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Thread: Natural Stones

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    Senior Member 111Nathaniel's Avatar
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    Default Natural Stones

    Hello,

    I orignally found the straight razor fasinating. As a beginner i bought a coti/bbw combo stone and did all my honing on this stone. I've been doing some research into these natural stones and reciently i've been taking some university courses in geology and earthscience. So since starting using a straight razor my interests have evolved from the razor it self to these wonderful historic stones.

    I live in Newfoundland, and if your into geology you know this is a great place for "rocks"! So i'm begining an adventure in eploring the area in search of stone that can compete with the well known natural stones in this forum. I already found some fine sandstones that rate about 600-800grit. in the future i'm going to be searching for quartzite, siltstones, and shists. With help from the local universities geologic maps. Due to the history of NL the local older folk also know a bit about where to find "sharpening stones" But anything over 3000girt is beyond touch and sight so to continue experimentation will be time consuming.

    I'm just wondering if there are any others on the forum that have a simular interest in geology and have some tips in finding such stones?

    Thanks,
    Bye.

  2. #2
    Senior Member blabbermouth Theseus's Avatar
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    Without knowing the local geography or geology of Newfoundland, I can only offer very basic hints. Since you've already found sandstone, look for areas with slate, novaculite or carborundum/emerald deposits. Garnet deposits would be a great place to search as well.

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    Senior Member 111Nathaniel's Avatar
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    I've heard of novaculite. Actually i thought i found garnets in that sandstone but they were K-seldspar crystals coated in oxydized iron...I wasn't thinking of slate because it is the metamophized shale but during metamorphism the crystals i'm looking for may form which never occured to me, so i'll take a look at the slate nearby. I did some research on the Belgium Coticule with my lab instructor, It was originally a mudstone that undergone particial metamophism becoming a "shist" causing the stone to grow microscopic garnets, in order for that to happen theres a very narrow margin of forces that must be present, thats why there's so little of it occuring naturally.

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    Recovering truckdriver poppy926's Avatar
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    Having knowledge only of natural stones that would work well in a sling shot (many moons ago) I think this has the potential to be a great learning experience. What a vastly diverse group of people.
    mjhammer likes this.

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    Just a guy with free time.
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    I'm really drawn to the natural stones, although I couldn't tell you why. I don't know a thing about a coticule except that I can't afford one. I wish I could help you, cause it sure seems like a great time. Whatever your findings, I'd love to read about them. Thanks!

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    Senior Member deighaingeal's Avatar
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    There have been members in the past that have searched for local stones suitable for razor use. Those that have found them were limited to less than a handful and of those nothing was found with content suitable for mining, even small scale.
    With the large variation in the world we live there must be other places with suitable stones, but there are two ways that I know of to approach this.
    First is the method you are attempting.
    Second is to research historic journals of local tool users or miners that would have access to to limited sharpening stones and may have happened upon a winner.
    I would suggest a mixture of the two.

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    Senior Member Vasilis's Avatar
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    Very few kinds of natural stones are good for sharpening under 1000grit. And, finding natural stones with some potential is not something difficult, I and many others here, have also found a stones suitable for razors. My problem now is to remember where I found it. The tip for finding them is, take samples and test them, the old fashioned way.

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    Senior Member 111Nathaniel's Avatar
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    "Second is to research historic journals of local tool users or miners that would have access to to limited sharpening stones and may have happened upon a winner."

    That could prove a problem in Newfoundland, unlike the unites states the mining industry it's great at keeping journals, and if they do finding them and getting access would be difficult. I was down in the states a while ago i wish i had pursued this while i was there a little So i'm going to have to rely on local guys like my grandfather who know of good sharpening stones but have no idea why they have those properties. Often times i find the older guys i've been talking to just pick up some rock with a flat abrasive side and use it. Usually these stones are to course for razors.
    So I only can rely on the First method you pointed out, just go out walk around look at maps and test everything like Vasilis said. But there's a problem with that now because we have 6 inches of snow down and if it don't warm up before the winter months when we'll have snow anyway, I'll have snow until spring. So looking for rocks won't be fun...
    May i ask why natural stones aren't good under 1000grit?
    Thanks for saying that you can't find where you got them from, now i'm going to label the ones i have before i forget...

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    Senior Member Vasilis's Avatar
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    About the "under 1000grit" stones, there are a few good stones that are under 1000 grit like arato, arkansas, amakuka, wastilla or a French sandstone or even a Greek one I have. But usually, the problems with them (the stones under 1000 grit) are, the binding material is too soft or too hard, they have inclusions that give deeper scratches even if they look homogenous, they may have low percentage of abrasive material, or they could be very slow for any reason. And depending on their composition there might be even more problems. Those characteristics usually don't mark them as bad stones, it's just that they are not preferred over synthetic ones, and their price usually is quite higher.

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    Senior Member 111Nathaniel's Avatar
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    Ok i see what you mean, yeah i have one sandstone that i rate at 700 grit. But it abrasive particles get warn quick and the binding is hard so i'm always refreshing it by rubbing it on cement. This is why i'm looking for Quartzite it's like a sandstone with mostly all quartz so it would be consistent and a fast cutter. yeah there would be few types of stone under 1000k and would be great stones, most are just ok.

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