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Thread: Tam O' Shanter - 'Scotch Hone' close ups

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    the Highland hair hacker... Makar's Avatar
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    Default Tam O' Shanter - 'Scotch Hone' close ups

    Just thought I would post a couple of close up pics of this hone to show the differences in the same labelled stone. It is a natural product I realise so difference is expected. Can't say if one cuts any differently from the other as yet but may try and give my thoughts on that at some point - limited ability in this area accepted! Nice pictures of stone nonetheless! Will take some pics of the Dalmore Blue and Water of Ayr for comparison soon too.

    cheers
    Stephen
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    How about an overall shot?

    The surfaces do look quite different Nice shots though!

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    the Highland hair hacker... Makar's Avatar
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    I was holding back on these - they are beautiful pieces. I just need some more before others get in on the act

    However - here are a couple of Tams bedecked in their finest boxes. The pictures are of Burns Cottage and the Old Brig o Doon - Rabbie Burns stuff - the Ayrshire bard. This was a partnership that the mill had with the box makers for a good number of years. I need more being an 'honest man' (Ayrshire born and bred as Burns said of Ayr, 'Where naer a toon surpasses for honest men and Bonnie lassies')

    cheers
    Stephen




    Quote Originally Posted by Russel Baldridge View Post
    How about an overall shot?

    The surfaces do look quite different Nice shots though!
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    Last edited by Makar; 05-07-2008 at 12:08 PM.
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    I have several Tam O'Shanter hones and rely on them for honing. I use mine with a slurry and its place is between the Norton 4K and the Norton 8K. They are deceptively effective at removing micronicks and some people shave off the TOS edge.

    Mine will never be for sale.
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    Have you experience of the Dalmore Blue and Water of Ayr? The Dalmore a bevel setter and the WoA a finishing stone. The finer stone apparently comes from a different seam of rock - a different mine in fact.

    "Tam O Shanter stone from the Dalmore Mine is cemented, back-to-back, with a think slab of blue Water of Ayr stone from the meikledale mine. (This seems to be the way the names have been used for some time)" (Tucker, 1983, Ayrshire Hone-stones).

    The Dalmore was a coarser stone than either of the other two it says. He also talks of a yellow slip stone that was called 'Mikado' and sold at 2/3 the price - not seen this anywhere.

    Tucker notes that the meikledale mined stone is "finer but less pure than at Dalmore". The Dalmore stone (ostensibly the Tams) is "extremely fine grained, consisting of a mixture of quartz and white mica in almost equal proportions, with grain size in the region 0.025-0.05mm; its special properties appear to depend on texture rather than mineral composition".

    Note a few other UK stones that English or Welsh members may be interested in looking for that are mentioned favourably in this book - 'Charley Forest' from Leicestershire and 'Idwall' from N Wales (sold as 'Dragons Tongue'). Happy hunting!

    cheers
    Stephen



    Quote Originally Posted by randydance062449 View Post
    I have several Tam O'Shanter hones and rely on them for honing. I use mine with a slurry and its place is between the Norton 4K and the Norton 8K. They are deceptively effective at removing micronicks and some people shave off the TOS edge.

    Mine will never be for sale.

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    The first Attachment pic looks similar in formation to my ToS ... I've been using mine more and more recently as it sits on the table next to my chair , I'll need to further my quest for a Dalmore and WoA to complete the Ayrshire collection ..
    All my life living in Ayrshire and I only find out within the last year or so these stones were mined there ..

    Garry

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    I am not so sure about the Dalmore Blue as a bevel setter. In my experience it is faster than the Tam, yes, but not really fast enough for effective bevel-setting. I use it immediately after bevel-setting; it gets the DMT 1200 scratches out in a hurry.

    It's rated "Medium," with the Tam as "Fine" and the Water of Ayr "Very Fine."

    I've never heard of the yellow slipstone you mention, but there is a rare fourth Scottish hone called the Dalmore Yellow, which is rated "Coarse." I have a Dalmore Yellow/Dalmore Blue combo hone winging its way to me right now. When I get my hands on it I'll see if it's suited to bevel creation and report back.

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    Be interested to hear how you get on and any photos of said combo would be good to see. I will investigate the Dalmore Yellow, as you call it, some more over here. Sounds like 'Mikado' was a name it was sold under. The Dalmore mill owner certainly never mentioned it but that may be because it was produced or mined by a competitor at one of the 'other' mines. I will look into it. It may be also that he did not rate it worth talking about as he even thought the Dalmore blue too coarse for razor work. Obviously not the case.

    cheers
    Stephen

    Quote Originally Posted by dylandog View Post
    I am not so sure about the Dalmore Blue as a bevel setter. In my experience it is faster than the Tam, yes, but not really fast enough for effective bevel-setting. I use it immediately after bevel-setting; it gets the DMT 1200 scratches out in a hurry.

    It's rated "Medium," with the Tam as "Fine" and the Water of Ayr "Very Fine."

    I've never heard of the yellow slipstone you mention, but there is a rare fourth Scottish hone called the Dalmore Yellow, which is rated "Coarse." I have a Dalmore Yellow/Dalmore Blue combo hone winging its way to me right now. When I get my hands on it I'll see if it's suited to bevel creation and report back.

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    I have the Dalmore blue, 2 of them, but have yet to use them due to a lack of available time. Sorry to say I do not have the Water of Ayr yet. But.... I do have 2 of the "Silkstone" hones that came from the Cambrock(?) Co. in England which are very nice hones.
    Randolph Tuttle, a SRP Mentor for residents of Minnesota & western Wisconsin

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    Quote Originally Posted by Makar View Post
    Be interested to hear how you get on and any photos of said combo would be good to see. I will investigate the Dalmore Yellow, as you call it, some more over here. Sounds like 'Mikado' was a name it was sold under. The Dalmore mill owner certainly never mentioned it but that may be because it was produced or mined by a competitor at one of the 'other' mines. I will look into it. It may be also that he did not rate it worth talking about as he even thought the Dalmore blue too coarse for razor work. Obviously not the case.
    I've included a picture of a Dalmore yellow. Not the one coming to me, which is a combo blue/yellow. I don't think it was produced by a competitor, because the label is the same as the Tam O'Shanters, Dalmore Blues, etc.

    My dalmore blue is my second most useful natural, after the coticule. It's fairly fast, I love the look and feel of it, and I was lucky enough to find a big one at 8x2. But what the mill owner you talked to said about it makes sense in context and isn't really 'wrong' per se. Before SRP and Classic and the whole straight-shaving 'renaissance', I think it was pretty rare for the average guy – or even barbers – to set a bevel and hone a razor from the ground up. From everything I've been able to find on the subject, "honing" then meant what we call "touch-up honing" now – i.e. using a coticule or escher or barber hone or pasted strop to bring a dulling edge back. For edge repair and bevel creation or any other resto work you had the razor sent out. In this kind of paradigm, the Dalmore blue is certainly "too coarse for straight razors" – you wouldn't want to shave off it. (From the wear-patterns on vintage Belgians bought off ebay, I don't think most barbers even used the blue sides of their Belgian naturals. As for the bonded combos, the old books don't even describe these as combination stones; it seems the blue was used the same way grey slate is now, as a stable backbone on which to mount the coticule.)

    As far as I know, the only Scotch hone designated for razors is the Water of Ayr. On a side note, I read somewhere (sadly, I've forgotten what book) that there's a town not far from Ayr where they used to manufacture razor strops in the 19th century. The book said the razor stones came from one town, the strops from another nearby.
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    Last edited by dylandog; 05-09-2008 at 02:56 PM.

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