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273355 Richard Wilson <yorkshireman@y...> 2021‑04‑06 Re: Box or Case for Large Oilstone
John has some tricky design issues to work through...

> On 6 Apr 2021, at 09:03, John Ruth  wrote:
> Please help me design a box or case for a large oilstone that I inherited from
my father.  I believe it was previously owned by his father, who passes
literally decades before I was born.  I want to make s box with a hinged lid.  A
major goal is to preserve the stone for the next generation.
> The stone is 14" long by 3-7/8" wide by 2-3/8" high at the ends.  ( The center
is dished by a considerable amount, perhaps 1/2" Flattening is not yet on the
> It was formerly in a crude wooden half-box formed by nailing sides and ends
onto a board.  The good feature was that excess oil could ooze out between the
bottom and the sides, though eventually the whole thing was crumbly due to using
excessive miscellaneous oils over its many years.

Given its provenance, I’d be starting by resolving to myself the degree to which
I want to preserve the ‘heritage’ of a well used, crudely made artefact that has
a place in my family history, versus
produce a stunning stone box, versus
produce a stone box of great practicality, versus
produce a show piece that lives indoors as an heirloom item

If I was trying to ‘preserve’ it, then I may just rebuild the format of the
nailed together box.  Does it need you to find some cut nails?   After nailing
something together, in the style and with the accuracy of the original, I should
do some suitable ‘ageing’

However, If I wanted something better, I’d make up the mahogany, careful to use
end grain for the ends as if it came from a single chunk (To maintain integrity
should it do any shrinking or expanding.  I strugle with the idea of a hinged
lid, as you so often need the stone to be raised and your knuckles to be lower
than the surface on either side.  After well varnishing, the traditional method
would be to putty it into the box, though you may wish to use wooden wedges at
either end instead.  Maybe a subtle moulding at the join of top and bottom, and
a wide bevel on the top, and it would be enough.

Same question about flattening.   I’m pretty convinced that you have other
stones for actual working sharpening, so do you want to remove its history and
flatten it, or maybe just clean it up and look at the way it has been used for
generations and hollowed by generations of your family.  It’s perfectly possible
to use a hollowed stone - and this is evidence - why not try it?  use it to
sharpen a few things and use them.  Experience the acquisition of the skill to
move with the hollow and still get a sharp edge.   We are much more picky these
days - absolutely flat stones - micro bevels - accuracy to thousandths - but it
wasn’t always so, and empires were buiilt with hollow stones and tools that were
just sharp enough.

That’s my take - worth exactly what you paid for it… 

Richard Wilson
Yorkshireman Galoot

Yorkshireman Galoot
in the most northerly county, farther north even than Yorkshire
IT #300

Recent Bios FAQ