What kind of sharpening stones are these?

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Forum topic by MT_Keg posted 07-28-2013 07:20 PM 3391 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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23 posts in 1915 days

07-28-2013 07:20 PM

I was rummaging though my first tool box I ever owned and saw in the bottom two stones in wooden boxes. I remembered that I was given these by my grandmother (my great grandfather was a jewelery maker). But I never got to ask her very much more about them before she passed. I was hoping someone could tell me what type of stones they are and if I should still or could still use them.

Thank you all.


12 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3673 days

#1 posted 07-28-2013 07:23 PM

Probably oil stones. You can run a fingernail on the
surface and get an idea which is the finer stone.

Sure, you can use them. Some people prefer them,
even with all the choices available today.

View JustJoe's profile


1554 posts in 2063 days

#2 posted 07-28-2013 07:39 PM

+1 on oil.
The second one looks like a hard arkansas stone, it would be an oilstone.
If you put a few drops of water on the first one and it refuses to seep in, just beads up on the surface, then it too is an oilstone – or a waterstone that someone used oil on.

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View OhioMike's profile


79 posts in 2187 days

#3 posted 07-28-2013 07:40 PM

The second pic has that semi-translucent look indicative of an oil stone.

The first pic, however, might be an old carborundum stone. It’s difficult to tell from a picture. Does it feel like sandpaper? Then it’s likely a carborundum. If not, it’s an oil stone.


View bondogaposis's profile


4765 posts in 2376 days

#4 posted 07-28-2013 08:05 PM

They both look like oil stones, upper is some sort of man made, carborundum? The lower looks like hard Arkansas.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View lwllms's profile


555 posts in 3306 days

#5 posted 07-28-2013 08:12 PM

The bottom one is translucent hard Arkansas and a very good stone. The top, I think, may be a Queer Creek natural sandstone stone but it may also be just carborundum. If it’s very coarse, it’s the latter and if it’s more of a medium coarseness it’s probably a Queer Creek. Queer Creek stones have a blueish tent to their color.

View MT_Keg's profile


23 posts in 1915 days

#6 posted 07-28-2013 08:18 PM

the whiter stone has no grittiness to it as all… I put a few drops of water on it and it didn’t seep in.

The grey/blue stone has some grit to it (fine grit)... I put a few drops of water on it and it didn’t seep in.

I guess both of these are oil stones.

Do I have to dress these stones at all. If I do how would I go about doing it?

Do I have to use these stones in any particular order? (do I use the grey one then the white one?)

Do I need to add oil to the stone surface when I use it (what kind should I use?)

I like the idea of keeping tools in the family… I plan on using them to honor my great grandfather and hopefully pass them down to my children!

Thanks for all your help!!


View Don W's profile

Don W

18754 posts in 2592 days

#7 posted 07-28-2013 08:24 PM

They look pretty flat so I’d just start using them. I use a 50/50 mix of diesel fuel and mineral oil on my oil stones.

Use the course one first (top picture) the the hard Arkansas stone.

You will want to keep them flat. You can do that several ways, but you’ll probably get around 100 normal sharpenings before you have to worry about it.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View MT_Keg's profile


23 posts in 1915 days

#8 posted 07-28-2013 09:39 PM

Thank you all for your help…. Guess I gotta go and start to learn how to sharpen!


View lwllms's profile


555 posts in 3306 days

#9 posted 07-28-2013 10:26 PM

I’m guessing your blue/gray stone is Queer Creek and I’d use it as a coarse stone when just honing a fresh edge or maybe even fixing issues. I dress oil stones each time I use them. They’ll cut a lot faster with fresh abrasive exposed and, with just a little care, they’ll always be flat. I dress with a diamond 220 grit stone that runs about $55 from sharpening supplies dot com.

We make, heat treat and sharpen a lot of plane irons. Here’s a sharpening video we recently did in response to one of Chris Schwarz’s blog posts:

View MT_Keg's profile


23 posts in 1915 days

#10 posted 07-29-2013 01:02 AM

I did a little additional digging… it turns out that there were some markings on the side of the grey stone… it said Norton Abrasives Crystolon Oil Stone. Should have looked a little harder at it!

Thank you all again for your help… I can’t wait to use them!


View yrob's profile


340 posts in 3677 days

#11 posted 07-29-2013 01:07 AM

I am surprised at what you are saying lwllms because I always thought you did not have to dress good Arkansas oil stones. Unlike waterstones they are hard enough to stay flat. May be it is not true for stones of lesser quality?

-- Yves

View lwllms's profile


555 posts in 3306 days

#12 posted 07-29-2013 02:20 AM

Even best quality Arkansas stones wear somewhat quickly. They don’t wear as fast as water stones but they do wear. The abrasives in the surface also gets dull. Dull abrasives cut slowly. If you want to sharpen easily and quickly, keep stones flat and well dressed. See the video.

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