Ask any mechanic who uses edge tools, what is the hardest thing to get, and if he stops to consider the matter a moment or two, he will reply, "A good Oil Stone." And if this same mechanic has an Oil Stone that is first-class, it is a most difficult matter to get him to part with it at any price, for the simple reason that he knows it will be a stroke of good luck for him to get an-other that is as good.
We have dealt quite extensively in Oil Stones for nearly thirty years, and have been during this time in a position to judge critically, the merits and de-merits of all kinds of sharpening stones, Before presenting the merits of our Whelden Emery Oil Stone, we would like to say a little something about Oil Stones in general, taking for the first subject WASHITA OIL STONE,which is the most commonly used and best known of all.
Washita stones on Ebay; text continues below.
There are various grades of this stone, from perfectly crystalized and porous to vitreous flint and hard sand stone. The manufacturers — or rather the cutters — of this stone assort it usually in four grades. The first grade (which is the choicest selection ) is usually given a fancy name, such as " Lily White, " "Rosy Red, " " Red Label," etc. The second grade is called "Extra Washita." The third "No. 1 Washita," and the fourth "No. 2 Washita." Of course the poorer grades predominate, and it is safe to estimate that eight-tenths of the Washita oil stones sold are of the third and fourth grades, and as only a limited percentage of the first grade are absolutely first-class, it is easy to understand why there are so many poor Washita oil stones, and so few good ones.
The next to be considered is the ARKANSAS OIL STONE, which for certain classes of work is without a peer. It is used more generally by engravers, surgeons, tool makers, and others who use very fine edge tools. Being very fine in grit, it cuts too slowly for the woodworkers' use, although very useful for putting on a fine, keen finishing edge.
The next to be considered is the TURKEY OIL STONE, which was in more general use before the introduction of the Washita. This stone is of a grayish color, and of very smooth, even grit. It cuts somewhat faster than the Washita, and also leaves a better edge. The main trouble with Turkey oil stones is that they are rarely free from cracks and fissures, and are easily broken. If it were not for this fact, the Turkey stone would be much more popular.
The SOFT ARKANSAS OIL STONE might, perhaps, better be called Hard Washita, as it really partakes more of the Washita than of the Arkansas nature. It cuts faster than the regular Arkansas, but not so fast as the Washita, leaves an edge not so fine as the Arkansas, but somewhat finer than the Washita; in price it is between the two.
Besides the foregoing, there is an endless number of other kinds of Oil Stones, among them the " Deerlick," 'Seneca," "Niagara," "Chocolate," "Lake Superior," "Hindostan," etc., all of which are used as substitutes for the Washita. None of them are claimed to be any better than the Washita, and, in our judgment, none of them are equal to anything better than a second quality Washita. So much for Oil Stones that are quite generally known, and we will now take up the subject of
EMERY OIL STONES.
Emery Oil Stones are not a new thing; they have been made in various forms for twenty-five years back, but up to within a year or two they have never been held in any esteem, for the reason that they have never been of much account. The poorer makes have been utterly worthless, some of them being merely a composition of glue and emery, which would dissolve as soon as moisture of any kind was applied to the stone. The better ones were made with coarse emery, and were never considered as being useful for anything except for putting on a rough edge.
THE WHELDEN EMERY OIL STONES
are made by the largest and most successful manufacturers of first-class em ery wheels in the world. They are the result of years of careful experimenting, and are now for the first time catalogued and described. During the past year we have placed in the hands of mechanics for careful trial, upwards of five thousand of these stones, and in not one single instance has the report been unfavorable.
As these stones are but little known, we present their qualities by comparing them with other Oil Stones that are well known, the first point being
As TO CUTTING QUALITY. — The Whelden Emery Oil Stone is composed of the finest quality graded Turkish emery, and contains nothing but cutting substances. As will be seen by the illustration, there are two grades of emery; one medium coarse, the other fine. The coarse side is very fast cutting.
As an example of this, in a recent experiment, a 2 inch plane iron which, as it comes from the maker, is about of an inch thick at the edge, was sharpened to a fine cutting edge in three minutes. On a fast-cutting Washita stone it took seventeen minutes, and on an Arkansas stone thirty-six minutes, to get the same results.
The coarse side of the stone leaves a tool in about the same condition as a clear, free-cutting Washita stone would leave it, not quite sharp enough for fine work.
The fine side of the stone leaves a tool in about the same condition as a fine Turkey or soft Arkansas, much better than a Washita, but not as fine as a regular Arkansas.
As TO UNIFORMITY —This is a great feature with the Whelden Emery Oil Stone. It is next to impossible to get any natural stone —whether Arkansas, Washita, Turkey or Deerlick —that approaches uniformity of texture. There are hard spots, soft spots, cracks and fissures in almost every one. The Whelden Emery Oil Stone is absolutely uniform, there being none of the above drawbacks. These stones are very strong, and can be dropped any reasdnable distance without danger of breaking.
As TO SHAPES AND SIZES—We carry in stock sizes as given in following table. The most commonly used size is the No. 10, which is 8 in. long, 2 in. wide and 1 in. thick. We think, how-ever, the chief reasons for this are, first,that "grandpa" always used this size, and, second, because "grandpa" always used this size, the Oil Stone makers have never tried to introduce or carry in stock any other. In our judgment, the Nos. 12 and 15 are far better shaped, and when once a mechanic uses this style he does not care for the other. A stone with a narrow face is used up more uniformly, is kept free from hollows, therefore will sharpen a tool truer and also last longer.
No. 20 is a large Bench Stone, is quite desirable for larger tools, and is especially useful for grinding hair clippers of all kinds.
WHELDEN OIL STONE.
OIL STONE IN CASE.
As these Stones are used with either water or kerosene (paraffin) an iron case is more desirable than a wooden one, as it does not soak up the moisture, and therefore keeps the stone in a dampened condition, which is preferable.
We furnish neat Iron Boxes suitable for Nos. 10. 12 and 20 Stones. Cases for the Nos. 10 and 12 Stones are $0.25 each; for the No. 20, $0.35.