My Honing Stones

Firstly an old Belgian Coticule:

Belgian Coticule

It has a lovely old case…bought from an old guy at a bootfair who told me it was his Dad’s apprentice piece!

Belgian Coticule

Then what I think is left of also a Belgian coticule…

Belgian Coticule

It certainly looks like the other one without much of the cream bit left.

The wonderful thing about coticules is that lots of them are hiding at bootfairs and sheds…covered in gunk and almost indistinguishable until cleaned. This next one was one such stone:

Belgian Coticule

Not only was this one covered in oily dirt…it was upside down in the dirty box. Cleaned up…the beauty is obvious…

A really nice vintage hone indeed…

Vintage Belgian Coticule

Next up is what I believe to be a Charnley Wood quarry one…

Charnley Forest Waterstone

It is an olive green colour…with red/brown/purple streaks through it as you can see. It makes a beautiful powdery slurry and is in a very old oak stand with no top.

Another confirmed Charnley hone is again another bootfair find…but more obvious this one…

Beautiful colouration in this example….

Charnleywood Forest hone

…which is now perfectly flat…after hours of work…it is really really hard…but cuts beautifully…

These things have a deserved reputation…nice thing indeed!

8 Responses to My Honing Stones

  1. Thomas Groppi says:

    Hello Jim

    I saw on a forum that you use a Creusen grinder for sharpening. Are you happy with it ? Is it a 6inch with slow speed ? Do you think this can replace a Tormek T7 ?

    Thanks much

  2. jimi43 says:

    Hi Thomas…

    I have sent a reply to your email….

    Any further help you need don’t hesitate to ask.


  3. vvsk54 says:

    Hi Jim.
    You have an excellent collection of finishing stones.
    Which one do you prefer?
    What abrasives are using the primary and intermediate stages?

    Best regards

    • Hi Victor…hope you are well.

      I use a Creusen coarse/medium wheels to create bevels and shape the irons I make.

      I use an older Tormek to refine the bevel or a Rexon flat grinder to create a flat bevel on new irons.

      For old or irons requiring stock removal for the face or bevel I use a Dia-Sharp XX Coarse first followed by a Fallkniven DC521 medium/coarse diamond ceramic and then a fine Spyderco ceramic to initially hone or if I am feeling like “old school” I use a coticule or the Charnley Wood Forest stone.

      Are there any stone in Russia that are famous?


  4. vvsk54 says:

    No, Jim. Known Russian gems that I could recommend no.
    I only use hand sharpening with the use of Verytas devices.
    I have a set of Shapton Pro-1000, 2000, 5000 and quite a lot of natural stones which I prefer. I really like my old Washita from Pike, vintage Belgian Coticule and very old Hard Arkansas.
    There are English stone that I can’t identify.
    If you’re interested, I’ll send pictures of my entire collection of natural stones.
    Chisels and rocks it is what I collect.


  5. David Jeremiah says:

    The Belgian coticule is a really great honing stone. I picked up a couple at a christmas market in Brussels a couple of years ago. The stand is run by the people who own the quarry and they were very knowledgeable and helpful. On most of them, the blue stone is simply a backing for the cream-coloured stone. However, there are a few stones made from where the rock seams meet and these are double sided. I was told that these are becoming increasingly rare.


    PS: A totally different subject: on the UKWorkshop site, you mentioned you had a manual for the old Dewalt DW50. You wouldn’t happen to have a copy/scan lying about somewhere, would you?

    • Ian says:

      There is a pdf of the dw1150 which apparently is the same as the dw50,
      I wont publish the link but if you search for dw1150 you should find it easily enough.
      I need new bearings for mine after salvaging some old oak floorboards, a great piece of kit.

  6. James says:

    I still haven’t had the luck to find an old coticule at a market, only old synthetics unfortunately – seems to be plenty of them around! I am using an Arkansas medium stone at present to lap and to even create slurry ( a slurry stone is best) on my own coticule, and it works very well.

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