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Mystery hones... Let's see what you have

Can you show your shobuduni?


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Yep I'll take a pic for you. It's just a small koppa, with a lot of suji (one of which I need to dig out :frown1:), but I'll try to take a close up of the surface for you in a bit.
 
I received today the somewhat dirty old stone that I bought in the post above (when the lady originally sent me the Hindustan by mistake). And was wondering if I might pick people's brains here. I would ask on KKF, but there I think there will be more knowledge about this kind of thing here. Though equally I know there are probably a lot of things that this might be, so it's going to be impossible to say for certain, but any thoughts appreciated. I've tried to give as much description and as accurate pics as possible...

After cleaning it turned out to be a slatey / shaley type thing. Slightly odd measurements, though I assume might have been taller originally - 178 x 43 x 34 mm. Looks like a kind've razor honing type size to me (?). It's remarkably heavy for the size, and though it's hard-ish, it's not like trying to lap novaculite. Slurry is a light, bright, grey, drying chalky, but it does not self slurry, at least with Japanese kitchen knives. Surface is very fine and uniform, and in use again - very fine - this is definitely a finishing stone. Though there's still some 'feedback', this isn't the sharpening-on-glass feeling that some hard novaculite can apparently be. I wasn't raising noticeable burrs on Aogami 2, it's not a fast stone, but it certainly refined the edge quite significantly. Knife came out incredibly sharp with a very fine edge.

A last somewhat peculiar thing I noticed when lapping... it kinda smelt fishy. Not like badly rotting fish, but more briny, oyster-y, iodine-y... like the sea. But still 'fishy'. Is that a thing? Or did it just possibly belong to a fishmonger before?

Any thoughts appreciated (and if it makes any difference this stone is probably going to be quite old I imagine, early to mid 20th century would be my guess, though I'm not certain on that)...

Dry:

IMG-1483.jpg

IMG-1484.jpg

Wet:

IMG-1485.JPG

IMG-1486.JPG

Slurry:

IMG-1487.JPG
 
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(p.s. the closeups there maybe make it look a little mottled, or more grainy, than it is. Perhaps because it had just been lapped on an atoma 400. That effect is basically invisible now after using it - the surface is more just a uniform grey.)
 
[mention]cotedupy [/mention] show it aside, any marks?

I have another puzzle game - it could it be? Old barbers hone. Finisher. Waterhone.






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SliceOfLife

Contributor
Cotedupy.

Show the sides and ends. Looks like it could be a Thuri, but Im not sure.

Thuri's smell very musty/earthy... almost moldy, like a cave or damp basement to me. I could see someone getting "Fish" from that tho.
 
Cotedupy.

Show the sides and ends. Looks like it could be a Thuri, but Im not sure.

Thuri's smell very musty/earthy... almost moldy, like a cave or damp basement to me. I could see someone getting "Fish" from that tho.
Thank you for this. I was kind've leaning toward that after reading about them last night, and seeing people talk about the smell. I don't have the most acute sense of smell - I don't really ever notice my stones smelling different to one another when lapped. With the exception of this and a Turkish Stone I have, both of which smelt quite particular to me. I tried lapping a bit again, and it seems less 'fishy' now. More kind've wet limestone and oysters, still definitely a smell that reminded me of the sea (there's a lot of Limestone on the UK coast).

@musicman980 asked the same thing about the saw marks, and it did have saw marks on all four sides. But I'd lapped a lot of them off by the time he mentioned unfortunately, to clean it up and remove some specks of white paint I think. But one end in particular still shows them quite well. They look to run up and down - at right angles to the honing surfaces (same on all four sides) if that makes sense. I'm not sure they count as distinctive one way or the other, to my untrained eye they don't look particularly remarkable, but I don't really have any others of this kind of fine natural honing stone, so wouldn't know. The lighter bits on the sides of this pic are the Atoma marks, and the white spots are paint.

IMG-1497.JPG
 
[mention]musicman980 [/mention] i cannot decipher what is written there. Honing was fast with great feedback. I would compare it to Igarashi stones. But it is not Japanese. Slurry is thick muddy in the color of the stone. It is not the final finisher but leads to HHT2/3
 

SliceOfLife

Contributor
Hmm, I don't think Thuri based on that pic. Some other slate though. Sawmarks don't rule it out, but aren't what I'd call typical, and depth is significantly more than you'd see on most Thuris. Color also seems to lean a little blacker than typical for a dark blue Thuri. None of this definitely rules out a Thuri, but it'd have to perform characteristically like a Thuri in use/the shave for me to have that stone and go "this is probably a Thuri".

Kind of reminds me a touch of those big brick British slates that usually have that deep rotary blade scar on one end.
 
Hmm, I don't think Thuri based on that pic. Some other slate though. Sawmarks don't rule it out, but aren't what I'd call typical, and depth is significantly more than you'd see on most Thuris. Color also seems to lean a little blacker than typical for a dark blue Thuri. None of this definitely rules out a Thuri, but it'd have to perform characteristically like a Thuri in use/the shave for me to have that stone and go "this is probably a Thuri".

Kind of reminds me a touch of those big brick British slates that usually have that deep rotary blade scar on one end.
Ah... are you meaning the kind've horizontal nicks on the sides in the above pic? I hadn't even considered those were saw marks tbh, I was trying to take a pic of the very light, vertical scratch-like marks! The colour certainly seems to be at the darker end of the pictures of them I've seen (bearing in mind that pic of the end is still somewhat dirty). The first picture I posted originally is probably most indicative of the colour when dry.

As you say - I think it looks like it's going to be one that would need a proper expert to have in their hand, and use it, before being able to make a reasonably confident call.

This was fun though - I did manage to get my wife, who has a far better trained and attuned nose than I do (she judges wine competitions), to do me a 'tasting note' of how the stone smelled. Completely unprompted by me, her verdict was: 'Chalky. Iodine. Like an old rope on a boat.' Which was nice synergy! And clearly goes to show that we've been on some peculiar-smelling boats together ;).
 

Legion

Moderator Emeritus
Ah... are you meaning the kind've horizontal nicks on the sides in the above pic? I hadn't even considered those were saw marks tbh, I was trying to take a pic of the very light, vertical scratch-like marks! The colour certainly seems to be at the darker end of the pictures of them I've seen (bearing in mind that pic of the end is still somewhat dirty). The first picture I posted originally is probably most indicative of the colour when dry.

As you say - I think it looks like it's going to be one that would need a proper expert to have in their hand, and use it, before being able to make a reasonably confident call.

This was fun though - I did manage to get my wife, who has a far better trained and attuned nose than I do (she judges wine competitions), to do me a 'tasting note' of how the stone smelled. Completely unprompted by me, her verdict was: 'Chalky. Iodine. Like an old rope on a boat.' Which was nice synergy! And clearly goes to show that we've been on some peculiar-smelling boats together ;).
I'm not sure, but the closeups of the surface look like the stone I posted on page 18, which had German writing on the box. Mine is a similar sized footprint, but not as thick.

I never got a real answer to the type, so I just put it down to "Thuri of some sort..."

Does it have any small tinges of rust red on any of the sides?
 
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I'm not sure, but the closeups of the surface look like the stone I posted on page 18, which had German writing on the box. Mine is a similar sized footprint, but not as thick.

I never got a real answer to the type, so I just put it down to "Thuri of some sort..."

Does it have any small tinges of rust red on any of the sides?
Ta, the surface does look basically identical to your stone. I don't remember any red on the sides of mine, but I've cleaned and lapped them now, so can't say for sure.

Did you get yours here in Aus? In which case I'd imagine there's probably a good chance they'd be the same 'brand'.
 

Legion

Moderator Emeritus
Ta, the surface does look basically identical to your stone. I don't remember any red on the sides of mine, but I've cleaned and lapped them now, so can't say for sure.

Did you get yours here in Aus? In which case I'd imagine there's probably a good chance they'd be the same 'brand'.
Yep, off Aussie ebay.

The closest thing I can find to it is the Black Mottled Escher, but this stone is very mottled at all. My hypothesis (FWIW) is that maybe, when they first opened that mine, they were mining the best and cleanest looking stone. Kind of like "select grade" coticules. As time went by the supply was dwindling, and they needed to use the more mottled looking stone.

From L to R, Mystery stone, JGES, Modern BME.

89CE7820-2504-4751-943B-1872F670ED3A.jpeg
 
Yep, off Aussie ebay.

The closest thing I can find to it is the Black Mottled Escher, but this stone is very mottled at all. My hypothesis (FWIW) is that maybe, when they first opened that mine, they were mining the best and cleanest looking stone. Kind of like "select grade" coticules. As time went by the supply was dwindling, and they needed to use the more mottled looking stone.

From L to R, Mystery stone, JGES, Modern BME.

View attachment 1280507
Ditto... Mine also off Aussie ebay. I can't imagine there'd be too many different brands of basically identical looking stones imported back in the day (?), so I'd assume they are the same. TY for the info!

I've found some gems here recently on ebay and salvage shops; the mystery-probably-German stone, these two Washitas: Washita Thread. Show off, discuss, etc. - https://www.badgerandblade.com/forum/threads/washita-thread-show-off-discuss-etc.507612/page-9#post-11305918 , and an old Turkish Oilstone which I was rather pleased about (it does have a wooden case as well): Mystery hones... Let's see what you have - https://www.badgerandblade.com/forum/threads/mystery-hones-lets-see-what-you-have.567924/page-21#post-11285539

Total for the four I think was $155 Aus :)
 

Legion

Moderator Emeritus
Ditto... Mine also off Aussie ebay. I can't imagine there'd be too many different brands of basically identical looking stones imported back in the day (?), so I'd assume they are the same. TY for the info!

I've found some gems here recently on ebay and salvage shops; the mystery-probably-German stone, these two Washitas: Washita Thread. Show off, discuss, etc. - https://www.badgerandblade.com/forum/threads/washita-thread-show-off-discuss-etc.507612/page-9#post-11305918 , and an old Turkish Oilstone which I was rather pleased about (it does have a wooden case as well): Mystery hones... Let's see what you have - https://www.badgerandblade.com/forum/threads/mystery-hones-lets-see-what-you-have.567924/page-21#post-11285539

Total for the four I think was $155 Aus :)
Pretty good. I can’t often find natural stones. Mostly all I find are those big ugly, dished, synth oil stones in the wooden boxes.
 
Pretty good. I can’t often find natural stones. Mostly all I find are those big ugly, dished, synth oil stones in the wooden boxes.
I've only had one miss so far in that regard (touch wood) - a stone I thought looked like a natural from the pics, but turned out to be a crappy, small, 'Coarse and Fine' type combi. But also got a Hindustan for free when the person who I got the mystery slate from sent the wrong stone by mistake originally, and said I could just keep it. Which was nice!

I actually sharpen kitchen knives rather than razors, but am really liking some of these old stones. I joined here mostly to learn more about them; while there are a lot of jnat experts on KKF, there's a wider breadth of knowledge here regarding other types. And most of the people there who know about them seem to be here too anyway.

Would be keen to hear if you had any thoughts on the two Washitas I linked to above. I'm going to be letting one go (to someone who's been very generous with their knowledge on KKF) for the price I paid, but slightly undecided which to keep...
 

Legion

Moderator Emeritus
I've only had one miss so far in that regard (touch wood) - a stone I thought looked like a natural from the pics, but turned out to be a crappy, small, 'Coarse and Fine' type combi. But also got a Hindustan for free when the person who I got the mystery slate from sent the wrong stone by mistake originally, and said I could just keep it. Which was nice!

I actually sharpen kitchen knives rather than razors, but am really liking some of these old stones. I joined here really to learn more about them; while there are a lot of jnat experts on KKF, there's a wider breadth of knowledge here regarding other types. And most of the people there who know about them seem to be here too anyway.

Would be keen to hear if you had any thoughts on the two Washitas I linked to above. I'm going to be letting one go (to someone who's been very generous with their knowledge on KKF) for the price I paid, but slightly undecided which to keep...
I've only had one miss so far in that regard (touch wood) - a stone I thought looked like a natural from the pics, but turned out to be a crappy, small, 'Coarse and Fine' type combi. But also got a Hindustan for free when the person who I got the mystery slate from sent the wrong stone by mistake originally, and said I could just keep it. Which was nice!

I actually sharpen kitchen knives rather than razors, but am really liking some of these old stones. I joined here mostly to learn more about them; while there are a lot of jnat experts on KKF, there's a wider breadth of knowledge here regarding other types. And most of the people there who know about them seem to be here too anyway.

Would be keen to hear if you had any thoughts on the two Washitas I linked to above. I'm going to be letting one go (to someone who's been very generous with their knowledge on KKF) for the price I paid, but slightly undecided which to keep...
I'm not going to be much help on that subject. The only Arkansas type stones I have is a soft and a translucent, and they are both small pocket knife sized ones. Once the US guys get up I'm sure you will get some expert opinions in the Washitas thread, though.
 
Anyone fancy having a guess at these four? I picked them up on UK ebay for very little. I imagine at least one of them, possibly three, look like Llyn Idwals...?

(I haven't got these stones yet, just the ebay pictures here for now.)

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