on tomatoes. Yeah that was not a huge shock and I'm playing to toothy strengths, but it's the only thing I had around.
The beauty with sharpening on a real good washita is that it makes you want to try sharpening on all of them
 

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