On my way home today, I noticed that one of my local metro stations has sprouted rubbish bins on the main platform. This is a bit strange, as I haven’t seen them for a long time — I wonder if there is any realtion to the North Ireland power sharing agreement. They seemed quite out of place — being just bag and hoop bins, although I noticed some proper Newcastle Council bins lying next to the track outside. A hopeful sign.
When I got home I decided to sharpen my knifes as they had all got blunt. I’ve been meaning to try this for years, but I pre-oiled them with olive oil — I never fancied having the synthetic lubricants that I use on my bike on my kitchen equipment. It worked rather well, and made the process rather pleasant smelling — it takes the metal shavings away from the stone afterwards. One thing I couldn’t work out is that the oil soaked into the stone. I guess Silcon Carbide is permeable to oil in a way that it is not to water, but to see a heavy stone soaking up a liquid seemed impossible.
I looked up wikipedia for an explanation; one was forthcoming, but I did learn that pure SiC is transparent; it only looks black because of Iron impurities. Now how useless is it to know that?
Originally published on my old blog site.