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Thread: Chinese 12k question (s)

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    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    Default Chinese 12k question (s)

    I have been seeing a lot of writing/recommendations/confusion about these stones on the forum, but I have a question or two....

    Does it really take 100+ laps to use this stone to polish a razor?????

    Is there one Honemiester out there that actually uses this stone as a final polisher ??? (Someone in the Classifieds or someone that hones at least 5 razors per week)

    Is the only allure of this stone the price????

    And if it is price, I mean really, you could get a Naniwa (10k or12k) for $65-$75 or a Shapton 16k for $99..... or a Vintage Barberhone for $20

    So please somebody explain this to me????

    Thank you in advance for your answers...
    Last edited by gssixgun; 04-03-2009 at 10:49 PM.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth hi_bud_gl's Avatar
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    i can answer first part it is really takes long time and to know you have get everything from chinese i use my sense.it just sucks blade to hone and it is almost gets hard to move blade on the surface of the hone.Now about your options shapton etc sorry i have never use any of them
    i do have 2 chineese 12 k and i think i have find better way to use it.i did get my microscope it is in post office.In couple days i let you know how to get more from chineese.i hope i was helpful.

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    Glen, I've only used mine once. I had bought the 8X2 from Woodcraft and a slurry stone from Zib. I let it sit around for a long time and finally got around to lapping it. I have a set of 4 razors marked as being made in Wales. I posted about them here . I honed one of those with the 12K.

    Looking at my notes I set the bevel on a Shapton 2K pro with 60 laps. I did 30 laps on a long pink coticule and the razor was popping hair. I did 50 laps with slurry on the Chinese 12k and 50 with water only. My notes say I got a smooth shave. I don't know that I needed to do all of the laps I did on it. I was kind of going by what I read of others experiences. Maybe I did need to ? I routinely check with the TPT so I probably felt it needed improvement, I don't really remember. This was on March 1st. The following night I did another 30 laps on the blue/green Escher and the edge felt much smoother when I shaved. Hope that helps.
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    I only use mine sporadically, primarily because I have so many other great polishing hones and secondarily because of the fact that it takes so many strokes. Now, the number of strokes can be greatly reduced by using a slurry stone so that it is initially used with slurry and subsequently with gradually greater dilutions in the same manner as a coticule, but even then I'm still doing more strokes with it than with most other polishers like Eschers or Nakayama hones. I can't compare it to Shaptons because I've never touched them.

    It does work well, surprisingly so, but I'd still say the greatest appeal is the price. I doubt any honemeisters would want to bother with it because of the time factor. It's equivalent to the difference between the tools of a contractor in comparison to a homeonwner's tools. The time factor is minimal for a homeowner using his tool sporadically but is critical for the contractor using it regularly.

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    Well Glen, first I would like to publicly thank you for your time the other day. To all those reading this, Glen was very helpful in answering my questions on refinishing and hones. I throughly enjoyed the conversation and thanks are not enough.

    Now the Chinese 12k. I have one and have used it since December. I don't know that I hone 5 blades a week as a steady routine, some weeks more, some weeks less. I have ! 150 straights that are all shave ready. As a polishing stone with water only It cuts very slowly, as I expected. I picked the hone up based on the price and the grit size as close as you can get with a natural stone. I do 100 laps and picked 100 as a somewhat random number. I may be able to get away with less and feel that more will not have any negative effect, with in reason. The 100 laps is not an issue to me and only takes 2 or 3 minutes so 100 laps more or less doesn't really matter. I don't polish on the 12k as fast as I strop but it is pretty fast. As we all know, maybe, blades differ a lot even from the same brand and label so 100 is a good average number. I currently have a W & B that needs a different approach. I'll be re-visiting it tomorrow.

    The results I obtain are very noticeable. CarrieM tests every blade I hone on her legs in a small area just to see it the blade pulls or tugs and across the length of the blade. CarrieM's hair is very fine. She does this dry and before stropping. CarrieM has several straights of her own and her collection is growing. She has asked me not to hone her razors on the Chinese 12k because they come out too sharp for her liking. She is very content when the blade is finished on a coticule, water only. I used to do the HHT as a game after honing and if it didn't pass I went back to the hones. After using the 12k for a while I don't do the test anymore because the test almost always popped the hairs and if it didn't pop them it cut them real close to popping. I was chatting with a gum smith about tumblers and polishing metal last weekend. Turns out he uses a straight also. I gad the C-Mon Wedge with me (went to the barber first and always bring my own razors for them to use) and tried the HHT to show him how sharp I hone the straights. I had not done the test to this blade after honing but sure enough it popped the hair and impressed the gun smith. The older barbers I go to really like the edges on my blades and would like me to hone the old blades they have and maybe even their scissors.

    ScottS and Holli4pirating have tried a couple of my razors. Hopefully they will join the discussion and share their experience with razors I honed off the 12k. (that would be the Hess, Dorko and Botts and Fills guys). We are planning another meet for Central and Western NY in the near future. Besides the guys the guys that I have meet and would like to meet with again I am hoping Syslight and Gugi can attend this meet or even host it. I'm sure the rest of us can learn a lot from them and have another gauge for our abilities.

    My experience with the blades off the 12k is very favorable also. The sharpness is brought to a new level and I am very pleased with them. I am currently working through the stable bring all of the edges to the same level.

    Hopefully this response will generate more conversation in this thread to answer your questions. For me, at first the price and possiblilties drew me to the hone. Now it's the results. The Shapton and other hones perform well from what I read and may find there way into my possession some day. For now the Chinese 12k is meeting my needs. I just don't know any better with my limited experience.
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    zib
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    Glen, I've always read it takes 100 laps with water and 50 with the slurry. I do 50 with the slurry. It's not the 50 laps that prevents me from using the 12k, it's the soaking. Your supposed to soak the thing for 30 mins. When I decide to hone, I really don't like waiting 30 mins. It's for this reason, I'm thinking of going to a Shapton 16k. I will say this, When I've used the 12k with a slurry, the results were favorable. I found the blade to sharp, yet smooth. When I used Diamond pastes, it's sharp, but maybe too keen. That's where the irritation comes in.. I keep notes on the razors I hone. Everyone I've taken to the C12k are favorable. Worth the effort IMHO.....Rich
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    I think the reason why many of you are under impressed by the Chinese 12k is precisely because you used it with slurry. It's an extremely hard stone with a smooth surface and any extra particles will only serve to dig into the razor's edge. For a comparison of the stones capabilities; have a look at Zowada Custom Knives - Razor Bevels and Zowada Custom Knives - Razor Edges. The 12k gives off a thinner edge and more polished bevel even than chromium oxide.

    Cheers.

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    I don't really have anything to compare it to, so I won't comment on that (I do like how it works FWIW), but the main reasons I bought it, is because most reviews of it are favorable, it's inexpensive (for a finisher) and I could buy it locally. If I had to order it, I might have waited and got something else, but there's something satisfying about "Oh wait, I can just run out and pick one up? And it's cheap?!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by zib View Post
    Glen, I've always read it takes 100 laps with water and 50 with the slurry. I do 50 with the slurry. It's not the 50 laps that prevents me from using the 12k, it's the soaking. Your supposed to soak the thing for 30 mins. When I decide to hone, I really don't like waiting 30 mins. It's for this reason, I'm thinking of going to a Shapton 16k. I will say this, When I've used the 12k with a slurry, the results were favorable. I found the blade to sharp, yet smooth. When I used Diamond pastes, it's sharp, but maybe too keen. That's where the irritation comes in.. I keep notes on the razors I hone. Everyone I've taken to the C12k are favorable. Worth the effort IMHO.....Rich
    I've compared honing with and without pre-soaking. I haven't found it to make any difference. Unlike waterstones, which need to be soaked in order to keep the hone surface wet, the Chinese hone draws the water in so very slowly that it just really makes no difference. Pre-soaked or not, the hone surface remains wet long enough to get in your 100 strokes.
    Last edited by Utopian; 04-04-2009 at 04:01 AM.

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    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    Some very interesting reading so far, this is exactly what I was hoping for when I posed the question....
    Joed yes it was a pleasure talking with you the other day, and thanks for taking the time for such an informative write up....

    Please keep the experiences flowing here guys, this is just one stone that has always intrigued me, and I already learned some things here... I had not realized that so many of you used this stone with slurry, there is not much info on this in the honing section...

    What are most of you using to lap this stone, I would assume a DMT 325....
    and are there differences between the stones, if you have used more than one... Yes I realize they are naturals so obviously there are going to be slight variations...

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