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Thread: Zulu grey...first hone

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    Senior Member Wxman2000's Avatar
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    Default Zulu grey...first hone

    So I went and ordered my first real hone tonight, a Zulu grey. I've read everything I can find on them and think I have a good idea on what to expect. With that being said, anyone have any advice for me since this will be my first experience with honing? Experience with these stones and the whole slurry thing would be appreciated as well.

    I bought the 2"x6" size that comes with the matching slurry stone.

    Thanks in advance for the great advice as always.
    The problem with quotes on the internet is that you can't always be sure of their authenticity. -Abraham Lincoln

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    Senior Member PaulKidd's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum and Happy New Year.

    If you open the "Hones" section of the forum and then search "Zulu Grey",
    you will find over 200 entries to read through. There are quite a few ZG users
    here, and many of them have posted their experiences with the stone.

    Have a look at all that and then give us a shout when you have more questions.

    Good luck!

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    Senior Member Wxman2000's Avatar
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    Already read them all...been a member here for quite a while. More than anything just looking for some first time honing advice with a stone like this
    The problem with quotes on the internet is that you can't always be sure of their authenticity. -Abraham Lincoln

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    Senior Member blabbermouth Geezer's Avatar
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    I will only add; the guys having the best result read and follow the instructions that come with the stone. The stone surface works best at a certain lapped roughness.
    ~Richard
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    Senior Member blabbermouth 10Pups's Avatar
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    The stone is a finisher so it will be great for touch ups. Like any first time, go slow try a little, and see what you feel with a shave. You'll have to know if your shave ready razor was taped or not and duplicate that. Watch the scratch pattern and it should be getting smaller or disappearing depending on where your razor is at. As Geezer said , follow the instructions to prep your stone the for best results.
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    Chasing the Edge WadePatton's Avatar
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    I feel your excitement. Just back from checking the mailbox. Methinks mine might be due to arrive any time now.
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    Senior Member PaulKidd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wxman2000 View Post
    Already read them all...been a member here for quite a while. More than anything just looking for some first time honing advice with a stone like this
    OK. I use the ZG as a finisher/touch-up hone, either in place of or after honing
    on a Naniwa 12K. I use a DMT 325 to lap the ZG and develop a light slurry
    (cloudy water). I do sets of 20 straight laps, follow with 5 very light X strokes,
    and then test (arm hair/thumb pad). If necessary, I repeat that cycle until
    I'm happy with the result....maybe 75-150 total laps, gradually diluting the
    slurry with water.

    I get the best results with little or no pressure, especially on the X strokes.

    Is that helpful?
    Last edited by PaulKidd; 12-31-2013 at 03:07 AM.

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    Senior Member Wxman2000's Avatar
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    Good advice all. One other question though. As far as slurry goes what is everyone's experience with using the small Zulu slurry stone that comes with it? I don't have anything else at the time that I could use for a slurry.
    The problem with quotes on the internet is that you can't always be sure of their authenticity. -Abraham Lincoln

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    Senior Member MichaelC's Avatar
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    You will find that the ZG slurry stone requires quite a bit of pressure and repetition to produce even a very lightly cloudy slurry - this is due to the Zulu Grey being actually quite a hard stone and so doesn't easily slurry like other softer more clay-like hones do. But, you will find that with even a hint of cloudy water there is benefit to the Zulu on Zulu slurry.

    What I do is simply use a medium to fine DMT card-sized hone(DMT D3E 3-Inch Dia-Sharp Sharpener Credit Card Sized Extra-Fine - Amazon.com), that is well worn. By 'well worn' I mean that it has been previously and properly used on a hard surface (like lapping an Arkansas stone for a good while..) This will knock off all the coarse high-spots of the new DMT.. You are only trying to produce slurry not lap the Zulu Grey, so you only need a fine sprinkle of diamond dust on the plate to get the process going... This will create a much thicker slurry as you would expect to see on softer natural hones, and it will also leave the ZG with a crisp/fresh surface that isn't glazed.

    If you are not going to need slurry or if you simply want to use the Zulu Grey as a true finisher with only water etc. Then you can also thoroughly dry the hone and use a small square of 1500 grit wet/dry paper (use it completely dry) to essentially polish the hone surface back to what it was when received. The hone is so hard that with a square of 1500 grit paper you practically aren't changing the flatness of the hone at all - just keep the polishing action light and consistent across the surface. This will give a nice mirror surface good for final finishing with light strokes using water only. I also like to use the hone dry for a few very light x-strokes just prior to clean stropping.

    Cheers,
    - Mike

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    Is this the first time you do honing of any kind? If so, I would recommend using a junk razor until you get the feeling, otherwise you might spoil the edge on your (only) razor. It's very easy to slip up, guess how I know...
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