OldTools Archive

Recent Bios FAQ

130910 Trevor Robinson <robinson@b...> 2004‑03‑19 Re: Stones
Hi, Richard and Others
	"Turkey" fits the description of Belgian stones, known there as
"coticule". They are always used with water rather than oil and were used
to hone straight razors. Does anyone know if they are (geologically) the
same as Turkey? Where did Turkey stones originate? I gather that the
quarries for coticule have about run out now, but I have several of the
stones and treasure them.
	By the way, I also have what is, apparently, a Charnley forest
stone that I inherited. I've never used it but keep it around mostly
because it is in such a pretty mahogany box.

130919 reeinelson@w... (Bob Nelson) 2004‑03‑19 Re: Stones
Hi Trevor & All,

I can't answer Trevors other questions, but I do know that Turkey stones
originated from (drum roll please) Turkey!

Best Wishes,

130903 Richard.Wilson@s... 2004‑03‑19 Stones
Of all modern appliances, I regard the modern oilstones as the most 
beneficial to woodworkers of the present time.  In my youth we did not, of 
course, realise it, but now I see how very much we were handicapped by the 
poor class of stones then available. A few men were the possessors of a 
"Turkey"; the only other variety known to us was the "Charnley Forest". 
Both were natural products, for a manufactured stone at that time had not 
been heard of.  The Turkey, a cream and brown mottled stone of beautiful 
smooth texture, can still hold its own, and it may safely be predicted 
that, in the rare instances where pieces still remain, they will, by 
virtue of their merit, be handed down for use by succeeding generations. I 
never saw a full-sized Turkey stone without minute cracks and fissures. 
Apparently it was obtained from the natural rock with difficulty; the 
sides were uneven, and we assumed that the producers were content with 
attaining one flat side.  Turkey stones absolutely needed the protection 
of a wooden case, imbedded in which they were good for lifelong use.  But 
the owners were careful of them, lest they should fall and be shattered. 

All my father's men used the "Charnley Forest", a natural British stone 
resembling slate, and I have vivid memories of the incessant rubbing that 
was necessary before a keen edge on the tool could be obtained on them. 
They varied slightly in quality, but even the very best were dreadfully 
slow; and all demanded an abnormal amount of labour, to lighten which we 
sometimes applied fine emery powder to the surface.  This quickened the 
process, but left a raw and unsatisfactory edge to the tool.  Recourse to 
the grindstone was had immediately the sharpening bevel became wide. 
In the year 1889 the "Washita". An imported stone, appeared on the English 
market, and was hailed with delight by all woodworkers , who straightway 
discarded their "Charnley Forests" for ever.  One old stone, that had till 
then been considered of supreme merit and priceless value, was then hawked 
round the workshop where I was serving a term of apprenticeship, and 
failed to find a purchaser at the proffered price of sixpence.  On my 
weekend visits home, I carried a new stone to show my brother, who 
insisted on keeping it.  It created a minor sensation in my father's 
workshop, where its undreamed of quality of sharpening captivated all my 
father's men, each of whom speedily obtained one.  Being a natural stone, 
it varies in quality.  If quick cutting is required to ordinary 
carpenters' tools a coarse grained one should be selected, but for carving 
tools a fine texture is preferable. 

Since that time, two manufactured stones have appeared.  The "Indiana" and 
the "Carborundum".  Each is made in three grades, fine, medium, and 
coarse, and each has recognised valuable qualities.  Experience of work at 
the bench. Inclines me to favour the fine "Indiana" as a stone of a 
texture on which a smooth keen edge can be obtained.  But for ordinary 
outdoor carpentry I would prefer the medium. 

Walter Rose
"The Village Carpenter"  1937

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130959 "Jordan, Wolfgang" <Wolfgang.Jordan@f...> 2004‑03‑22 RE: Stones
Trevor Robinson:
> I gather that the quarries for coticule have about run out now, but I
have several of the
>stones and treasure them.

This applies only to the yellow stone. Some years ago they have found a
blue variety which is almost as good.


Recent Bios FAQ