At the foot of the Pyrenees Mountains, in the valley of Saurat, is the last quarry and factory for making natural whetstones, still in operation in France. Established in the early 1900s by the Cuminetti family, this operation was taken over in 2006 by Mr. Soucille of Thiers. The fine grain and mineralogical purity of the schistose sandstone of this quarry, allows for the manufacturing of a complete range of sharpening tools, from stone nail files to grinding wheels. And luckily for us, they still make scythe stones! In the video below Mr. Soucille takes us on a tour of the quarry and factory where these whetstones are produced.
Schistose sandstone. The " white gold ingot of the Pyrenees".