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Thread: Mistery mottled schist

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    Senior Member Matheus's Avatar
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    Default Mistery mottled schist

    Wandering through the wilderness I found a small wooden combined travel case (razor case + hone + strop) very cheap. The poor thing was very dirty, with some dings and crusts of whatever, and its little hone marred with deep scratches overall.
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    I could't resist and took the little poor thing home.
    Today I spent some time trying to get it cleaned but gave up, took it completely apart and spent a lot of elbow grease sanding the old lacquering out and lapping the hone.

    The stone revealed itself very beautiful, a kind of schist or slate, somewhat grayish and mottled with darker inclusions. Tastes muddy, smells fresh, very hydroscopic, less hard than my chinese 12k and its slurry have a latte appearance. What kind of hone can be this?
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    Schwedenstein. Here's mine, nice score!

    Cheers, Steve
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    Senior Member Matheus's Avatar
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    Wow Steve, just like mine!
    Have you some clue about the source of this kind of case? They are somewhat common here in Brazil and Argentina. Can they be German?
    What kind of finish can I apply on it to keep as original as possible? Shellac, varnish?

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    Most of them seem to be European. I have three altogether, two with what appear to be Schwedenseins and one with either a dark slate or DB Thuringian. One of them I bought out of Australia and has a heavy composition board slip cover with graphics from an exposition around 1912 or so.

    I'd probably use a wipe-on polyurethane. No one would know it wasn't the origianl finish, it's easy and durable.

    Cheers, Steve
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    I bought one like it also. A great finish hone with no bad habits.
    If you want a really old school finish, either fresh Walnut Oil or a beeswax/walnut oil rub. Real boiled linseed oil will work also. Only way to get it is at an art/craft store. Walnut oil at Woodcraft or similar stores.
    The reason for using the real mcCoy is that it is just boiled and no driers etc, added. It will absorb moisture over time and be a mess to work with. A French finish is also possible but look it up!
    ~Richard
    Oopz. The reason for the use of true boiled natural oils is that those natural oils will polymerize after a very short time. That means they have a dry surface that may be rubbed out if you wish. Original varnish, if you will.
    Moisture absorbed by the oils during storage in the bottle or can prevents that from happening!
    Just stays sticky...Yeucchh!
    Last edited by Geezer; 07-07-2015 at 03:30 PM.
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    Schwedenseins

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    Senior Member Matheus's Avatar
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    DIY freak luthier friend of mine gave me some "home made natchural varnish" he obtains from jacaranda tree resin + xilene + whatever you want to colour. My share is very reddish with mahogany and brazil tree pigments (he just spare separately all sawdust he can get and store on old thinner cans with alcohol, further dries the coloured alcohol to get the pigment). Very cool, but also astonishingly messy, smelly, flammable and potentially toxic because of the xilol.
    The mixture is absorbed by the wood slowly, and - as he told me - creates a deposit within the wood fibers. Three or four 12 hours spaced coatings must give the piece a nice polished aspect.
    Astonishing to learn so many things from a single person in about an hour, by the price of a beer. .
    In his words: "first coating will disappear, second will be visible at the surface, but the grain still will be there, third lap will cover the grain and the 4th is "the glass".
    He also gave me some red sealing wax "lacre" to fix the stone to the box with something reliable, removable and "trŤs chic". Lol!

    Great guy!

    BTW, he builds folk instruments, as "hilbillie violins" - we call them "rabecas", and all sorts of noisy things.
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    Senior Member Matheus's Avatar
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    Deeep shiny red!
    With only three layers of luthier's varnish.
    Unfortunately the dovetailed lid of the razor storage cavity was irremediately loose, so I picked up an old 2cent euro coin and with the Dremel, drilled a hole in it, attached it to the dremel cutting disk mandrel, lathed it with a file and built this little tin latch. It works well.
    Time to re-soak the leather with the dovo yellow paste to see if it can be saved and to provide a new black velvet lining to the razor cavity.
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    What is the sise of the stone . Very good travel box , set .

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    Senior Member Matheus's Avatar
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    Thank you, RusenBG. The stone is 190 x 29 x 6 mm.
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