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Thread: Anyone use the Norton waterstones?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Virginia Beach, Va.
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    Anyone use the Norton waterstones?

    I have been using the the scary sharp system but I am getting tired of replacing the paper all the time. I was wondering if anyone has used the Norton waterstone system. What are the pro's and con's?

    I am looking at this kit right now:

    http://www.bestsharpeningstones.com/...it_Deluxe.html





    V/R..... John

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Coastal plain of North Carolina
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    I have the Norton water stones and I use them for my plane irons and chisels when they need sharpening. Unfortunately I don't do very much flat work anymore. They work very well but I supplemented them with an old ceramic surgeon's stone (used for sharpening surgical implements) to dress the final edge razor sharp. My only objection to any water stone was the water mess in the shop.
    I may be getting a little older physically but mentally I'm still tarp as a shack.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Decatur, Alabama
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    I use the norton stones and like them a lot. Mine are the single grit stones, I assume they're the same. They work a lot faster than some generic stones I started with.

    The only cons are general to all water stones. Water mess and you have to flatten them a lot. I have nortons flattening stone that I start with, it's pretty cheap. I finish rubbing two water stones together under the sink, makes them very flat.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Gonzales, Louisiana
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    115
    I use to use stones but they weren't nortons. I got away from it and have stayed with paper because despite the repeated purchasing cost I never have to joint/flatten a stone which to me is just extra work with little return.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    John, the short answer is Norton waterstones are good. The long answer is you may not need the whole set.
    I use several methods, including scary sharp for initial work [100-400 grit]. From there I can go three ways, oil stones, Norton water, and shapton pro. They work differently, give different feedback to your hands, and give different results. If you want to do freehand honing, the Nortons are least forgiving of a slip. They also require the most frequent flattening. There are some who think you can do very well with 1K and then 8K, without stopping at 4K on the way. That's my shapton configuration, and I like it. My Norton is 4K/8K combo.

    I haven't used a Norton 220 or 1K, but my experience with a prior 220 waterstone is that I'd not use one again. It dished really fast, wore down even faster, and has been replaced by a slab of 3/8" glass with some sandpaper, which works way better.

    Depending on what I'm doing, I may use any of the three set ups, but the Norton 4K/8K is my least favorite. They all give excellent results though. I picked up my oil stones at garage and estate sales for next to nothing. Flattened them, cleaned them, and made cases. YMMV of course. The Shaptons are pricey, but seem to hold up a lot better than the Nortons.

    Bottom line - $150 for the setup you showed is not a bad price. You could get equal results for much less though. I'd urge you to try the various techniques if you can before jumping in for so much money, and one system.

    Fine Woodworking recently had a very nice article about water stones.
    Last edited by ken werner; 04-05-2012 at 01:40 PM.
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    John, there are better stones out there. The buzz on ceramic stones around the different forums the past couple of years have been on lesser known Japanese ceramic stones such as the Sigma Power and Bester. These are less expensive than the top known brands such as Shaptons and Naniwa and some consider them better in some respects. Remember there is no perfect stone as some qualities are at cross purposes. Trying to get a stone that is fast cutting and yet retains its flatness can be difficult.

    Check out the Lee Valley website or better still contact Stu at Tools From Japan. Stu will walk you through your options, after understanding what it is you are sharpening and your price range. http://www.toolsfromjapan.com/store/...&cPath=335_404
    “When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” - John Ruskin
    “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” - Oscar Wilde

  7. #7
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    John, as an adder to my previous post, I would recommend you look at Stu's current "starter set" where you get two stones, 1000 and 6000; a stone base and a diamond plate for flattening. http://www.toolsfromjapan.com/store/...oducts_id=1668 I still would recommend to contact Stu and start a dialog with him, as he is very informed on the various stones.

    If you decide to go with the Nortons, I would not recommend the Norton flattening stone. No personal experience but I have read a lot and I mean a lot of posts with negative opinions on this flattening stone. You would be better off with a coarse diamond plate or sandpaper on glass.
    “When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” - John Ruskin
    “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” - Oscar Wilde

  8. #8
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    Not trying to pick an argument with you Bill, but I have the Norton flattening stone, and it works fine. 120 grit drywall screen on a flat surface is certainly fine too.
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

  9. #9
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    No problem Ken! I am curious Ken if you have had any problems with keeping the flattening stone flat. That is the criticism I have heard about it. Do you flatten it every once and while (if that is possible)?
    “When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.” - John Ruskin
    “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” - Oscar Wilde

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Well, I read about that too, but I've never noticed a problem. It seems to flatten the stones just fine, and when checked with a straightedge, I don't see any gap. I could flatten it with the sheetrock screen, but I don't recall ever doing so. My thoughts here are the following. Norton is a reputable company in business for a very long time. They put out high quality stones, that function as promised. I can't imagine they'd introduce a flattening stone that is inherently flawed, and I'm sure their material engineers know a lot more about this than the amateurs that post their criticisms. I hope I'm not coming off as too pedantic, just sharing what info I can.
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

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