Hindostan Info/Photos/ID Thread

Discussion in 'Hones/Honing' started by eKretz, Jan 18, 2016.

    I've gathered some info on these stones, having interest in them since I live in Indiana. Figured I'd post it and start a dedicated thread for these guys. The following text info was compiled and typed up from a few different old Indiana geological reports from the mid to late 1800's.

    Quick summary, I find it most interesting that the stones can range from nearly pure white, to bluish gray, to orange with or without whiter swirls, to red. They can have black or brown spots, or not. They can have manganese swirls, or not. They are a type of quite fine-grained sandstone with nearly uniform particle size of on average (in the vast majority of samples tested) about 20 microns - though they can be as small as 10 microns or as large as 32 microns.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2016
  1. Here's a labeled Hindostan, only one I've ever seen:

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  2. Dcaddo

    Dcaddo Moderator Emeritus

    Neat stone. Is that yours?
  3. Nope, wish it was!
  4. A bump for a worthy stone

    I got this stone last spring and finally hit around to cleaning it up. It was black with streaks of white showing thru the crud. Gave it a green soak for a few day and out came this orange streaked-swirled stone. It is 8 x 2 1/4 x 1 1/4 thick and has a slight dish on both sides. It cleaned up to be a handsome stone for being almost 200 years old from the mine

    IMG_2714.JPG IMG_2715.JPG IMG_2709.JPG IMG_2710.JPG IMG_2711.JPG
  5. Last edited: Aug 25, 2018
  6. I was going to post the other day but got sidetracked - your stone looks like a fine example of a #1 regular Hindo. That pamphlet is great, haven't seen that one before. Confirms what I've read elsewhere (old geological reports from Arkansas) about the need to keep the Washita stones wet or they will harden. I store my Washitas in an oil bath when they're not in use.
  7. Love those old manfucturs booklets with info

    Do you keep your Washitas submerged or just the working surface wet?
  8. I have a tub with most of the better stones submerged. A couple that wouldn't fit are in an old metal Pike whetstone case that's covered in oil soaked felt inside. There are a few others that are sitting out that I just wet from time to time also.

    One of these days if I ever start feeling better I'd like to make an exploratory trip to the old quarry areas for the Hindostans and see if there's any possibility of finding a few samples. It's only about 3½ - 4 hours from my home.
  9. That's interesting about the continuous oil soak for the Washitas. When I have cleaned mine up, I've soaked them for three days in oil to saturate them, as I've done with soft Arkansas stones, but afterwards, it's just been oil on the surface during use. @eKretz are you using your Hindostans with water as mentioned in the literature above or just oil?
  10. The soak does seem to keep the Washitas cutting a little better vs. not soaking.

    I prefer oil on the Hindostans also, but don't have any of those soaking. To be honest, I originally soaked the Washitas on a whim just because of that old geological report I read. For coarser stones in general I've found oil to be better. Water seems to dull the sharp abrasive edges faster and cutting slows down.
  11. Thanks.
  12. duke762

    duke762 Contributor

    Fellow Hoosier here. I was blown away about the stories about this stone when I first heard it about 3 years ago. I've never set out specifically to purchase a Hindo but they have turned up in lot's and occasionally in cool boxes I just had to have. That being said, I have yet to really try to figure one out. After revisiting them today, I think I came up with something to experiment with.

    Lately I've been trying Coticule slurry on everything but corn flakes and think this red one might be my next victim. The layers in the red one are so closely spaced as to be impossible to see in the pictures. The very straight, evenly spaced one is obviously a binary message from God that says "Made in Indiana".

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 8, 2018
  13. Howdy neighbor! Very nice collection. I only have one Hindo at the moment, here is mine:


  14. duke762

    duke762 Contributor

    Cool stone eKretz! I like the looks of the wood grained stones. Some pictures I've seen of others are almost identical to real wood. I wonder if the woody appearance didn't help drive the stones market as a grave stone.

    Any tips for usage on these? Anyone? Not expecting a whole lot but would like to see what I've got here. I believe I read somewhere that after a slurry is formed during usage, (on tools), and that the slurry breaks down and becomes finer allowing a fairly good finish on the tool. I went through so much work getting the oil out of these, maybe I'll try water first and then go to oil......I've got a rusty, ancient, butcher knife just begging me to find bevels and an edge somewhere. I think the softer, carbon steel maybe a good match to test with and is similar to what may have been expected of it back in the day.

    Jeez..I just remembered, I have a lapped and oiled 6 inch tucked away here some place. I'm going after it first.
  15. My particular example isn't so great at razor honing without jumping through hoops (basically lapping the stone super-fine like an Ark - but even then it's not like an Ark by any means). I prefer it as a mid-level stone for knives, where a bit of pressure can be used. This keeps the stone cutting unglazed and produces a good sharp kitchen knife edge. If yours is similar you will probably like it for your cleaver.

    There were some stones sold for razor use but the specifics of that have been lost to time I think. Not sure if they were the white ones, the multi-color ones or what.

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