Jump to content

Show off your Natural Whet Stones


Recommended Posts

I wanted to make this thread to display the many different whet stones out there. Would like as much information that you can give possible about each stone, ie origin, size, type, weight, grit, etc...

 

I really can't consume enough information on jnats, and it is quickly becoming an obsession. So please do me a favor and post as much as possible (Feed my addiction!). I have seen different threads on straight razor sites, but I am sure many of you also have natural stones in your collections, and I think this would be fitting to show off.

 

I am saving some spare cash on the side to get a few stones in the coming future, and my only go to stone is a synthetic so I will not show it here. I do have some Uchigumori koppa however so I will start the thread off with that.

10645061_10152286243930009_4468206565030762037_n.jpg

Edited by Daniel Cauble
Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice stones... :blink:;)

For quick n dirty sharpening, I use diamond "stones" up to 8000 grit and then polish on a ceramic rod if needed.

BUT

For a razor, fillet knife, fine edged kitchen knives or any other blade that needs a "scary sharp" edge; Water stones are the only way to go! I like Japanese water stones and techniques, but I don't subscribe to the mythos that only "true" Japanese stones can be fine enough for the task.

 

My primary water stones, for now, are the fine and coarse sides of a Tri-hone set of Arkansas stones. I looked at several stones in the display at my local hardware store until I found the consistency I was looking for on the fine stone. In order to turn them into water stones, I stuck the little bottle of honing oil on a shelf, unopened, and soaked the stones in warm soapy water for a bit to clear any oil they may have already been exposed to. The coarse side is a bit soft, but it is even grained and cuts quickly. Unfortunately, the grain on the medium side isn't consistent enough, so it cuts slower, but leaves the edge only marginally cleaner than the coarse.

20140913_173625-1.jpg

20140913_173519-1.jpg

 

My newest, and coolest in my mind, water stone is also an Arkasas stone, even though it is from Tennessee. It is the coolest because I found it myself rather than buying it. It also has the finest grain I have seen on a natural stone, in person.

20140913_173758-1.jpg

I used an old ceramic belt to flatten out 1 face, and am almost done scraping it to get the best finishing surface possible.

20140913_173724-1.jpg

 

It will be interesting to see what other stones people are using.

James

Link to post
Share on other sites

Caleb,

Any stone with a consistent and fine grain to it can be used as a sharpening stone. However, most fine consistent stone is too soft for repeated use, while most harder rock isn't fine enough, or not homogenous enough. "Arkansas" stone and the Japanese waterstones have the distinction of being the best examples of those qualities in a quantity that can be comercially quarried.

When you just need 1 piece, you can find a suitable stone just about anywhere. River rock was my best source when I lived out where you are. A smooth piece of granite, without the usual toothy quarts inclusions, can make a decent coarse stone, fine ones are a bit tougher, but still findable.

Fortunately, you won't be quite as limited in selection as I was. You still have to find the right composition, but the shape of the piece will have more flexability given your access to stone polishing equipment.

James

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the same tri-stone that James has. Oddly enough, I mainly use the medium stone for general sharpening. I leave mine soaking in a jar of Simple Green a la Goddard.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I tend to favor sandpaper over stones, but I did find some tabular sandstone up in nothern NM that works well for coarse sharpening. It was virtually flat as I found it, and only needed a little surface grinding to true it up.

 

Theres some pretty, green quartzite around that's fine-grained and homogenous, too...I've used it for field sharpening, but I'm intending to get a piece flattened out to use in the shop.

 

I've found that tile cutting diamond wheels for angle grinder work great for cutting up stone, too...safety glasses and a dust filter are absolutely neccesary!

Edited by Orien M
Link to post
Share on other sites

IMG_0947_zps914ba6dd.png

Eidsborg whetstones. This is Norway's first industrial export article. The quarry dates back to the viking era, and was running intermittently up to about 1960-70.

They are said to be very good in a european perspective.
However I don't know what quality this is based upon. I suspect that the ease at which it cleaves into near-finished sharpening stones adds to the allure.

 

It comes in two different qualities, separated in the rock by only a few feet in some cases.

A dark, harder one, and a yellowish softer one.

 

However these are picked from the scrap pile, so I don't think they do justice to the whetstones they quarried there a thousand years ago when they could "skim the cream" so to speak. The ones in the picture are quite hard and slow cutting, with an estimated grit of 600-800.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I will be buying my first natural Japanese water stone selected for kitchen knives in the coming weeks. Zeroing in on the right one, and I have a few candidates. Until then, I found a neat video that actually went into one of the mines in Kyoto where the stonesmith described how he can differentiate purpose by color/strata. Really cool. Another reason to visit Japan!

 

Edited by Daniel Cauble
Link to post
Share on other sites

This doesn't really answer the original question but I thought it was germane. We were in Japan a couple of years ago and there was a big swap meet/farmer's market. This booth was there selling nothing but sharpening stones. Go figure. They were expensive. BTW I use Japanese water stones that I have had for years. A couple of mediums and a very fine. They are synthetic and not too expensive.

 

ToddStone stand.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

That's really cool.

 

I am currently using some King synthetic stones (800 and 4000 jgrit), along with a few strops I have made loaded with green compound. For my kitchen knives however, I am not happy with the results of sharpening. Its ok to the point of being able to shave, and slice paper, but I know there can be room for more improvement. That isn't the reason I am buying the natural however. That reason is because I have grown an obsession over the whole idea of having natural stones. This one I am purchasing should be my final grit stone for kitchen knives though. In the near future I will buy a harder one for my chisels and straight razor.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

So upon waiting to buy my new finishing Jstone, I have imported several nagura. One is an 200g Aoto. Not sure if this will be employed as a nagura or a finger stone. Then I have another unknown type of Nagura, 200g also. Given the color however, I am assuming they are for lower grit stones than a finishing stone. So I have one of the whitish type also coming in the mail. All are stampless from metalmasterjp. I trust his products though. If anyone can help ID the 2nd one by appearance that would be great. Note the 2nd one is a bit smoother on the polished side than the Aoto.

 

Either way I am enamored by the beauty of these stones!

1.jpg

2.jpg

3.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

Here are a number of the natural whet stones, all these are locally sourced( I have a number of Japanese stones, but those are already well known).

The maroon is a hard silt-stone with uniform 120 grit that forms a good slurry to take the coarseness out of the finish. The one to the left is hard and uniform at around 100 grit and had to be roasted for an hour before being able to wear and slurry well enough to be usable. The large greenish stone is a relatively soft stone that gives a 200 grit finish (a bit finer if you don't rinse the slurry off). The tiny shaped stone to the left of the maroon one cuts well with a light slurry and does not wear out too quickly.

The other stones vary from hard to soft and reach up to 1000 grit and more. The finest at above 1000 are only good for softer metals and alloys.

Sources are Graafwater formation, Tygerberg formation of the Malmesbury group, Penisula formation and Cederberg as well as Bokkeveld shales. Some stones are from the Enon sandstones. Giving away a few secrets to those willing to read up a bit, especially in the Cape region ;) .

 

DSC01338_zpsb5c705e2.jpg

 

DSC01343_zps4122a6b0.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...