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Thread: Are these Barber's hones still good?

  1. #1
    Pha Tat Luang dustoff003's Avatar
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    Default Are these Barber's hones still good?

    Well folks the old man has found more treasure for his son, this time it is two Barber hones. They appear to have some kind of crap on the surface, are they any good still? I asked if there was any writing in the oval on the one on the right and or any place else on either stone and dad says no there isn't any. If they are good still will I have to lap them? If so what will I need to do that?
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    Senior Moderator JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    I used to lap them whether they needed it or not. Since then I started scrubbing them with a nylon bristle brush and some cleanser. Then I try them and see if they need it. I'm not sure but I think that the finished factory surface is better if you can keep it. It is hard to get it back once you lap them.

    A diamond plate is probably best to do the job though it can be done with sandpaper. I used a DMT D8XX (120) for barber hones. Eats them for breakfast without a hiccup.

    All of the barbers I knew back in the old days never said a word about lapping and I talked with them a lot about hones and honing. That is my story and I'm sticking to it.

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    Sinner Saved by Grace Datsots's Avatar
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    In my vast and universal experience of owning and lapping ONE Barbers Hone. But here is some of what I learned in the process from others.

    Generally doing anything to a barber hone is chancy. I lapped a poorly repaired Barber hone with good success.

    Soaking in water can dissolve the binder in the non ceramic hones. Some ceramic hones have only a thin layer of abrasive, which can be removed by lapping. Then we come to the remaining hones which have abrasive throughout the hone. That being said if you intend to use them lapping is only necessary if there is some nick/chip/damage or extreme dishing that catches/damages the edge while honing. The gentlest way to clean the junk on the hones is to use lather on a soft brush to remove dust and such, however if someone used oil on the hones oven cleaner, which is rather harsh, may be necessary to cut the oil. But be aware that water should bead up on most barber hones, so that may not indicate that you need to use oven cleaner.

    Go forward gently. Check out some of the other barber hone repair threads.

    Enjoy the learning curves.
    Last edited by Datsots; 10-16-2012 at 08:56 PM. Reason: Wanted to sound less pompous
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    For lapping, treat them like any other hone:

    . . . Get a sheet of 400-grit wet-or-dry sandpaper, and put it on a _flat_ surface (glass, marble tile, etc)

    . . . Put some pencil cross-marks on the hone;

    . . . Rub the hone on the sandpaper, under running water, until the pencil marks are all gone.

    Barber hones can be quite hard; it may take a while.

    The problem with a not-flat hone is that you can have perfect technique, and get a not-straight, not-sharp edge. That can be _very_ frustrating.

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    Moderator Hirlau's Avatar
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    They are in great condition, they just need to be cleaned as Jimmy said.
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    I'm no Guru but barbers hones were designed to be used out of the box and then used until they failed to perform. Then you just chuck them. They only cost a few bucks years ago.
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    zib
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    I have a few, some were in pretty bad shape and needed restoration. Good advice above. Barber stones are hard, and take a while to lap ime. The DMT XX does help a lot, especially if you have nicks or divots in the hone. Fortunately, yours appear to need just a good cleaning.

    I can tell you once they're lapped, they'll be scratched and tend to loose their looks. I found if you take them up to 1000g wet sandpaper, they look like they just came out of the factory. I used a stiff brush to clean the area with text.

    If cleaning agents don't work, and do be careful what you use, I'd go with the wet sandpaper and a flat surface, I find a piece of tile works great. Start with 220g, and progress up to 1000g, they should look brand new.
    Last edited by zib; 10-17-2012 at 11:43 PM.
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    what Dad calls me nun2sharp's Avatar
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    The only time I ever lapped a barbers hone it destroyed it IMO. I see no need to lap them myself, give it a good scrubbing if need be and use it. Like Nelson said they are good right out of the box.
    It is easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled. Twain

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