Rolling Stones gather no swarf?

I know I’m going to run out of stone metaphors soon, but until then, the bad taste will continue unabated!

Hi all,

Some excitement here recently, as in on the site.

It would seem some lowlife scumbucket decided to put some nastiness on my site without permission, and caused a few dramas. It’s all fixed now, and pretty quickly at that, but I do hope that nobody was unduly affected.

The lesson here is that even friendly sites such as this one (well, normally friendly!) can cause concern, so do please make sure that your security precautions such as anti-virus, anti-malware and spyware type programs are up to date, active and vigilant.

This particular computer is running Windows 7, which means it has all the fruit required to go out into the big, bad world of the interweb. The other computer, where all the important stuff lies and most of the work gets done on runs Linux, and even it has all the gear it needs to stop bad things happening to it.

Doesn’t really matter what computer or operating system you use (that means you Mac folk too!), the interweb is not all cosy and warm and you really should ‘wear a jacket’.

Anyway, stones. Still testing them, and to give you an idea of the size of the matter, here they all are on my kitchen sink…

At the very top is an Atoma Economy #400 grit diamond plate. This is being used to flatten all stones, and is really about the best available. I also have a rather generic diamond plate, and it just can’t clear ‘mud’ fast enough to be effective, especially off some of the ‘muddier’ stones here. The Atoma however copes wonderfully, and being a large chunk of aluminium, is not too heavy either. Very highly recommended.

From the top left we have;

A Shapton M5 #1000. This stone is not being tested as it is 95% of a Shapton professional. Not quite as fast, but hardly enough to notice. It’s used for whipping things into shape where I need something that works quick, but is not being tested. I’ll explain why at another time, but basically, I needed a stone that was out of the loop, and because it’s really close to the Shapton Professional, it got the job.

I’m so impressed, that I think I will be adding the full M5 line up to the store. I know a particular magazine editor questioned why stones were not available in a thinner, lower cost type. The M5 goes all the way up to #12000 grit, and are not expensive. Might be a winner, just wish they were a little lighter. Comes with a plastic case as well.

Next, the King Neo ST-2 #800. A massive chunk of stone, and to be honest, it’s an oddity. It uses like an old King, but is as fast or faster than some of the newer ceramic stones. But because it uses like an old King, it’s as messy as all get out and a pain to flatten, which it needs a lot of…

The blue one in the middle up top is the Naniwa Superstone #1000. Obviously brand spanking new, as it still has the sticker on it. This is the lovely little stone I mentioned last time, although after today, I’m not so sure. Speed has it’s advantages and old blue there doesn’t play that game very well at all.

On edge there in the little tray are, from left to right, an Arashiyama #1000, a Bester #1000, Sigma Power #1000 Hard, Sigma Power Select II #1000 and a King Hyper-hard/regular type #1000.

The Arashiyama #1000 is interesting. No frills anywhere, it just gets the job done. Not fast, not slow and not too difficult to flatten. It’s vanilla ice cream, it just works.

The Bester #1000, from the same company (I think!) as the Arashiyama is famous as being fast and staying flat. And it is quite fast and does stay quite flat. However, after I’m done I think it’s reputation might be in question because there are some stones here that are faster and stay just as flat or even flatter. Still, a good stone but loooves a drink.

The Sigma Power #1000-Hard is something that is largely unknown outside of Japan. Of those who have heard of it, it carries a fearsome reputation and hushed rumours of it being something amazing. It is, really it is. Very impressive, even at this early stage.

The Sigma Power Select II is something new. If you have heard about, it was probably my fault and what you heard was probably something along the lines of ‘this thing eats steel’. What you might also have heard is that ‘it might not last very long’. One of these things is true and one is not quite…

The King Hyper #1000-Hard/Regular type is a stone that you just don’t hear too much about. There is another, the soft type and maybe any mention is of that stone, because this thing is begging for attention. It’s not really the fastest or easiest to flatten or stays flatter, but the sheer size of the thing and how well it does work, wow.

In the middle of the picture, the Naniwa Chosera #1000. This is one stone that has received some ‘airplay’ out there, as being something else entirely, which it is. Alone, wow. However, in this kind of company it seems to be a little, well, underwhelming. I do know one thing, I surely won’t be wearing out this green thing in my lifetime…

Starting at the bottom left, we have Shapton Professional #1000. If you did not know that, then what rock have you been hiding under? It doesn’t have a reputation, it has a legend. A deserved one too.

The olive green thing there is a Sigma Power ‘Oribest’. Never heard of it? Neither had I, and for some reason, it’s a real oddity. At first glance, it looks like it was slapped together from recycled concrete and green dye. In use, it’s incredibly soft and really reminds me of a stone I got some time ago, the same colour and apparent texture and I wore out in about 2 weeks. I’m not sure why I feel this way about this stone, but I worry about it. Seems to be holding up just fine though.

The brick that snuck in is a King Deluxe #1000. The old standard, the loved and loathed ‘waterstone’ and the stone that put Japanese waterstones on the map as being fast, but also cursed them with the reputation of ‘they always need flattening’ too. It’s here just to see how much has changed since this little fellow arrived on the scene. If Noah used a Japanese waterstone, it was almost certainly one of these.

And the low profile white tile there is, of course, the Shapton Glass Stone #1000. This is one of them. If you have not seen one of these in action, then do pay attention, because it’s getting used a lot around here. Said to be the replacement for the Orange Shapton professional on the bottom left there, and also said to be ‘the finest waterstone on the market today’.

Well, I’m going to expand on that, and some folks out there won’t like what I have to say.

It’s not the finest waterstone on the market today, that honour belongs to something else in this picture. I don’t know which stone is ‘the best’ and I doubt there will be only one, but I can tell you with absolute certainty that the Glass Stone is not it. It is small, it is light, it is convenient, it is not bad and not the worst stone here at all. But the best? Not a chance in heck, and I have data to back that up too. In short, it’s getting its tail kicked and more than a few stones here are swinging a leg…

Well, now that you have met the family you might be able to appreciate the scale of what’s going on here. As of right now, each round of testing takes about 2 solid hours of non-stop effort, and so far only two steels have been under the microscope. Results are quite predictable really.

That’s enough for now, so until next time…



1 comment to Rolling Stones gather no swarf?

  • OBG

    How come everytime you put out this type of information my wallet starts running down the street trying to get away from me. ;-)

    Great info, now which one(s) to get. :-)