The Deerlick Oilstone / Deerlick Water Hone is an interesting variety of stone which was produced by the Deerlick Oil Stone Company out of Chagrin Falls, Ohio. The stone ranges in fineness and hardness and are often misclassified as a type of the Ohio Bluestone. However, the stone is actually its own unique type of fine-grained siltstone. Even at the low end of the range, Deerlick stones are a fair bit finer than any of the Ohio Bluestone variety – being closest to the Bear Creek versions but still a step above. Unlike the Ohio Bluestones, these are readily able to finish razors or can be coarser finished for faster work.
The Deerlick stone was sold in two different varieties, the oilstone version and a water hone version. The oilstone version tends to be the coarser and harder of the two with a very fine but still identifiably gritty nature to its composition. If you want to use these stones to quickly remove metal, the best options are to use it with water and slurry or alternatively with oil (which will keep the abrasive particles from exhausting). If instead you want to use the oilstone on razors, it is best to condition the surface of the stone to a fine grit (x600+) and then use it with water only similar to how many use Arkansas/Novaculite stones. Usually, this variety of stones look light or dark grey to almost blue/greenish.
The second variety of these stones are the Deerlick Water Hone version. These are finer than the oilstone version and will clog if oil is used on them – as such they should only be used with water. They are often a light blue or a light brown color and act very similar to German Thuringian / Escher hones in use and are usually best reserved for razor honing. A small amount of water should be placed upon the surface of the stone and slurry mixed on its surface. The slurry and blade should be worked until you have completed the process. It can also benefit depending on the blade to do water only strokes afterwards, you will find the surface has burnished nicely during the use of the slurry. Unlike the oilstone variety, the water hone version’s slurry is very fine and will break down.
Deerlick Oilstone / Deerlick Water Hone Gallery
Deerlick Oilstone Company History
The Deerlick Oilstone Company produced these stones from 1886 to 1909 until they were acquired by Eastern Interests (Carborundum Company). The stones and boxes they were sold in were generally known for an exceptionally high level of fit and finish with those being produced after 1904 furnished from Chestnut.
11/11/1886 – The company was organized by M.B. and Z.L. Kent with the first factory site on Deerlick Creek (Sulphur Springs) in Cleveland Ohio.
12/28/1893 – Z.L. Kent sails to Europe to sell Deerlick products abroad.
03/29/1894 – Z.L. Kent sails to Russia to sell Deerlick products, European demand is steadily increasing.
02/03/1898 – Deerlick Oil Stone Company officially incorporates in Columbus, OH with $20,000 of capital. Incorporators are Marcos Morton, Willis Victory, Chas. S. Bently, L.B. Beers, and N.C. Brooks.
12/08/1898 – H.S. Kent purchases old C.F. paper mill building on River Street in rear of Exponent Offices to be fitted for warehouse and offices.
05/14/1903 – Deerlick Oil Stone Company purchases outright (C.F.) Frazer’s Mill building on River Street and consolidates to single building location.
07/02/1903 – Deerlick Oil Stone Company purchases Bullard & March turning mill for timber production.
02/11/1904 – Company purchases giant chestnut tree from J.W. Harvey of Bainbridge Ohio for $25. The tree measures five meters in diameter. Roughly yields 3000 board feet of lumber for oilstone cases. Deerlick Oilstones are packaged in Chestnut boxes for all new production.
11/25/1909 – M.B. and Z.L. Kent sell Deerlick Oil Stone Company to “Eastern Interests” due to lack of operating capital and heft offer. Company sells off remaining products in all states and foreign countires.
12/30/1909 – Caborundum Company announces identity as “Eastern Interests” purchaser.
The building which was bought in 05/14/1903 is still in (2023) as the 17 Rivers restaurant today (17 River St, Chagrin Falls, Oh 44022).