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What size are the 8" x 2" Spyderco Ceramic stones supposed to be?

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by thebestbladeplans, Jul 16, 2019.

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  1. thebestbladeplans

    thebestbladeplans

    17
    Nov 27, 2018
    I bought some Spyderco benchstones and the 302M Medium Ceramic I received is significantly undersized. The vendor is telling me this is normal. The dimensions of the stone, instead of meeting the stated 8" x 2" is 1/16th shy on the width, and a full 3/16th shy on the length.

    Are all Spyderco Mediums actually undersized like this? I've written Spyderco and they told me to send the stone in so they can check it out -- I don't quite know how much more they expect to find out -- but they're unwilling to say if it meets their manufacturing specifications or not, so I can definitively know that the the 3rd Party Amazon vendor, "globaldistribution55555" sent me defective merchandise in the first place.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    bucketstove and kreisler like this.
  2. cbwx34

    cbwx34

    Dec 27, 2004
    My Medium Spyderco... bought many years ago, is about the same... 7 7/8" x 1 15/16"... and is slightly smaller than the Fine stone.

    (Probably a size joke in there somewhere.... or maybe it's like McDonalds... size before cooking...). :rolleyes:
     
    thebestbladeplans likes this.
  3. thebestbladeplans

    thebestbladeplans

    17
    Nov 27, 2018
    I mean, if they're all similarly undersized, I'll stop looking for a proper 8x2 Medium which would match the Fine and also some other 8x2 stones I had hoped to assemble into a kit.
     
  4. Blues

    Blues Lapsed SuperMod / Cattle Knife Rustler Staff Member Super Mod

    Oct 2, 1998
    I have a medium that I purchased years ago, (along with fine and UF).

    The medium (brown) bench stone is 7 15/16" long, and exactly 2" wide.

    Hope this helps. As I say, mine are not recent versions. Came in the blue plastic box with rubber feet.
     
    thebestbladeplans likes this.
  5. David Martin

    David Martin Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    My Spyderco fine stone that I purchased 10 years ago, measures 8"X 1 15/16" on a certified tape measure. DM
     
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  6. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    Hot isostatic press sintering causes some degree of shrinkage to the material. The stated measurements should be considered as nominal rather than actual.
     
  7. The above matches both of my Medium and Fine Spyderco hones exactly. Edges also have a narrow ( < 1/16" ) chamfer all around. Mine were purchased in early/mid '90s if I recall correctly. I purchased them secondhand in unused, 'as new' condition, so I don't actually know how 'old' they were when I bought them. The Medium came in a dark blue plastic box w/rubber feet, and the Fine in a lighter blue plastic box w/rubber feet.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
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  8. thebestbladeplans

    thebestbladeplans

    17
    Nov 27, 2018
    The measurements could be considered nominal rather than actual if one is looking to excuse the stone not meeting the actual measurements, sure. As for the process causing shrinkage -- that's certainly true, and I assume the open cell matrix of the Medium ceramic shrinks more than the closed cell Fine/Ultra Fine -- But there's nothing actually to prevent setting things up to end up with a finished product which meets the stated dimensions. Bearing in mind that this isn't some small-scale prototype run we're talking about, but rather a long-lived production.

    It could be I was just naive to assume that when Spyderco market 8" x 2" stones of various grits, that they would actually ship 8" x 2" stones. And I'm somewhat willing to admit that I'm making too big of deal about this -- I was just rather expecting the Spyderco benchstones to be closely matched, size-wise. I am not quite so willing however to agree that it would be some kind of insurmountable technical challenge for Spyderco to make and sell actual 8" x 2" stones (or 8.000" x 2.000, ±0.062" or something) if they actually cared to bother -- 3/16ths off nominal seems pretty sloppy.
     
  9. With most any sharpening stones except maybe for diamond plates (no room for a 'shrinkage' excuse there, on a steel plate cut to size), I habitually append an '-ish' suffix onto the advertised size for the stone. Such as '8-ish' inches X 2-ish' inches. Don't think I have many, if any, that are exactly on target. The upside is, sometimes they might be a little bigger than advertised. I think my IB8 India stone came a little on the bigger side, which was a pleasant surprise. Not enough to make a significant difference in use, but at least marginally better than what I expected and enough to confirm they made the effort in good faith. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
  10. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    It's largely a matter of tooling cost. The dies for the stones are VERY expensive. I'm pretty darn sure they're using the same dies for both stones. It wouldn't be economical to do otherwise. I don't think you understand the technical and cost-related challenges involved with this sort of material. A big part of why they can offer the stones as economically as they do is specifically because the tooling cost is amortized over multiple products on the same tooling with a long run life. 3/16" of an inch off nominal isn't going to keep you from using the stone as intended, so between the option of more choices in stone formulation using the same dies, or just one stone so the size can be consistent, which is the better option? More choices, I reckon. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
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  11. thebestbladeplans

    thebestbladeplans

    17
    Nov 27, 2018
    They make various products, adding dies for one more -- assuming it is true that the Medium and Fine share equipment and that the Medium is therefore impossible to make in the same size as the Fine -- adding dedicated production equipment for the Medium would serve to prolong the service life of the the other dies, anyway.

    And, if it's just the way of things that the Medium stones come out smaller than the Fine, it would be trivially easy to label them with smaller dimensions as well.

    Finally, it is just as likely as your optimistic explanations, that something was amiss with the production of my stone: something off with the mix, or wrong with the procedure or settings or equipement -- who knows.

    How much deviation from nominal would it take for you to consider a stone too small? 1/4? 3/8? 1/2? Why draw the line there, instead of at 3/16th?
     
  12. FortyTwoBlades

    FortyTwoBlades Baryonyx walkeri Dealer / Materials Provider

    Mar 8, 2008
    I don't think you get how manufacturing this kind of product works. Which is okay. But maybe look into it before calling Spyderco "sloppy". You're spending a lot of energy griping over a functionally insignificant difference between the two stones. The only way to get a completely dimensionally consistent stone would be to deliberately produce it oversized and then machine it to shape post-firing with diamond abrasives, which is an absurdly expensive process.
     
  13. sickpuppy1

    sickpuppy1 Basic Member Basic Member

    355
    Sep 27, 2018
    or it could just be greedy since every 42 stones gets them a free one which is pure profit. Just sayin....
     
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  14. thebestbladeplans

    thebestbladeplans

    17
    Nov 27, 2018
    Grinding down to size would be a way to produce completely consistently sized stones. But it's a red herring to bring it up, because nothing I've said actually suggested that I would expect Spyderco to grind the stones down to size.

    Mind you that it would be entirely possible to produce oversized stones, taking into account the established variance in size observed in actual production, in such a way that the smallest stone produced still meets or exceeds stated dimensions. With the outliers which cannot meet this standard being deemed factory seconds and not sold interchangeably with the actual 8" x 2" stones.

    But, because you've repeatedly signaled a great knowledge and understanding of the process used -- Tell me, how much would you say it should be expected that 2 stones might differ in size, if both stones are made in the same exact way, using the same exact equipment, operated in the same exact way? And what factor is it precisely which explains this variation between stones which are prepared in identical ways? Magic pixies?
     
  15. Lapedog

    Lapedog Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2016
    Not trying to belittle anyone because this truly comes from not getting it but;

    What’s the big deal anyway?
     
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  16. bucketstove

    bucketstove

    Sep 23, 2014
    Hi
    buddy
    common law, items sold should be as-advertised
    spyderco doesn't advertise 8in x 2in nominal,
    or warn size may vary by 1/16inch,
    so it should be minimum 8in x 2in

    my
    Norton Economy Tool & Knife Benchstone
    is a little longer than 6inch
    and little wider than 2inch (by like 1/16)
    its advertised as 6in x 2in

    my
    dollar tree tool bench hardware sharpening stone
    is 6inch x 2inch exactly
    its as advertised years ago


    Its not like we're talking "sloppy flatness" which isn't actually advertised
    spyderco-fine-benchstone-out-of-spec-my-paper-thickness-test.1412415/
     
  17. D2FB

    D2FB

    102
    Aug 14, 2009
    Just for the “database”...
    My fine - 7 and 15/16 X 2
    My medium - 8 X 2
    Did not check xtra fine
     
  18. thebestbladeplans

    thebestbladeplans

    17
    Nov 27, 2018
    Frankly, I had planned to make nice kit of 8" x 2" stones. To this end, I have a couple of Norton combinations, a nice soft Arkansas and a King 1k/4k -- all of which are within a 1/32 of being properly 8" x 2", as advertised, just saying -- and I was planning on rounding it out with a Fine ceramic, lapped on one side to be Ultrafine-like and also with the Spyderco Medium -- the one which didn't bother to actually be 8" x 2".

    And I'm having a difficult time accepting the opinion that I should learn to readily accept whatever-sized product manufacturers can be bothered to stick in a package because actually manufacturing to the published measurements is evidently borderline impossible.

    I'll admit that the whole thing is pretty irrational, however; it isn't even properly worth the cost of return shipping to start asking for refunds or replacements. Really, the only sensible thing is to say F-it and move on. But, to some extent, I just hate receiving sub-par products and being told that I'm somehow the weird one for complaining.
     
  19. Lapedog

    Lapedog Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2016
    I think as customers it is our right to buy whatever we like. If that discrepancy in size bothers you enough then you are not weird or whining for not liking it.

    That said I am only trying to say it is not a big deal not to mock you but rather to potentially help you to feel happy with what you received.

    I do not see what difference a slightly smaller stone will make in you putting it in a kit with the other stones.

    Obviously what is or isn’t sub-par is up to you but in cases like this where it has zero effect on the functionality of the product I personally would just live with it.
     
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  20. Blues

    Blues Lapsed SuperMod / Cattle Knife Rustler Staff Member Super Mod

    Oct 2, 1998
    No reason for anyone to get excited, shoot the messenger or take umbrage at differing points of view.

    I've got a ton of sharpening stones in my arsenal and some are slightly off from advertised dimensions from more than one quality manufacturer or vendor. While it may be enough to trigger our OCD, generally the difference is such that it hasn't any real world effect on the utility of the hone.

    Let's try to keep it calm and civil so we can leave the discussion open. (Though I don't know how much more needs to be said.)
     
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