Apache Strata

Discussion in 'Straight Razors' started by oscar11, Oct 17, 2014.

  1. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

    I for one am in love with what the Apache does to an edge. I am getting the closest and smoothest shaves I have ever been able to achieve. Two things come to mind - 1) the blades I have used the apache on do a better job on the first pass. After just one pass I am almost BBS. 2) I have a very tough beard an the chin and lower jawline on my neck have always been extremely hard to get close. I have made over 6 passes with a DE or a SR and have never been able to get it smooth. And for sure could never go upwards at the chin without butchering myself. Now it is easy and I am getting those areas bbs with no blood.
  2. HolyRollah

    HolyRollah BaconLord Staff Member

    So how do you find the shape & size of that Apache hone, Glen? Obviously you're getting some good results...

    The one I've been using is 2.5 x 5 (fits in palm; See post#18) & is okay.
    Seeing the larger ones has me considering a 3x7 or something more akin in size to my larger hones.
    however, the price ($$) of some has me content with what I have...:D
  3. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

    Supporting Vendor
    Honestly I target 3x8 hones, I love that size


    I simply adjust the honing gymnastics to take advantage of the surface of the stone in front of me, most of the older Naturals are thinner so you just learn to deal with it..
    I have heard many stories of the advantage / dis-advantage of thinner hones, but honestly I have always found it to be a bunch of hooey, the edge simply must slide evenly and equally across the stone..

    I do like longer stones regardless of width personally
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  4. HolyRollah

    HolyRollah BaconLord Staff Member

    I'm always amazed when I come across photos of certain jnats or coticules as I wonder what sort of honing gymnastics guys have to perform on some of those curved, irregular or minimal surfaces.
    3x8 would be ideal. But I'm adaptable. ;)
    'Even & equal' across the stone is a good mantra.
    Billyfergie and gssixgun like this.
  5. Stubbl E

    Stubbl E Well-Known Member

    Good to hear Lou, I'm a fan myself. Gillian & Dave don't really fit into a proper bluegrass kind of category, but their stuff's got a nice old timey feel to it. Gillian plays a little clawhammer banjo too.

    Butch Robins has always been one of my favourite contemporary 5-string players. Fantastic picker!

    45auto likes this.
  6. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

    good stuff right there
  7. oscar11

    oscar11 Well-Known Member

    I'm using the Spyderco UF after the Apache Strata now and getting some really great edges.
    178-bplatoon likes this.
  8. MikekiM

    MikekiM Well-Known Member

    Glen, care to share your progression? Or at least how you are using the Apache?

    I have been using it water only.. Seems to be working. I have an Apache slurry stone and DMT, just haven't taken a dive down that hole yet.
  9. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

    Supporting Vendor

    Getting close to 100 razors across the Apache now...

    I am using the Chosera 1-5-10 at the beginning, then switching to the Apache simply for finishing

    Contrary to many people's opinion I have used Slurry on Synthetics since day one with the old Norton 4/8, and have continued with the Choseras, for me it works and works well, once I get to the Apache, I have been doing about seven figure 8's with a well worn DMT 8C and I get a light slurry on the stone.
    I do 10-15 Swooping Japanese strokes per side, then about 20 Swooping X strokes as I dilute, I finish with about 10 perfect X strokes on an almost clean stone and done... This would be about equal to 50-60 X laps but I have way more control..

    This gives a beautiful Haze finish on most of the bevel, and a Mirror on the very fin, the entire process reminds me of working my Nakayama..

    The slurry from the Apache is very silky with zero gritty feel at all
  10. MikekiM

    MikekiM Well-Known Member

    Thanks Glen.. 10k to the Apache is interesting. I have 1-2-4-8-16 Shapton Glass 'at this point in time'. (couldn't resist, sorry). Apache is a finisher only.

    I am wondering if my progression of the 8 SG to Apache (especially Apache water only) is too big a jump. Going to 16 SG and then Apache seems like a step backward so I don't do that. 8k to Apache with slurry dilution could bridge the gap.

    You're not down to water only until your final x-strokes. I am liking the idea of using slurry on the Apache since I really like the snowy haze of a Nat with slurry.. And the 16k SG is bit too forensic feeling. Not sure which is the best way to go to raise the slurry. My slurry options are the Apache Strata slurry stone, a pretty new Extra fine mini or 6x2 DMT (green), a 6x2 Fine DMT (red) and a pretty new 8x3 DMT 325 that I use for lapping. I worry about dishing the stone if using the small DMT cards, but they are convenient since I don't hone by the sink and the big DMT 325 is uncomfortable to use where I hone.

    Thanks for your help with this, as well as all of your contribution to this craft!

    gssixgun likes this.
  11. kn4wd

    kn4wd Member

    try an apache red on slurry, same deal as jnat, two milky slurrys ,two light slurrys ,plain water then strata it works wonders.i use a 1k, 4k, then the apaches. worked wonders on my progression, not a second return or backwards progression, simply amazing edges. I have shaved directly off the strata. work through a slurried progression and through pure water till done.
  12. Malacoda

    Malacoda Active Member

    Another thing to keep in mind - back in old days coticules, eschers, etc. were not only used by barbers and average Joe shaver to maintain edges on razors, they were also used to maintain edges on common wood trade and homestead tools such as scissors, wood planers, chisels etc. Ever notice an old stone in a wood box or set on/in a wood base? Good chance the owner was, to some extent, a woodworker. So all those vintage stones we see today came not just from average Joe shaver, but also average joe tradesman and average joe pioneer.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2014
  13. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

    Glen, is my DMT course ( 3c) to harsh for slurry on the apache?
  14. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

    Supporting Vendor
    Just make sure it has no "High" diamonds ie: break it in with a Knife or Chisel etc: to knock off any high points and you are good to go

    The Coarse aka C is 325 grit so that is want you want to use
  15. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

    I sharpened all the kitchen knives with it a month ago and it is broken in, Thx. I have the credit card packet coming that has the other two finer dmt's in it also
    gssixgun likes this.
  16. gssixgun

    gssixgun At this point in time...

    Supporting Vendor
    Well past the 100 razor mark on the Apache Strata that Kevin graciously lent to me

    Some observations

    I really like it on Solingen and American razors..
    I really like the finish it imparts, and it still reminds me of a J-nat finish
    I have stayed with the Light slurry -Dilution system I outlined earlier in the thread, it worked best for me :)

    I have received NO negative feedback from customers and more than a few WOW responses, most responses are like that one I got today.

    "Hi Glen. My straight shaving experience is limited, been learning since May. I used the Dixie this morning on a 5 day growth. Soap was a Tiki scent, my lathering is not amazing but it's what I'm used to. The razor shaved like I always thought a straight should. Sharp and smooth. I was able to "shave only the lather" I really could tell a positive effect, I'm just at a loss for words to describe.

    Thanks. "

    Happy with the stone here in the Northwoods and a HUGE Thank You to @HolyRollah aka Kevin for sending it up for me to try out...
    Billyfergie and 45auto like this.
  17. HolyRollah

    HolyRollah BaconLord Staff Member

    You're welcome, Glen!
    And thank you for incorporating the Apache into your razor regimen.
    Your extensive experience and results in using the stone renew my confidence in using the Apache.
    I thought I was getting some decent results from the stone, and after seeing your results, I feel all the more glad about making the investment.

    You'll have to try an Apache RED next to see how it compares. :)

    45auto likes this.
  18. HolyRollah

    HolyRollah BaconLord Staff Member

    Bringing this Apache thread back to life due to the recent Apache discussion in the 'honing' thread.

    This is the Apache Strata I use for finishing. It is the one Glen used and reviewed above (see post#96). Silky smooth feel to the slurry; hard to the touch but not too difficult to raise a slurry with a DMT or Atoma.
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  19. Beadog

    Beadog Well-Known Member


    I will go to the OP, and read the whole thread before posting anything else myself. Thanks for resurrecting the thread! It's been 28 months without any further discussion. It's past time!

    I went to the Natural Hones website, and it looks like he only has a few (5-6) Strata stones available right now. All others have been purchased:

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  20. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    Nice thread. Thanks for the revival.
    Billyfergie likes this.

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