The Washita Thread

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cotedupy

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Well written and very interesting information.

If you continue to research so successfully then you should write a treatise or a summary on the subject of Norton / Pike and Washita.
Haha, ta. It’s all come from other people originally (yourself, DR who started this thread, and others have been very generous with their knowledge!)

Just thought it might be useful to someone to have a load of info all together in one place :).
 
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captaincaed

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This is the best thread on the forum right now. You all rock. Leaving quickly for work, but yes I'll update on how it works out.

Other fun stuff coming out of grandpa's garage. In bad need of cleaning, but I'm excited to get everything tunes up and ready for another generation.

View attachment 154366
This makes a niiice edge on Ashi white steel. No hesitation in peppers or tomatoes.
 

cotedupy

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Here's an interesting thing on the subject of smaller travel stones...

For a long time Norton produced a 3 x1 3/8"stone called the 'Sportsman' (probably still do), for when you're out and about shooting and skinning animals in the Great American Outdoors.

Nowadays this is a Coarse and Fine India combi, but early versions were a Coarse India and Washita Combi. In the pictures below the product code WIP stands for Washita India Pocketstone.

s-l1600 (1).jpg


s-l1600.jpg
 

cotedupy

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Well blighty is certainly proving a rich hunting ground for old stones...

Noticed a big architectural salvage place on the road this afternoon so popped in. There was a bucket in one of the sheds saying ‘Sharpening Stones £3’, unfortunately there was only one stone in it, but it seemed promising:

33855ABC-DDBF-47DD-816B-863BAA1851A9.jpeg


I wasn’t particularly sure about the stone at that point tbh, especially as it felt quite light. But after a quick clean up...

AEE5676C-E200-4104-84E5-466FE4D9AF77.jpeg


0CCAC8FA-349E-4547-BE1B-AAFF7C03FE88.jpeg


This is another relatively soft, old Washita :). Almost black originally, but you can now see the kinda mottled brown appearance coming through.

Pretty happy with the hit rate I’ve had this week!
 
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Well blighty is certainly proving a rich hunting ground for old stones...

Noticed a big architectural salvage place on the road this afternoon so popped in. There was a bucket in one of the sheds saying ‘Sharpening Stones £3’, though unfortunately there was only one stone in it, but it seemed promising:

View attachment 154800

I wasn’t particularly sure about the stone at that point tbh, especially as it felt quite light. But after a quick clean up...

View attachment 154801

View attachment 154802

This is another quite soft, old Washita :). Almost black originally, but you can now see the kinda mottled brown appearance coming through.

Pretty happy with the hit rate I’ve had this week!
I'm so jealous. I never see any at local places and I antique a lot.
 

KingShapton

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Well blighty is certainly proving a rich hunting ground for old stones...

Noticed a big architectural salvage place on the road this afternoon so popped in. There was a bucket in one of the sheds saying ‘Sharpening Stones £3’, unfortunately there was only one stone in it, but it seemed promising:

View attachment 154800

I wasn’t particularly sure about the stone at that point tbh, especially as it felt quite light. But after a quick clean up...

View attachment 154801

View attachment 154802

This is another relatively soft, old Washita :). Almost black originally, but you can now see the kinda mottled brown appearance coming through.

Pretty happy with the hit rate I’ve had this week!
I definitely live in the wrong country!
 

cotedupy

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So do I clearly; I'd seen people say that old Washitas were very common in the UK, but hadn't realised it was going to be quite like this!

This stone shows something that I've observed often in Washitas, which kinda makes sense... I've soaked it now for about 15 hours and it's almost completely white, whereas I have other stones that have been soaked for weeks but still have lots of dirty old oil in them. Obviously to some extent that's a product of how far it's gone into the stone, how much it's been used &c., but also I think the relative softness and porosity. This one is going to have a SG at the low end of the Washita range, and so degreases very quickly.

I very almost didn't buy it, even at £3, because it felt so light I assumed it must have been SiC. But a guy at the salvage place saw me rubbing it, and gave me a bit of sandpaper so I could get some of the grime off and have a better idea :).

Quite a transformation from the initial pic to this beautiful 8x2:

IMG-3801.jpg
 
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cotedupy

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So do you think you'll have any extras at the end of the holiday? Asking for a friend....

But really that's great luck. More happy hunting!
Haha... Funnily enough a friend asked yesterday if I had any stones to sell, and I'm letting her have that last one above. I have a few back in Aus, need to think about the baggage allowance, and probably don't need all the Washitas in Christendom anyway!

(I may also put a couple of things on BST before I go back, if I can offer to someone pretty cheaply, but still make a couple of quid toward some new atoma sheets... Novaculites kill diamond plates!)
 

cotedupy

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;)...I told you before ...
Ah yes, I do recall... you certainly weren’t joking!

I usually use sanding sheets, or belts, for any particularly heavy duty stuff, and then switch to an Atoma for final flattening. Good quality sandpaper is actually quite durable, whereas cheap stuff is effectively worthless. Though perhaps when I’m back home I’ll get myself some SiC powder too, which seems to be the cheapest way to do it.
 
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Another India stone. Someone took a lot of care of that India stone. Rounding the corners and one of the nicest boxes I've seen. Luckily the box is a perfect fit for my washita. I think I'll repurpose it. Anyone want to try a vintage India stone for the price of postage? PM me if interested. I've been on a real streak lately. Oh well. Can't win if you don't play. I think I'm going to roll the dice again today. I've got an enticing offer in the inbox. If it works out I might have a nice washita for sell or swap.
 

KingShapton

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Another India stone. Someone took a lot of care of that India stone. Rounding the corners and one of the nicest boxes I've seen. Luckily the box is a perfect fit for my washita. I think I'll repurpose it. Anyone want to try a vintage India stone for the price of postage? PM me if interested. I've been on a real streak lately. Oh well. Can't win if you don't play. I think I'm going to roll the dice again today. I've got an enticing offer in the inbox. If it works out I might have a nice washita for sell or swap.
Too bad, but at least you got an extremely nice box for your washita, so it wasn't a completely wrong bet.
 
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What's the age on this one? Worth picking up at a very reasonable price?
View attachment 155149
Any hard ark is worth picking up at a decent price. I use them all the way down to 2" by 1" by quarter inch. A small one like that is nice for a prefinisher on razors or a final deburr on knives.
 

cotedupy

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What's the age on this one? Worth picking up at a very reasonable price?
View attachment 155149
In a word... yes!

Note obviously that it's a slip stone, so it's kinda tapered - along the length at the top of that picture it's thicker than along the length at the bottom. Which can make it tricky to use for knives unless you're using it in hand, or mounting on something. I assume it's a 4x2...?

Either way though - it's a boxed Pike hard/translucent in good condition, which isn't very common. I would guess 1920s, it's certainly pre 1933.
 

BoSharpens

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I have at least 3 Washitas from the mid 60s when I bought my first Buck knife while I was working at Cousteau's US Divers desigining diving equipment and teaching SCUBA/skin diving. They definitely look more like the dark "old" stone a dozen posts up, though only 4-6" long.

I don't remember if I had to buy them or they came with the knives I bought and still have from way back then.

I only use these to do light polish work on an edge if it has lost the ability to "cut paper."

I looked at scienceofsharp.com yesterday and saw elaborate discussion/video of how to get a razor sharp edge.

Well, my Bali-Song side-arm EDC came out of its holster a bit dull. I decided to put the Washita on it followed by the quartz slip with my hand held polishing Red Sharpie marks off the edge and sure enough in less that 5 minutes it would do the paper cut example of sharpness.

I do the same with my Shun & Wustoff in the kitchen if they don't "cut right" in meal prep. Takes maybe 2 minutes.

I think a lot of super fancy stones at high prices are a bit over-rated for the average user and average knife.
 
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My newest washita

PXL_20211214_105516681.jpg


Combo SiC/washita. They made it from at least the 1930s to the 1960s.

Here's the page from the 1962 catalogue that exactly matches this one.

PXL_20211214_233405733.jpg


Thanks to @cotedupy for pointing it out to me on eBay. Despite the fact that I already had that catalog page I wouldn't have realized it was genuine washita.


Here's an interesting one. This one's been buried under a bunch of crap on my workbench for several months. I kind of forgot about it. It's a "butterscotch" translucent hard ark. 5"*2". That someone with serious machining skills made a very nice milled aluminum box for. This is freshly simple greened and lapped so it looks more like a regular translucent hard ark. But it feels much more porous than my other hard arks. After it comes out of the simple green it's almost bright white. As soon as I start using it it quickly goes back to butterscotch.



PXL_20211216_122248111.jpg



This is after touching up the apex of two or three knives.
PXL_20211209_233148592.jpg


Very fast freshly lapped. It feels like a fast coticule under a razor but leaves a much finer finish. Excellent knife edges too.

Here you can see the butterscotch translucent glow.
PXL_20211209_225216875.jpg



PXL_20211216_123833196.jpg
 

HumbleHomeCook

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My newest washita

View attachment 156231

Combo SiC/washita. They made it from at least the 1930s to the 1960s.

Here's the page from the 1962 catalogue that exactly matches this one.

View attachment 156233

Thanks to @cotedupy for pointing it out to me on eBay. Despite the fact that I already had that catalog page I wouldn't have realized it was genuine washita.


Here's an interesting one. This one's been buried under a bunch of crap on my workbench for several months. I kind of forgot about it. It's a "butterscotch" translucent hard ark. 5"*2". That someone with serious machining skills made a very nice milled aluminum box for. This is freshly simple greened and lapped so it looks more like a regular translucent hard ark. But it feels much more porous than my other hard arks. After it comes out of the simple green it's almost bright white. As soon as I start using it it quickly goes back to butterscotch.



View attachment 156234


This is after touching up the apex of two or three knives.
View attachment 156235

Very fast freshly lapped. It feels like a fast coticule under a razor but leaves a much finer finish. Excellent knife edges too.

Here you can see the butterscotch translucent glow.
View attachment 156236


View attachment 156237
Very cool. Thanks for sharing!
 

KingShapton

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My newest washita

View attachment 156231

Combo SiC/washita. They made it from at least the 1930s to the 1960s.

Here's the page from the 1962 catalogue that exactly matches this one.

View attachment 156233

Thanks to @cotedupy for pointing it out to me on eBay. Despite the fact that I already had that catalog page I wouldn't have realized it was genuine washita.


Here's an interesting one. This one's been buried under a bunch of crap on my workbench for several months. I kind of forgot about it. It's a "butterscotch" translucent hard ark. 5"*2". That someone with serious machining skills made a very nice milled aluminum box for. This is freshly simple greened and lapped so it looks more like a regular translucent hard ark. But it feels much more porous than my other hard arks. After it comes out of the simple green it's almost bright white. As soon as I start using it it quickly goes back to butterscotch.



View attachment 156234


This is after touching up the apex of two or three knives.
View attachment 156235

Very fast freshly lapped. It feels like a fast coticule under a razor but leaves a much finer finish. Excellent knife edges too.

Here you can see the butterscotch translucent glow.
View attachment 156236


View attachment 156237
I envy you the combo Sic / Washita a little. Joking aside, I'll really treat you to it, but I'd really like to have a stone like this too.

And the butterscotch is a really beautiful stone, congratulations on that!

Thank you for sharing.
 
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Thank you grandpa. One suspected Washita in here. Other interesting oilstone too! Really nice brick of thick, soft Ark

Always cooler when it is a family heirloom.



I got an interesting one today. I thought it was a hard Arkansas at first but it might be too dense. One of the densest stones I've encountered. Just over 3.03 specific gravity. Which is denser than any of my synthetics. I got it from a Canadian eBay seller. It is in the simple green now.
 

cotedupy

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My newest washita

View attachment 156231

Combo SiC/washita. They made it from at least the 1930s to the 1960s.

Here's the page from the 1962 catalogue that exactly matches this one.

View attachment 156233

Thanks to @cotedupy for pointing it out to me on eBay. Despite the fact that I already had that catalog page I wouldn't have realized it was genuine washita.


Here's an interesting one. This one's been buried under a bunch of crap on my workbench for several months. I kind of forgot about it. It's a "butterscotch" translucent hard ark. 5"*2". That someone with serious machining skills made a very nice milled aluminum box for. This is freshly simple greened and lapped so it looks more like a regular translucent hard ark. But it feels much more porous than my other hard arks. After it comes out of the simple green it's almost bright white. As soon as I start using it it quickly goes back to butterscotch.



View attachment 156234


This is after touching up the apex of two or three knives.
View attachment 156235

Very fast freshly lapped. It feels like a fast coticule under a razor but leaves a much finer finish. Excellent knife edges too.

Here you can see the butterscotch translucent glow.
View attachment 156236


View attachment 156237
That little Sportsman is feckin cool. Very jealous, but good that it's gone to a good home!

The relatively porous ark sounds interesting too, I presume it doesn't burnish as much as a mega-hard version? Which would be useful!
 

cotedupy

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Always cooler when it is a family heirloom.



I got an interesting one today. I thought it was a hard Arkansas at first but it might be too dense. One of the densest stones I've encountered. Just over 3.03 specific gravity. Which is denser than any of my synthetics. I got it from a Canadian eBay seller. It is in the simple green now.
This too is interesting! Surely not an Ark with that SG. And I'm sure you can tell whether or not it's a coticule (that's about what you measured your cotis at right?), so perhaps worth thinking about some Canadian stones...

The most likely I'd have thought is a stone that's recently started being sold as 'Canadian Novaculite'. They often seem to be funky/pretty colours, though that may not register so much for you, and someone here measured the SG at 3.0+ Canadian Novaculite | Badger & Blade (badgerandblade.com)

There was also a stone marketed as the 'Canada Oilstone' which appears to be a type of sandstone, similar to Dalmores or Hindustans. And depending on what other stuff they have in them sandstones can run to quite high SGs. Obviously that should be quite easy to tell apart from novaculite.

And not forgetting of course the mysterious 'Magog' stone, which nobody seems to know much about, or have a confirmed example of, and was probably last quarried in the mid 19th century. It may or may not be the same as the Canada stone Magog? | Badger & Blade (badgerandblade.com)
 
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