Welsh slate is a wonderfully consistent high quality natural sharpening stone that is often used as a benchmark by which other natural stones are measured and compared. They are only this affordable because of the huge roofing slate industry with its pre-existing mines and logistical connections, don’t be deceived into thinking that they can’t be both good and cheap – the quality is superb.
In straight razor terms Welsh slate is regarded as a ‘pre-finisher’, but for woodworking tools or kitchen applications it’s a very smooth final hone. Slate can be used with water, which is cleaner for kitchen use, but in the workshop with a little drop of penetrating oil it is absolutely sublime.
8” x 2” x 1/2”
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It's made my sharp things considerably sharper. Unfortunately it's not as wide as the blade of my no.4 Quansheng plane so you have to angle it when honing. I use it after a 9000 water stone and before a strop. I have been planing some squirly grained oak recently with minimal tearout. If it was 1/4 inch wider it would be perfect. An extra 1/2 inch would be more than perfect!