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Thread: Barber hone shenanigans - Pike, Celtes, Raven, and glass hone

  1. #1
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    Default Barber hone shenanigans - Pike, Celtes, Raven, and glass hone

    I finally got around to playing around with the barber hones I recently acquired. Long post, but starting with pics:

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    Hones left to right: Pike, Raven, Celtes, and Glass.

    Razors left to right: Gold Dollar, Shapleigh Hardware 53, Torrey Round point, Torrey Barber Notch

    Shave test: Gold Dollar passed, Shapleigh failed, Torrey Round - barely passable, Barber notch - best of the bunch.

    The Gold Dollar just needed a touch up and was previously honed on my PHIG. It was still in shaving order, so it got a few laps on the rough side of the Pike, then finished on the fine/red side. I would say the Pike is a bit of a sleeper hit, I was expecting it to be a so-so hone. But I like the little fellow. It's just a little small, even for a barber hone. This is particularly troublesome with the coarse side, since it has the stamp on it. The coarse side seemed to do about what my Norton 4K would/did. Maybe a little bit finer. The red side provided a surprising amount of polish. By the time all was said and done it shaved about as well as it did when honed off the C12K, not bad at all.

    The Shapleigh I'm not too surprised failed the test. It was previously honed on a Jnat and shaving very nicely. So I decided to use it as a test bed for the Raven hone. To my dismay, while goofing around with it I created a burr. In my infinite wisdom, I decided to fix it with a very like stroke on the edge of my Norton 4K - which made a couple of decent sized chips I now had to work out. In retrospect, perhaps I should've just honed that foiled edge off...

    So I set about honing out the minor chip on the stone I made it with - the Norton 4K. Followed by a few strokes on both sides of the Pike and finished on the Raven hone. The fact that it failed probably means it needs to re-visit the 4K because it's work wasn't done. Not a reflection of the hone itself, just an edge that needs more work. I'm kinda miffed at myself for ruining this edge because it was shaving really, really nicely.

    The Torrey round point - previously honed on a different Cnat. ZY #3000 specifically. It was shaving pretty smooth, almost like a coticule, but not very keen at all. In light of this, I just touched it up on the Celtes. I'm sure with a proper touch up, this would work out better. I went back and forth with this one a bit, but inevitably decided that though it kinda passes I want to take it back to the 4K and try again. Give it a better touch up than I did tonight.

    And last, the Torrey w/ barber notch - This razor actually wasn't shaving right, so tonight I took the opportunity to remedy that. Close examination showed a bevel that wasn't quite set, and some chips that needed removal. Norton 4K until that was taken care of, then off to the glass hone.

    The instruction on it said to rub with a pencil (?) or slate...I'm assuming that means build a slurry and use like a slurry stone. And it worked magnificently as such. I used 2 Welsh slates, the rubbing stone from my Dragon's Tongue, and the 15K Black slate from AJ for the job. I started with the DT and made a thick slurry that I used to rid the blade of all the 4K stria. Then I made a milky slurry with the 15K that I diluted in 3 stages. Final round was a few passes on pure water.

    I have to say the glass stone was my favorite to use. I've used the Dragon's Tongue to set a few bevels, and played around with all the Welsh Slates and slurry to a degree. So this was pretty intuitive and easy to pickup. The thick slurry probably overlapped the work done on the 4K a bit, and contributed to the overall success achieved with this little hone. I like it enough I did the second pass with just this blade. I'd say the end result would be equivalent to if I had used the Welsh slates themselves to finish the edge.

    All in all, not a bad first run. I'll clean the other 2 up again later to get a better assessment of the Raven and Celtes, but the Glass stone is at least as good as the slurry rocks it's used with, and the Pike is a good finisher with a pretty good mid-level rough side for those times when a quick touch up just isn't cutting it.
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    Finally got around to touching up the two problem children. Both got taken back to the 4K hone. I didn't see any chips under the 30K loupe, no fin, and the bevel appeared set. But they both got a few medium pressure rounds anyway just to be sure things were in order. Followed of course with some zero pressure passes to clean up the edges.

    Then I took each back to the same barber hone I had used previously. Celtes for the Torrey round point, and Raven for he Shapleigh. Once the 4K stria were polished away I was left with a pretty clean ball park 12K edge on both blades. For the test shave I did the right half of my face with the Torrey and left with the Shapleigh. Both blades got close enough for my liking on the first pass everywhere above the jawline. The neck only required a quick ATG touch up pass to get suitably smooth.

    I suspect the Raven and Celtes are made of the same stuff by the same manufacturer with slightly different pigments. Their boxes say the same thing verbatim, and the edges are pretty darn close to one another.

    I'm pretty happy with these little critters. All four create a very keen edge, with a little bit less prickliness and irritation than I find with my Shapton Kuromaku 12K or my Norton 8K. Captain's Choice always lets you know how bad you done goofed. Tonight the splash was a little warm, but the burn was short lived so not too shabby.

    With regard to the Torrey straights specifically, I'm pleasantly surprised that I've gotten good enough at keeping my angles proper that I can transition to the smaller blades without ill effect. Just a few months ago I had written them off because I simply couldn't find the angle with them. Tonight I just picked the blade up and shaved without thinking about angles and the shave turned out fine.
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    I have a Raven that is a great little barbers hone but my favorite & highly rated Barbers hone is my John Primble. I would say it is in the 12K to 14K range.

    Slawman

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    Coming off the 4k, what ballpark number of strokes are we talking on the barber hones?

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    I didn't count honestly. I treated them the same as I do any other hone - I went until I stopped seeing improvement. And in this case went a good bit beyond what I would have normally just playing with them to see what they would do. The pike probably took the fewest since it was also only a little better than an 8K hone. The Celtes and Raven were pretty quick considering how fine they are, but took more strokes than the pike to finally stop seeing improvement. All totaled probably fewer than 5 or 10 minutes on any given hone polishing up after the 4K. Someone with Lynn or Gssixgun's skill could probably get it knocked out in 10 strokes or fewer with the Pike, but those 2 I ain't.

    The glass hone is kind of in a different league all together. I need to play with it more...well, I need to play with all of them more, but I'm not entirely sure honing on just the glass really did much for the blade. And using it with slurry from the slates pretty much made the same edge that the slurry would on any other hone I've used as a base for them. So really it's only limited by your selection of slurry stones/abrasive materials and that kind of has me wondering what would happen with a little .1 micron FeOx spread across it's surface...

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