First test of a cheap, Chinese sourced natural stone- guardedly optimistic...

Discussion in 'Sharpening Station' started by Bert2368, Mar 17, 2019.

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  1. Mar 17, 2019 #1

    Bert2368

    Bert2368

    Bert2368

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    I ordered this stone from seller "realskuller" through Etsy on February 12th, it was delivered on March 15th.

    https://www.etsy.com/transaction/1582190265

    I checked it for flatness, ground out some marks left on it by whoever flattened it (only one side came looking more or less ready to go, see pictures). Then I used it to sharpen my 35 year old Henckels 4 star chef knife, the only kitchen knife on hand which really could have used a touch up.

    Initial impression: Much more satisfactory than the Mexican sandstone I recently tried. Especially for the price. I'm going to be using this one on annything that comes up for a while, hoping to confirm this.

    ---------

    It was very well packed, multiple layers of bubble wrap, styrofoam, packing tape, yet more cosed cell foam and tape. No cardboard. If the slow boat from China had sunk, this package would have floated.

    20190317_162801.jpg

    20190317_162440.jpg

    The "good side". I drew some pencel lines on it, ran it over a sheet of 80 grit wet sandpaper and the lines all disappeared within seconds. Pretty flat as it came, but some scratches were present. Ran it over a sheet of 220 grit wet sandpaper for about a minute, scratches were erased. A yellowish mud was generated in large quantities-

    20190317_163139.jpg

    20190317_163045.jpg

    20190317_163252.jpg

    20190317_164327.jpg

    The mud quickly turned a dark grey/green when I started to sharpen the Henckel. This stone cuts a little slower than my 500 Shapton glass, leaves finer scratches.

    20190317_170133.jpg

    I apexed the blade, then did a slight secondary bevel. Followed that with 5 passes per side on denim impregnated with Turtle wax scratch & swirl remover using only the weight of the knife. Then another 5 passes per side stropping on bare leather...

    Knife sliced copier paper with aplomb. Shaved my arm. I spent VERY little time to achieve this, blade was not "dull as a hoe" before, but was not slicing tomatoes with zero pressure, occasionally glanced off the dry outer skin of big sweet yellow onions, it was far from perfect if you're a knife nerd.

    I'm going to go out and buy some tomatoes, also thawing out a big chunk of venison for some real world testing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
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  2. Mar 17, 2019 #2

    Bert2368

    Bert2368

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    (Addendum)

    Got out the carbon steel nakiri, did a little work on the factory ground portion above the bevel where the core white paper steel becomes exposed (please pardon my lack of correct Japanese terminology for describing this).

    Before:

    20190317_182603.jpg

    After:

    20190317_183918.jpg

    Close up of surface left "after", scratches left by factory have been pretty much erased in the shiny portion at center of this pic. Strokes were back and forth at 90 degrees to edge, holding the fsctory ground area above bevel flat to the stone with fairly light pressure.

    This was accomplished quite quickly, less than 2 minutes work. This stone cuts steel acceptably fast for my needs.


    20190317_184052.jpg

    I would describe the appearance of effect as slightly "frosty", rather finer than stone washed but definitely not a mirror, nor even a satin. Hazy?
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
  3. Mar 18, 2019 #3

    Dhoff

    Dhoff

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    Very interesting. Too bad the original link is dead now :(

    How much did you pay?
     
  4. Mar 18, 2019 #4

    Bert2368

    Bert2368

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    The item is still listed, I probably screwed up the link. Try this:

    https://www.etsy.com/listing/638152...a_search_query=Stone&ref=shop_items_search_26

    (Edit)
    Etsy listing shows he has 29 of them available.

    I paid US $22.5, of which $9.00 was shipping.

    I see other sizes of stones now offered as well, here is a 15cm long version:

    https://www.etsy.com/listing/671870254/6-or-15cm-razor-hone-sharpening-stones?ref=related-1

    This same seller has a number of fossils offered. I notice a resemblance between the fossil bearing rock and the sharpening stones-

    20190318_160613.jpg

    20190318_160839.jpg

    Conjecture: Are the fossils perhaps "by catch", found during operation of a a stone quarry? Or are the sharpening stones the off cuts and waste from a fossil quarry...

    This is what the stone looks like dry after being smoothed on 1500 grit Silicon carbide paper and washed/dried.

    20190318_152534.jpg

    I have now tried sharpening a 150mm VG-10 core stainless clad pettit knife and the 150mm white paper carbon steel, carbon clad nakiri. Worked OK on both, smoothing the stone surface completely of the manufacturing scratches & radiusing the edges has made it apparent the stone DOES give a nice tactile and auditory feedback of how it is grinding. Wish I had a standard, well known J nat to compare that feedback with.

    After sharpening, I only did a few strokes on bare leather. They shave, slice loosely held paper and one of them cut ME quite effectively when I brushed a finger against the edge while cleaning...

    20190318_155721.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
  5. Mar 19, 2019 #5

    XooMG

    XooMG

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    Looks like a nice stone.
     
  6. Mar 20, 2019 #6

    Bert2368

    Bert2368

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    I like it more the more I use it.

    Just sharpened three Globals with the new Chinese stone, followed by stropping on a tri folded piece of copier paper. Sharp, grabby edge, about as good as I've ever got these knives to cut food. Don't shave my arm hair well but they just whizz through a loosely held sheet of paper at any angle you choose to slice it at.

    I sliced some fennel bulbs into 1/3 inch thick pieces for roasting, the knives sailed through these.

    Im'a gonna cook more just so I can sharpen more. Probably going to get really fat...

    20190319_222622.jpg
     
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  7. Mar 20, 2019 #7

    Dhoff

    Dhoff

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    What angle did you sharpen those bsstards on?
     
  8. Mar 20, 2019 #8

    Bert2368

    Bert2368

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    Did it by hand (actually, by how it felt & sounded), somewheres around 15 degrees per side, if I had to guess.
     
  9. Mar 20, 2019 #9

    Ivan Hersh

    Ivan Hersh

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    Is this the stone you bought? using your link is your to your buying and i can't use it.
    ========
    https://www.etsy.com/listing/638152...nes&ref=sr_gallery-1-3&organic_search_click=1
     
  10. Mar 21, 2019 #10

    Bert2368

    Bert2368

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    It is same seller, pictures look similar but are NOT the same pictures I recall from original listing, most of the written description is the same.

    It's not the exact same listing but appears to be for the same item.
     
  11. Mar 21, 2019 #11

    Ivan Hersh

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    Seller has a group of different stones for sale, is Pay Pal the only payment choice?
     
  12. Mar 21, 2019 #12

    Bensbites

    Bensbites

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    This looks interesting. Is it a splash and go or a soaker?
     
  13. Mar 21, 2019 #13

    Bert2368

    Bert2368

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    I have only used it as splash and go. NO idea if it should be varnished on the bottom & sides, I've just dried washed it and wiped the water off.

    As far as payment, ask the seller via Etsy. His English is pretty good.

    Also, there is now the possibility of a larger (33cm x 7cm x 4cm) stone, this was quoted at US $30 including shipping.
     
  14. Mar 21, 2019 #14

    Uncle Mike

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    What grit would you say it is?
     
  15. Mar 21, 2019 #15

    Bert2368

    Bert2368

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    I think that like most naturals, this isn't really possible to answer. Comparative effect to other stones is all I can tell.

    Even if I had a microscope and a comparator scale to check grit sizes, the next chunk of rock from the quarry will be what it will be, no guarantees that the river or ocean which had the sediment settle out tk form the rock strata had a uniform current to sort particle sizes.

    I sharpened kitchen knives which were somewhat dull but not really chipped or dammaged, they cut well after. I believe the edge left could be called "toothy", it wants to grab and slice, not just skate over a tomato skin.

    I wouldn't sharpen a shaving razor with this, although the Japanese carbon steel and VG 10 edges this stone left would shave my arm after a little bit of stropping, it was NOT a comfy close shave, I was kind of worried about slicing skin off instead of shaveing.

    Have not tried it on woodworking tools yet, I have a rotten cold the last couple of days, don't want to go outdoors to reach the woodworking shop. Maybe later.

    Be aware: this stone is quite soft. Slurry is produced fast, in large quantities. You probably CAN wear this stone out in your lifetime, especially if you flatten frequently, which it will need.

    You can easily skim material off the face if you raise a blade too high. Run sharp steel against a corner, it WILL cut the corner down.

    I would guess that the "feel" is related to that softness, it is very noticable if I raise a blade to too high an angle while stroking edge forward. Riding the feel of being just below that angle gave me the best and quickest results on knives.

    -------

    (Edit)

    In case density is of interest?

    Stone is 20.3 x 5.7 x 2.8 cm for a total volume of about 324cc.

    Weight is 856g.

    Density is about 2.64 g/cc.

    I wish I had one of the student type mineral test kits our school gave us in 8th grade with the samples of minerals for Mohs scale scratch relative hardnes testing, a porcelain streak plate & etc.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2019
  16. Mar 23, 2019 #16

    Bert2368

    Bert2368

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    Which members in the USA have experience of a wide variety of natural stones and so would be qualified to compare a new, unknown natural stone with other, well categorized traditional stones?

    And possibly the time and interest to do so?

    Send me a PM if that's you.
     
  17. Mar 26, 2019 #17

    Bert2368

    Bert2368

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    To make my preceeding post more clear:

    I found that this bargain basement natural stone works to sharpen several types of knives.

    I have no background to judge how WELL it works in comparison to, say, a J nat, plus no budget to get a multi hundred dollars "stone of renown" for comparison.

    I am interested in some informed hands on opinions comparing this stone to other naturals from people who HAVE that experience.

    So I'm going to start a thread on the "Pass Arounds and Loaners" section for this stone.
     
  18. Mar 27, 2019 #18

    Bert2368

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    Stone is going to Georgia next.

    Dan, please post any thoughts you may have about the rock here-

    Thanks all!
     
  19. Mar 27, 2019 #19

    Ivan Hersh

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    As the supplier of these stones gets them from many different place's i am thinking, and even though i am sure stones can vary in their grit size and quality.
    So even if i ordered the same stone you now are working with, my stone might be a lot different in how soft or hard it is and how it sharpens a blade.
    If it's not a big investment it surly would be worth giving these stones a testing.
     
  20. Mar 28, 2019 #20

    Bensbites

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    Well, your enthusiasm for this stone andvthe passaround has pushed my curiosity. I thought about joining the passaround, but for $20 USD shipped, I splerged and bought the stone.
     
  21. Mar 28, 2019 #21

    Ivan Hersh

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    Is the stone you are buying the one only being sold with PayPal?
     
  22. Mar 28, 2019 #22

    Bensbites

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    According to the Etsy link there are 25 available
     
  23. Mar 29, 2019 #23

    Bert2368

    Bert2368

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    Pretty much what led me to try this variety of stone out, at under $25.00 shipped, I could afford to roll the dice.

    Buying $100 to $X,000 famous mine/strata name natural stones really isn't in my "mad money" budget, even if it were, those stones would STILL be a gamble for me due to my ignorance and inexperience- but also somewhat due to the inate variability of natural materials.

    If you look at my postings related to stones/knives/kitchen equipment I'm buying and trying out? I am the knifey equivalent of the old ladies playing nickel slot machines at the casino.

    But hey, I'm having fun. And I can honestly say that I'm learning and trying new things, plus "she who must be obeyed" thinks the quality of my cooking has been going up since I started following this forum.

    Thanks again to all of you.
     
  24. Mar 29, 2019 #24

    Bensbites

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    Clearly like dogs, we can smell our own kind.
     
  25. Mar 29, 2019 #25

    Bert2368

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    Old Chinese proverb:

    "A dog never smells his own"
     
  26. Mar 31, 2019 #26

    Bert2368

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    Before sending the stone off, I DID find one piece of steel which would not sharpen on this stone.

    When sharpening some woodworking tools, for some reason the tool steel blade on a (probably around 100 YO) Stanley #18 block plane absolutely REFUSED to take a good edge.

    In fact, the longer I tried, the more irregular, jagged and chippy the edge got. I have no clue WHAT was going on here.

    This was a new to me tool, an antique #18 block plane I got cheap through ebay. After a while, I told myself that Stanley must have screwed up that blade somehow and that's why a collectible tool this ol d seemed barely to have barely been used, had a blade 99% of original length, yet someone sold it to me for way cheap.

    My assumption was wrong.

    I did manage to get that plane blade sharp today with a set of new Chinese "diamond water stones" followed by stropping with diamond paste on copier paper, it WAS capable of taking an edge. It certainly did not agree with this natural, though.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019
  27. Apr 4, 2019 #27

    Bert2368

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  28. Apr 18, 2019 #28

    dwalker

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    Bert was kind enough to send this stone to me to try out. As soon as it arrived, I used it to touch up a Munetoshi petty right before a meal prep. Without spending much time, it put a pretty nice working edge on it. This stone is very easy to use.

    In the following week, I spent some more time working with the stone on a variety of kitchen knives. I touched up white 2, blue 1, 2, and W2. I spent some time working the mud down and was able to achieve a relatively refined edge with a bit of bite on all of them that was shaving sharp off the stone. I consider it to produce a terrific working edge for kitchen knives.

    I can best describe the stone as a very soft, less fine, Tsushima Nagura that produces mud like a red aoto. It is very consistent and easy to use - a good investment for someone wanting to try a natural without breaking the bank. A perfect beginner stone.

    I did put a white steel yanigiba on it to see what kind of polish it gives. Again, it was very easy to use in this task. It left an attractive kasumi with what I would call a medium contrast. I'm sure I could get a more consistent finish if I spent a little more time. I spent probably less than 3 minutes just to see what it would do.

    All said, this stone is a steal for the price. I liked it enough that I offered to buy it from Bert if he is pleased with the larger size he ordered and is willing to let it go.

    Pardon the poor light I had for pictures.

    20190330_164145.jpeg 20190330_164243.jpeg
     
  29. Apr 18, 2019 #29

    Bensbites

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    I am very happy to hear this. Mine arrived Monday as we left for a family vacation. I have not had time to touch it or the $8 10k natural stone that arrived from amazon.

    I may try and sell my Aizu now for a much lower price.
     
  30. Apr 18, 2019 #30

    Walla

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    So...I looked around the seller's Etsy shop...seems to have some...how shall I put it...items that cater to particular adult tastes... LoL...

    They really are selling all kinds of things there....


    Take care


    Jeff
     

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