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Thread: Restoring an old (natural) oilstone...

  1. #1
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    Default Restoring an old (natural) oilstone...

    I just picked up an old vintage Norton Queer Creek oilstone. The thing is so greasy and funky that just picking it up soils your hands with grease. It's disgusting. I would like to clean and degrease it without damaging it. I think it's got a lot of honing left in it. Enough to last me out anyway. I've google searched a bit and found some methods mentioned: Easy Off oven cleaner, soaking in kerosene, boiling in dish soap and water, and etc. Here are my concerns. 1.) Doing any of those things will destroy the label. I guess that isn't all that big a deal since there isn't much collector value to these. 2.) Strong chemicals that wouldn't harm a synthetic oil stone like an India stone may break down or damage a natural sandstone. I was hoping that someone here may have been faced with the same situation and may have some insight.


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    Moderator Hirlau's Avatar
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    Any water/liquid that hits that label will ruin it, peel it, but that's Okay as that label on that particular stone has no real worth.

    Before you try any method, try to flake off/crumble the edges with just the pressure of your thumb. Try hard with your thumb. If it crumbles, toss the stone, its no good anymore. If it does not crumble on the edges, then clean it, by pulling out the crud.

    Use EZ-Off the one without fumes, first,,, 25 minutes tops. Nylon brush with a liquid dish detergent to rinse & scrub. Evaluate the stone, repeat process if necessary.

    Remember,,, don't expect to make it oil free, even a natural like a Queer Creek stone, it will retain some oil regardless, but that is good.

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    Senior Member Brontosaurus's Avatar
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    Queer Creeks are pretty stable. I would soak it in Simple Green, used straight. That will remove the standing oil/gunk and raise the grain pretty effectively. Just be sure to use gloves in handling the stone in the SG.

    Queer Creek stones were marketed as being used with oil or water.
    Last edited by Brontosaurus; 05-06-2017 at 05:33 AM.
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    I have a few of these. They seem to be fairly flexible in their grit range, depending on lapping. I do one side around 220 and the other around 400 on W/D. Try higher or lower to see what you prefer. Not a bad work horse of a stone. I struggle with label preservation myself. Still looking for a fool proof way to do it.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Heat the label with a hair dryer and cut it off slowly with a single edge razor blade, while loosening the glue with the hair dryer, if you want to save the label.

    Then hit it with Oven Cleaner, dollar store. Let it sit 10-15 minutes and scrape with a puddy knife.

    Scrub with a stiff brush and hot water and dish washing liquid. You may have to repeat 3-4 times depending on the stone.

    Now soak it, if you want to get all the oil out, it can take months. 25 percent solution of Simple Green or Awesome, (Dollar Store) in a glass pasta jar, (thrift store).

    Change the Solution every 3-4 weeks, eventually all the oil will come out. You can speed up the process with a $5 thrift store slow cooker, for about a week of Simple Green or Awesome.

    Careful the stone gets hot in the water. I have done the slow cooker, but just use the pasta jar and always have a few stones cooking.

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