Norton Arkansas file stones

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  • #11492
    cpetersen1970
    Participant

    Greetings all, as I am relatively new to the forums here and this is my first post.

    I recently purchased an old machinist’s tool chest at an estate auction and it was full of old tools, many of which I am still trying to determine what their functions may be. One drawer contained a number of small files and stones which I know must be for sharpening, but I confess that I am unsure *what* if anything amongst my woodworking tools these stones may be useful for. They are older Norton Abrasives Arkansas file stones, in various shapes; round, knife shaped (diamond-shaped cross section) and square. They are approximately three inches long. One has an identifying mark which shows it to be an HF-813 hard arkansas round file stone which research has revealed that they are prized by gunsmiths, machinists, and woodworkers, so I am sure these have some value to my burgeoning interest in hand tool woodworking. But what can I sharpen with them?

    As background, I should say that I have plenty of experience with more traditional flat stones and sharpening knives (I am a chef by trade), chisels and such but these are beyond my experience. Any advice or insight would be appreciated.

    –Chris

    #11494
    Ken
    Participant

    Chris,
    They are designed specifically for sharpening profiled tools such as carving chisels and woodturning gouges, the range of abrasive slips covers every profile you are ever likely to encounter. By using a slip stone that matches the profile of the tool being sharpened, it is less likely that the edge will lose its original shape over time.

    Cheers 😉

    #11497
    cpetersen1970
    Participant

    Thanks, Ken. I suspected something like that. I will certainly hold on to them as they may prove useful in the future. And apparently they were a good find; after a little more research, I have seen some of them on eBay going for nearly as much as I paid for the chest I found them in.

    #11498
    Ken
    Participant

    That was a good buy eh. Welcome to the forum buddy enjoy. 🙂

    #11500
    David Gill
    Participant

    Hi Chris
    Welcome to the forum the more posters the better,
    I am sure you will find a use for the stones some time soon

    Wigan, Lancs. England :

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