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Thread: A very old Pike stone-Lake Superior

  1. #1
    Senior Member Steel's Avatar
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    Default A very old Pike stone-Lake Superior

    I just got this in the mail today and it seems to be around a 300 grit fine sandstone. Research has brought up little but some old archives (1880-1895) talk about this stone coming from Ohio (despite the name of Lake Superior) and they say it is similiar to a Labrador stone (not labradorite). I have been looking for a natural stone to remove chips and what not and sandstone proper has been too rough to use on razors. This one seems to fit the bill. Time will tell. I figured I would share it here since there is little info on the web and no pictures that I have been able to come up with.
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    Senior Member Steel's Avatar
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    Well, I am sorry to report that the initial tests have tanked. I was hoping for a stone that was aggressive enough to remove chips but being natural would not leave deep scratches. I didn't find that to be true at all. Being a sandstone it was very scratchy sounding but not aggressive at all. It barely removed steel and when I was able to it left much to be desired for an edge. I will keep trying different things periodically but my Washita No. 1 removes metal twice as fast and leaves an edge 10 times as good. I hate to give up on such a rare piece of American history though too.
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    Senior Member Brontosaurus's Avatar
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    That first shot looks like a Queer Creek stone to me--a natural Ohio sandstone sold by Pike. But the coloration of the stone with the Lake Superior stamp seems off. Never heard of the Lake Superior stone. Thanks for sharing the pic. Are you sure it's not a synthetic? Sandstone can look synthetic though...
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    Senior Member Steel's Avatar
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    Yes. The "Lake Superior" stone from Pike is actually mentioned in a few documents from the 1800's by name. It appears right along side other oil stones such as Hindustan, Washita, Arkansas, etc. They make mention of it as a natural oil stone. A very old product from Pike.
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    Senior Member Brontosaurus's Avatar
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    How about Ohio bluestone from the first pic? At least it wasn't far from Lake Erie: https://clevelandhistorical.org/items/show/552. When you have a moment, can you post some consistent, color-balanced shots of the stone in daylight?

    Here's an old SRP thread that might also be of interest: Norton Queer Creek Oil Stone.
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    According to these documents it was mined in Cayahoga County Ohio which could be a type of blue stone or a berea sandstone. No way to know for sure but it is most definitely a fine grained sandstone from Ohio.
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    Senior Member Steel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brontosaurus View Post
    How about Ohio bluestone from the first pic? At least it wasn't far from Lake Erie: https://clevelandhistorical.org/items/show/552. When you have a moment, can you post some consistent, color-balanced shots of the stone in daylight?

    Here's an old SRP thread that might also be of interest: Norton Queer Creek Oil Stone.
    I will try to get some better pictures in the next couple days.
    What a curse be a dull razor; what a prideful comfort a sharp one

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Yeah, sandstones are a bummer. Steel has to be really soft for them to get anywhere, and they always cut slower but coarser than an equivalent novaculite stone.
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