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sharpening tools? (Read 1170 times)
johan
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sharpening tools?
Oct 29th, 2017 at 9:47am
 
i've been wondering how did the ancient/ iron age people sharpen their blades?
today we use flat stones, sand paper, twin bench grinders etc
what are the old equivalents?
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Bill Skinner
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Re: sharpening tools?
Reply #1 - Oct 29th, 2017 at 10:18am
 
Flat stones, hand, foot, water or wind powered grinders and grit held on parchment or thin leather or cloth held with with grease or wax.

You can flatten two stones by simply rubbing them together.  That goes back to the Paleolithic era.   Powered grind stones and mills have been around for a long time.  Pretty sure that dates back to early Bronze age.  And sanding cloths are still in use.  And those probably date back to the Paleolithic, except they were used on wood, stone and bone instead of metal.  Unless you count hammered copper nuggets, which were hammered into both jewelry and tools during the Neolithic Period.

Only thing that has changed is how we make the flat stones and how we power the grinders.
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Kick
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Re: sharpening tools?
Reply #2 - Oct 29th, 2017 at 1:26pm
 
I have heard (yeah I'm getting real scientific here) that people have understood that some stones are better for sharpening than others for thousands upon thousands of years and have been highly prized and seen as status symbols. Not surprising considering the importance of edged tools and weapons throughout basically all of human history.
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johan
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Re: sharpening tools?
Reply #3 - Oct 29th, 2017 at 4:29pm
 
thanks for the answers.

Bill Skinner wrote on Oct 29th, 2017 at 10:18am:
You can flatten two stones by simply rubbing them together.

found something https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlJivKNHzyk
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slingbadger
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Re: sharpening tools?
Reply #4 - Oct 30th, 2017 at 6:47am
 
Viking age whetstone. Not quite iron Age, but it shows people shaped the stones for their purpose. Smaller ones were hung from the belts for everyday use. This looks like a honing stone I have that was used for sickles and scythes.
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Whetstones-3.jpg (279 KB | 28 )
Whetstones-3.jpg

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Re: sharpening tools?
Reply #5 - Oct 30th, 2017 at 12:54pm
 
If this subject interests you, you may consider looking more into ancient Roman woodworking and work benches if you havent already. Very interesting stuff.
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Re: sharpening tools?
Reply #6 - Oct 30th, 2017 at 7:40pm
 
I like to find out if any of the stone around where I am would be good for a whetstone.
Indigenous aborigines didn't quite make it to metal smithing so not much to go off in the history of this region.
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walter
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Re: sharpening tools?
Reply #7 - Oct 30th, 2017 at 9:21pm
 
There is quite a bit of sand stone in AZ. Comes in three grades; fine,medium and course  Smiley You can put an edge on metal with it, but it takes patience.

One thousand + years ago it was used to abraid and smooth wood.

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walter
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Re: sharpening tools?
Reply #8 - Oct 30th, 2017 at 9:23pm
 
slingbadger, did you find that whetstone?
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slingbadger
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Re: sharpening tools?
Reply #9 - Oct 31st, 2017 at 6:35am
 
Alas, no. There were a few honing stones found on the Irish dig I was on, but they weren't as intact as that one.
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Re: sharpening tools?
Reply #10 - Oct 31st, 2017 at 9:16pm
 
If you add a little quartz sand, you can flatten the stones a lot quicker.  Do it wet, quartz dust is like breathing tiny knives.  It can and will cut your lungs to pieces.
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slingbadger
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Re: sharpening tools?
Reply #11 - Nov 1st, 2017 at 6:33am
 
Whet stone from Caherconnell ringfort, Clare Ireland. Approx 11th cent.
Bottom is a broken quern (millstone) found on site.
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The greatest of all the accomplishments of 20th cent. science has been the discovery of human ignorance  The main difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has it's limits.-Einstein   I'm getting psychic as I get older. Or is that psychotic?
 
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