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Thread: A Few Mystery Stones...

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    Default A Few Mystery Stones...

    Hello all! A few mystery stones if anyone wants to offer any thoughts / guesses...

    Over the last year-ish I've been periodically buying things on UK ebay, for whenever I'd finally be able to come back and visit friends and family. About 25 stones in total, and unwrapping them was very fun indeed! But a few remain mysteries if anyone wants to offer any thoughts or guesses they'd be much appreciated...

    I'm not a particular expert on the various types of Purple-With-Green-Bits stone, here are three. The first is soft and quite slow and almost feels like a soft BBW. Second a little harder finer. Third is quite different - very hard, fine and quite fast, a very high quality stone. (I can post more pics of any of these if it'd help, but I'm finding the uploading of them a little tricky, so stopped here):

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    I originally thought this stone was a Charnley, but when lapping it - it clearly wasn't novaculite. This is a very pretty, very hard and fine, sea-green-blue slate. It could possibly be Glanrafon, but it's not exactly like most pictures of them I've seen, and I've never used one before, so can't compare.

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    This green stone came from someone in Devon whose father apparently used it to finish razors, though given how dished and out of shape it was I'm not quite sure how. It also seems relatively coarse for a razor finisher, no higher than about 5k I shouldn't have thought. Excellent and very fast, it appears to be some kind of cherty-novaculitey thing. Perhaps a particularly funky Idwal...?

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    That's about it for the mystery stones, I'm relatively sure I know what all the others are. And as I say - any thoughts much appreciated!
    Last edited by cotedupy; 11-21-2021 at 01:19 AM.
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    Can't see the photos in that last post. That last one does have a Charnley-ish look to it but it also kind of looks like nephrite or jadeite, moreso like nephrite to me. Do you know where its from? I have a couple of nephrite stones and one characteristic of both is that they leave an almost mirror finish on the bevel. Nephrite is a nice finisher for sure.
    As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. PR 27:17

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    Ah yes, looks like those last couple of pics didn't upload properly, have edited now so hopefully that works!

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    The green-blue one with the kinda wavy lines came from someone on UK ebay selling her late father's collection of stones. He had some amazing stuff; including at least 10 or 15 Charnleys, which is what made me think this was one when I bid. And though he did have some American stones, cotis, and other stuff, it was mostly UK stones and I'd be surprised if this wasn't British.

    I've never used any kind of Jade hone before either, so again can't compare, but I'm 99% certain this is a slate (pic below of the distinctly slate-y underside). It's very hard for a slate, and a true razor-finishing stone, but I guess Jade is harder... (?)

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    Last edited by cotedupy; 11-21-2021 at 01:35 AM.

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    Senior Member blabbermouth PaulFLUS's Avatar
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    Sorry to say I can't see the pic in the last post either but the pics from the previous post are fixed.
    Yes, the jade and nephrite are quite hard stones. However they leave an edge that isuch more.skin friendly than novoculite, at least the Arkansas stones.
    As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. PR 27:17

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    My c****y old computer strikes again! Let's try now, obviously it's a bit dirty in this pic as I hadn't cleaned it yet, but you can see some pretty slate-y cleavage I think. It also feels like slate; kinda like a Thuri, but not quite as gloriously creamy feedback.

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    And as you can possibly see there are some bits of the stone that have just the slightest reddish blush to them, which also initially made me think CF (but it isn't).

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    Senior Member blabbermouth PaulFLUS's Avatar
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    Yep. Definitely "slate-y." I have no other insights but I'm sure someone will chime in.
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    As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. PR 27:17

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    So last night I properly lapped the final stone in my original posts, the one I thought might be a 'particularly funky Idwal' 5k at the very most, and something interesting came out...

    I have a couple of other Idwals, but neither shows something that I'd heard can be distinctive of them - a kind of bubbly appearance to the surface. As I was lapping it became obvious that the slightly weird texture on the surface of the stone was that 'bubbly' effect in quite extreme amounts. Here's a pic after a couple of mins, the stone was dished in the middle, so at this stage I've only lapped through the part at the end, at the top:

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    You can see that lapping it has started to remove the bubbliness, revealing the true surface of the stone below with some typical Idwal black lines and dots.

    Here's a picture of the other end with some also-typical-Idwal flinty fissure, you can see that the bubbles are really just very fine, minute, circular surface cracking, which explains why I can lap through them:

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    It also explains why the stone initially seemed much coarser than you might expect from an Idwal; I was basically sharpening on a heavily roughed surface composed entirely of very fine, small cracks.

    In the picture below the stone is now flat, some of the bubbles remain particularly in the middle which has had less lapped off it because it was dished, but I can't be arsed to go further. It's very clearly an Idwal:

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    The stone is now completely different in use; it's fine and it's slow, around 10k+, and very similar to a Charnley in feel and use. You could probably finish a razor on this now. Though TBH I'm not sure which version of it I prefer.

    I have no idea what causes this, but I suspect some of that bubbly feature might come back over time if the stone isn't kept oiled. I could lap through the bubbles - they didn't go through the entire stone - it seems to me like it's from the surface of the stone drying, to reveal aspects of the structure not normally visible. Anyone else had similar experiences with Idwals before?
    Last edited by cotedupy; 11-22-2021 at 01:09 PM.

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