The Norton 39868 oilstone starter kit includes a 240-grit aluminum oxide stone for sharpening and maintaining edges and a 600-grit natural Arkansas stone for honing and polishing them, a 4.5 oz. can of sharpening stone oil for lubrication, and an instructional DVD. A plastic box protects each oilstone and provides an oil reservoir to keep it clean and saturated. The removable box lid with no-slip rubber feet acts as a sharpening station to hold the stone in place during bench use. The stones in this kit are used sequentially to restore cutting edges on straight-edged tools, such as chisels, knives, plane blades, and precision instruments; the aluminum oxide stone is suitable for sharpening and maintaining a cutting edge, while the Arkansas stone produces a honed and polished edge.
The sharpening stone oil meets FDA requirements for use near food, and consists of pharmacopeia-grade mineral oil formulated with the correct lubricity for oilstone sharpening. It prevents metal from bonding with the abrasive surface by flushing away dislodged abrasive and metal chips. Each stone is also prefilled with oil to save time and eliminate the need to presoak it prior to use. The aluminum oxide oilstone has a tough fracture- and wear-resistant grit that is more durable than silicon carbide and capable of sharpening to very close tolerances. The Arkansas stone is used for fine sharpening and honing, especially after sharpening with synthetic stones.
The synthetic aluminum oxide stone is created by grading aluminum oxide to a consistent particle size and blending it with bonding agents. It is then molded and surface-finished. The Arkansas oilstone is a natural hard abrasive stone that is mined for use and harder than most synthetic stones. These 1/2 x 8 x 3 inch (H x W x D) oilstones, which are suitable for bench use, are harder and more durable than a waterstone. (H is height, the vertical distance from lowest to highest point; W is width, the horizontal distance from left to right; D is depth, the horizontal distance from front to back.) The synthetic aluminum oxide oilstone conforms to American National Standards Institute (ANSI) abrasive grit standards. There are no industry-wide standards for hardness, particle size, or color of natural sharpening stones, but Norton’s standards for its natural stones have become benchmarks.
Sharpening stones, or whetstones, are abrasive surfaces used to sharpen and hone the edges of steel cutting implements, such as chisels, knives, scissors, hand scrapers, and plane blades. Sharpening is the process of creating or re-establishing a cutting edge by grinding away portions of the metal to adjust the angle of the edge and reform the shape. Honing removes small imperfections. Stones can be flat, for working flat edges, or shaped, for edges that are more complex. Sharpening stones are made of natural or synthetic materials that range from softer to harder, and are categorized by the size of their abrasive particles, known as grit. A stone with a coarser grit is used when more metal needs to be removed (e.g., when sharpening a nicked or very dull blade); the stone with the finest grit produces the sharpest edge. Where numbers are assigned to specify grit, they range from coarser grit (low) to finer grit (high). Some sharpening stones are designed for use with a lubricating liquid, some can be used dry, and others can be used either wet or dry. When used with lubricating liquid, a sharpening stone can be called a waterstone or an oilstone, based on the lubricant required.
Norton Abrasives manufactures sanding, grinding, and polishing abrasives, and has been located in the United States since 1885. Norton, now a brand of Saint-Gobain, meets ISO 9000 and 14001 certification for quality and environmental management standards.
What’s in the Box?
- 240-grit aluminum oxide stone in plastic hinged box with no-slip rubber feet
- 600-grit natural Arkansas stone in plastic hinged box with no-slip rubber feet
- 4.5 oz. can of Norton sharpening stone oil
- Instructional DVD
- Printed instructions