Monday, February 10, 2014

The search continues..... continues

So, where were we?

Sandstone from the Oregon coast, found in my front yard (hopefully not my wife's favorite landscape design element). Very easy to process, not too hard and very homogeneous particle composition. Density is also very even. Not overly thirsty, nothing like the other local sandstone that I use. It looks like it will be about #1000-#1500 grit? If I wasn't familiar with the OTHER sandstone, I would guess #150 and scratchy as hell, haha!

Pretty smooth, easy to use and a surprisingly fine finish. No scratchy bits!

A diamond nagura seems to speed things along. This stone is not very porous, surprised..

Much finer than I was expecting! 

A different angle. I am TRYING to get the light right, to show the scratch pattern. The pattern is still uneven, though, because I haven't actually flattened the bevel yet. A perfect example of why a flat bevel makes things MUCH easier in the long run. I can't imagine how a person would get consistently fine results with a less than flat plane/surface.

W/ODC nagura

This is turning out to be a very easy stone to use! Very forgiving, VERY even, reasonably fast (especially considering the fineness!)

A fresh look using a different, harder blade, polished very fine with my Ozuku asagi.

This is as fine as I can get with a natural stone. Ozuku asagi.

NOW we'll step back to see what sort of a scratch pattern this sandstone leaves.

I need to think of a name to reference this stone.... Anyways, this is the new sandstone again, using the ODC nagura. A bit slower with this harder blade, but not much. This is maybe #5000-#8000? The scratches still look very prominent.....

But it is actually very reflective. Steel is bright mirror, iron is moderately hazy, probably due to the ODC as much as anything.

So, there you have it. A very respectable rock! Not perfect, but you could easily call this your final finish, AND I found it about 20 feet from my front door! A bit of mud, but not muddy, just enough to give a slight cushion. Water  management is not an issue, so no soaking is necessary. No real tendency to dish either.

I love finding these things. The whole process is so unlikely, it still just amazes me. I just need to fill the empty hole in the rock border with one of my "failure" stones before my wife notices.....


  1. Hi.. I just commented on your saw work but i was drawn here by the stones. Mostly that these came from Oregon. I was raised in the central Oregon cost range (Deadwood)and my father still lives there. I have a bit of a stone fetish and have a number of Japanese naturals and way to many man made stones. Of late i have really been wondering about local stones for sharpening and have thought a lot about Oregon. I'm very interested in where on the Oregon coast you found the stones? Was the longer stone also from Oregon?

  2. Replies
    1. Haha, hi Bill!

      Both of those sandstones were just picked up in a rocky cove, near Newport Oregon. This stone was actually just sitting in our yard, so I can't truly vouch for its provenance, but the longer, narrow stone from the other post....that one came from one of my old intertidal research sites, Boiler Bay.

      This stone didn't release its grit fast enough to be a true contender. Grit release is a HUGE part of finding a workable natural sharpening stone. The best will give up particulate at the perfect rate, and it will be both abrasive AND friable. Most everything I find is too hard. Or too soft. Or uneven grit size composition. Or....

      Haha! It's fun though! I wanted to get further inland and look for some good, hard sedimentary rocks. Also, agate. This hard sandstone rock got left behind in our move to Hawaii, but the longer, soft and gritty stone from the other post....that one I kept.

      The rough work I'm doing right now only has me sharpening to #2000, on synthetic, no less. Smooth, but not reflective, not glass. I love the Jnats though. My good ones are still sleeping in a box somewhere.

      Thanks for writing, and let me know if you find anything interesting!


Like all of us, I am figuring this out as I go, so when you see something that is incorrect or flat out wrong (and you will!), let me know. This is a learning process. Real people and names, please. Constructive comments and questions are very welcome, but hate speak/politics are not! Life (get one!) is too short.

Thanks, Jason