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Thread: Queer Creek / Clear Creek / Ohio Blue Whetstone

  1. #1
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    Queer Creek / Clear Creek / Ohio Blue Whetstone

    Has anyone ever used a Queer Creek / Clear Creek / Ohio Blue Whetstone?

    They were originally called "Queer Creek" by Pike / Norton. That trademark expired in 2006 and they changed the name to Clear Creek. They are also called Ohio Blue Whetstones.

    I am curious if anyone has ever used one.

    Apparently you can use them with oil or water.

    Pike produced a booklet titled "Oilstones How To Select And Use Them". They state the following:

    The QUEER CREEK is a hard, medium-coarse-grained sand stone, quarried in Ohio, dark gray in color and suitable only for grinding down dull tools, or sharpening those intended for coarse work‘ It is inclined to glaze unless used with care, and Works fully as well with water as with oil.
    They also state

    The Deerlick is practically the same as the Queer Creek in appearance and sharpening qualities. The Queer Creek and Deerlick are generally sold a little lower than the No. 1 Washita.
    I live in Ohio and these were mined not too far from me. If you purchase a new one today (for about $20), it will be 8"x2"x1" ( the 1" is probably 3/4"). I understand that they query the rock and send it to Mexico to be cut.

    For no reason other than idle curiosity, I decided that I want to try one of these stones. I am curious if anyone else has used these, and if they preferred using it with Oil or Water. I will try it with water because I understand that if i use Oil, it won't come back out. I can always switch to Oil after I have given it a try and give up on water.

  2. #2
    Yeah,they've come up here before. I bought one at a Spotless Hardware Store when I was in grade school. Toward the fine
    side , a little coarser than a soft Arkansas. Some have referred to them as a " second line" stone.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Fulks View Post
    Yeah,they've come up here before. I bought one at a Spotless Hardware Store when I was in grade school. Toward the fine
    side , a little coarser than a soft Arkansas. Some have referred to them as a " second line" stone.
    Did you use it with oil or water? I intend to test it with some knives to start, just to see what it does.

  4. #4
    That was a looong time ago! I used both ....but not much. Just try it out and let US know what you think .

  5. #5
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    The write up you quoted seems to state a clear point about this stone:

    suitable only for grinding down dull tools, or sharpening those intended for coarse work
    It sounds like it may be the kind of stone used to reestablish a bevel or clean up some big chips. Not for putting a shine on the bevel.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  6. #6
    Jim ,that is possible, but the standards for fine and coarse change. In the 60s everyone I worked with used carborundum
    stones. Even the fine Lithuanion cabinetmaker who made big banquet tables and such. And with no pastes ,stropping ,etc.
    Just the Carborrundum.

  7. #7
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    In my stone accumulation, I have a "Queer Creek". It is old, though I can't estimate how long ago it was mined and turned into a stone. As it was definitely used as an oilstone, that is what I tried it out as. I couldn't catergorize it, other than it not being outstanding enough to spend time on. It was not a Washita, maybe like a soft Arkansas.
    If the thunder don't get you, the lightning will.

  8. #8
    I bought a Queer Creek stone in 1983 for $3.50. It is 1X2X8, which was the standard size before the sharpening jigs reared their ugly heads. I bought it because I was interested in historic methods. In historic times this would have been called a rub stone, used with water for sharpening a tool that would be then polished with a fine oil stone. The Queer Creek is a fine sandstone, relatively hard in comparison to other sandstones.

    I could do my work with nothing but the Queer Creek, a soft Arkansas and a clean strop. The Queer Creek sometimes shows up on grit equivalency charts as finer than a soft Arkansas. Nobody who actually used these stones would characterize them that way. I would say there is a big jump from the QC to the soft Arkansas, which is a polishing stone.

    I have often wondered if some historic rub stones were a bit softer than the QC, so that they would wear more easily. I tried treating the stone with acid to attack the limestone binder and make it softer but with little success. I prefer an 800 grit water stone or a carborundum stone for preliminary sharpening.

    Here is a sandstone, a grinding wheel, and an oil stone from Roubo:

    roubo sharpening.jpegroubo oilstone.jpg
    Last edited by Warren Mickley; 03-28-2020 at 7:56 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Fulks View Post
    Jim ,that is possible, but the standards for fine and coarse change. In the 60s everyone I worked with used carborundum
    stones. Even the fine Lithuanion cabinetmaker who made big banquet tables and such. And with no pastes ,stropping ,etc.
    Just the Carborrundum.
    I was reading "Oilstones How to Select and User them" by Pike manufacturing, and they said:

    suitable only for grinding down dull tools, or sharpening those intended for coarse work
    I am uncertain of the actual publishing date since I only have a scan without the dates, but, all of the usage quotes are from around 1905 and earlier. So this is probably very rough indeed!

    I have a couple of Carborrundum stones that belonged to my Grandfather who was a tool and die maker; he died in 1984. His two arkansas stones were translucent. So, some Carborrundum, India, and Translucent arks; well, mostly anyway.

    That said, I think you are right on the money with your statement.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Zaffuto View Post
    In my stone accumulation, I have a "Queer Creek". It is old, though I can't estimate how long ago it was mined and turned into a stone. As it was definitely used as an oilstone, that is what I tried it out as. I couldn't catergorize it, other than it not being outstanding enough to spend time on. It was not a Washita, maybe like a soft Arkansas.
    Pike claimed

    it is a hard, medium-coarse-grained sandstone quarried in Ohio
    Makes me wonder about the "Chocolate" stone that they had, which is a

    fine-grained Mica Schist of a bluish chocolate color
    I am not even sure what that means. Apparently peopled like that stone for leather and skinning knives as well as cloth cutters' tools, kitchen and carving knives, pocket knives, and similar tools. And I usually think of carvers wanting these super sharp and refined edges. Oddly, Pike claimed that this stone can be used dry, with oil, or with water. A truly any way you want it stone.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Mickley View Post
    I bought a Queer Creek stone in 1983 for $3.50. It is 1X2X8, which was the standard size before the sharpening jigs reared their ugly heads. I bought it because I was interested in historic methods. In historic times this would have been called a rub stone, used with water for sharpening a tool that would be then polished with a fine oil stone. The Queer Creek is a fine sandstone, relatively hard in comparison to other sandstones.

    I could do my work with nothing but the Queer Creek, a soft Arkansas and a clean strop. The Queer Creek sometimes shows up on grit equivalency charts as finer than a soft Arkansas. Nobody who actually used these stones would characterize them that way. I would say there is a big jump from the QC to the soft Arkansas, which is a polishing stone.

    I have often wondered if some historic rub stones were a bit softer than the QC, so that they would wear more easily. I tried treating the stone with acid to attack the limestone binder and make it softer but with little success. I prefer an 800 grit water stone or a carborundum stone for preliminary sharpening.

    Here is a sandstone, a grinding wheel, and an oil stone from Roubo:

    roubo sharpening.jpegroubo oilstone.jpg
    That is very cool Warren. I purchased a stone just because I wanted to try it and you can still get one new for like $20.

    Then again, I also ordered a BYXCO "American Mutt" Bench stone just to try it for $7.50 for the 8"x2"x1" stone.

    https://www.baryonyxknife.com/baamubest.html

    Abrasive Type: Silicon Carbide, Aluminum Oxide, Diamond (Trace)

    Made using waste material from the manufacture of other stones, the "American Mutt" series is a unique extra-coarse hybrid ceramic made of a blend of aluminum oxide, silicon carbide, and a small amount of diamond in mixed grits. These stones hog off steel so rapidly that you'll quickly develop a thick "mud" of metal swarf on the stone! However, the inclusion of mixed finer grits causes it to leave a finer finish than one would expect for so aggressive a stone. Perfect for reprofiling, bevel-setting, and repairing damaged edges, especially in locations where power sources for grinders or other electric stock removal are unavailable. Will not blunt like a file if used on dirty surfaces. Economical and high-performance, these stones are sure to please! For best results, fully saturate in water before use and use with heavy pressure. Note that due to the recycled nature of the stone, stone color and performance qualities will vary somewhat from batch to batch.


    My real purpose for placing an order was to get some stones for axes, and they sell Pucks out of this same material. Then again, they also have the "Arctic Fox", made of Aluminum Oxide. I ordered a puck of that, but not a bench stone.

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