Hones and Hone Acquisitions

Discussion in 'Straight Razors' started by Steve56, Mar 21, 2019.

  1. Steve56

    Steve56 Well-Known Member

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    Gentlemen, I went to post a thread about a new hone that I have on the way from Japan, and it occurred to me that while we have many posts about all sorts of lovely hones and hone acquisitions, they’re pretty much all over the place in separate threads and therefore difficult to browse.

    So I suggest that we put our hone posts in a thread that’s easier to find and browse, making it easier to find content and making it easier for those that are considering going down the rabbit hole!

    I’ll start by posting a hone that’s on the way from Japan, totally pot luck as most are, especially when you can’t read Japanese, not that it would help with auctions since words and images are usually ‘exaggerated’ no matter the language! There are several promising signs for this one, it’s undoubtedly a Nakayama, probably the best jnat ‘vineyard’ for razor finishers, as evidenced by the black, burnt-toast skin on the back. Many Nakayamas are finer than their hardness would suggest, and many are very fine. It’s ~135x80mm, which is their ‘barber size’, and it has a stamp on it which I believe means ‘end’ or ‘stop’, but maybe means ‘finisher’

    Cheers, Steve
     
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  2. Steve56

    Steve56 Well-Known Member

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    Here’s a hone from a few years back with an interesting twist - I am subject to correction of course, I’m not an Escher/Thuringian expert! A German collector was selling off a number of these 10 x 2” unlabeled Eschers, and I picked this one up after doing some research. I never knew who the collector was but these stones were known to Thuringian experts. If you read most threads, they’ll tell you that Escher was a company, and if the stone does not have an Escher label, it is therefore not provably an Escher. These may be the exception because of the size. According to the knowledgeable folks that I spoke with, Escher was the only company that cut Thuringian hones 10 x 2”, and these were intended for export to the US. Why we wanted stones 10” long is beyond me, 8” is plenty for even long knives.

    Anyway, it’s a curious size with a curious story, and if true, these are the only unlabeled Thuringians that can be proven to be Eschers. It’s a good razor finisher, but a great jnat is better IMO, though it will cost you more than any Escher to obtain.

    Cheers, Steve
     
  3. Billyfergie

    Billyfergie The Scottish Ninja

    Escher Made a LOT of Bigger Stones for Heavy Tool Sharpening..For Carpenters Etc..Escher is Only a Brand Name..Its Been Said they Picked the Best & Finest Stones...BUT...Some Thuri Stones that are Not Escher Labeled Surpass the Escher Labeled Stones...Some of their Smaller Stones were Specifically for Razors Size Wise...;)

    The German Thuri Stones Quickly Took Over from Charnley Forest Stones in Europe by Tool Makers & Tool Tradesman & Razor HoneMeisters...Its Often Forgotten Eschers Main Market was for Sharpening Tools...:)

    Billy..:chores016:
     
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  4. Timwcic

    Timwcic Well-Known Member

    I have been in a stone drought lately, until today. Went to a living estate sale and found a few stone to take home. A boxed 6x2 Woodworkers Delight Washita. I like this stone. This is a very nice, fine, smooth stone, labeled “grade L.W. & R.R”. Thought they were both the same, I will see how it cleans up. Also two Thuringains, a 6”Escher and a 7” unlabeled that the seller told me was from Fox Cutlery. A possible Fox 44, but no box or label so it is demoted to a Thuri. The seller was so glad the stones are going to a good home, he told me to come back next week, he has more but thought nobody would want them. Can’t wait

    Last two pictures are what the labels would look like if they were in good condition

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  5. CastleShave

    CastleShave Well-Known Member

    Awesome find!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  6. CastleShave

    CastleShave Well-Known Member

    I love the concept of this thread. It is true, a sharpening stone thread is much needed as many of us are interested in them
    This is what I got so far in terms of Natural Stones. I love my Jnats and have not yet explored thurigians, coticules, arks etc...

    Ozuku Asagi
    [​IMG]
    Ozuku with Tomo, botan, Meijro and tenyjou
    [​IMG]
    Nakayama Tomei Maruka (stamp is very faded)
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Some new Koma I just got in[​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  7. Steve56

    Steve56 Well-Known Member

    Nice looking stones there @CastleShave you need some more! Lol.
     
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  8. Steve56

    Steve56 Well-Known Member

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    Here’s a little eye candy for the hone folks, I call it the ‘Grand Prismatic Nakayama’ for obvious reasons, but it’s really a Hatanaka (from the large stamp) and it also has a small razor stamp on it. The Japanese call these iro or iromono which simply means ‘multicolored’. Usually strongly colored stones are soft and not fine enough for razors, but once in a while you’ll find a hard one, as this one is, It takes some doing to coax a great edge from it, but it is a bling thing! It’s wet in the image to bring the colors out a little beter, and it has pretty much all of them, red, orange, yellow, turquoise, green, blue, and purple.

    Cheers, Steve
     
  9. Timwcic

    Timwcic Well-Known Member

    Beginning to see some beautiful stones. Looking forward to see many more. These was a wild find about a year ago at a house yard sale in the Philadelphia area. A primitive Coticule Bout that is roughly 4 x 6 inches. It is a very hard stone with a lot of manganese action throughout. It came in a heavily oxidized wooden box. The stone took several days soaking in degreaser to get clean. After cleaning the box top, I found a signature of its original??? Owner, signed Layman Ross and it is dated 1788. It stone gives me some incredible edges with a few drops of oil. Not uncommon to go several dozen shaves with out nothing other than linen and leather. Like children, it is hard to have a favorite, but this stone is in my top ten finishers

    First two pictures as found and than after restoring

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  10. Timwcic

    Timwcic Well-Known Member

    Thank you sir

    10 inch is a big boy, a lot a real estate. I am lucky to have a 9 x 2 inch Escher with the label in German. It is not labeled for color but I consider it blue green. It is a medium hard stone and is slow on steel but give a great Thuri edge

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  11. Billyfergie

    Billyfergie The Scottish Ninja

    [​IMG]
    My Two Escher Thuri Stones are Largely My GO Stones for Honing Other Folks Razors...One is a Slightly Faster Cutting & Both are as Consistent as a Naniwa Super Stone..If Ya Get a Good One they are the Dogs Danglies...They Both have Yellow Speckles..These have a Finishing Capacity of around 17 K when Maxed Out..:happy088:

    Billy..:chores016:
     
  12. Billyfergie

    Billyfergie The Scottish Ninja

    Japanese Stones..I Have No Idea How to Tell which Ones have the Highest Finishing Capacity...I Dont Even Know what Some of their Max Potential is & they Go for Crazy Money..I Wouldn't Mind a 17 K to 20 K Jap Finishing Stone..Just a Finisher Using Zero Slurry or Swarf..:eek:

    Know Nout about Em..:signs002:

    Billy..:chores016:
     
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  13. CastleShave

    CastleShave Well-Known Member

    JNats have no Grit rating. The concept of them is very complex. The more you work your middle ground the finer you will get and this is in some cases as if you work too much you can go right back to square one very easily. Many have the ability to surpass your finest synthetic(but this comes with experience) they also have the ability to be your all in one stone using Nagura. If you take a 20k suehiro edge and put it on your Jnat you will have the ability to go even finer. This can also apply for your 30k shapton. You will more than likely hate the edge and it will also be too brittle to enjoy a shave but if that is your goal it is definitely attainable. Again this is all based on experience as you can take those edges and dull them at the same time. Natural stones work much differently than your synthetics and that’s something you’ll have to want. You can obtain decently priced stones through JNS.com or aframestokyo. Don’t forget to check out TomoNagura on Etsy as Keith is an excellent mentor. That is if you decide to pursue Jnats in the future.


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  14. Steve56

    Steve56 Well-Known Member

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    You just have to try them, but like all naturals there are ‘tells’ when you’re looking at one. Not conclusive but improves your odds quite a bit.

    Now the good thing is that your odds for getting a good razor finisher are just as good with cheap jnats as expensive stamped ones. Another advantage for razor hones is that with jnats, the price goes up exponentially with size, so a small jnat can be quite reasonable, and in razor sizes they’re considerably cheaper than what Eschers are bringing.

    Here’s a small hard koppa (bout) that I bought for $26, I was the only bidder. Lol the shipping cost a little more than that! It will spank that 10” Escher by a good bit. A really good one makes a smoother edge than a super fine synth.
     
  15. Billyfergie

    Billyfergie The Scottish Ninja

    :thanks: For the Intel..That Answers My Question Fully...:happy088:

    Billy..:chores016:
     
  16. Billyfergie

    Billyfergie The Scottish Ninja

    :thanks: For the Great Intel...Loud n Clear..:happy088:

    Billy..:chores016:
     
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  17. brit

    brit Well-Known Member

    cool thread..
     
  18. Steve56

    Steve56 Well-Known Member

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    My new jnat arrived arrived a few days ago, and it had been used with that foul yellow honing solution they use, so first off I wanted to get rid of that. Whatever it is isn’t oil, but it smells like it, kind of like diesel or kerosene, but water doesn’t bead on stones used with it. I intensely dislike the odor and it also alters the color of the stone, so I’ve given it two soaks in rubbing alcohol to get rid of most of the solution so I can abide the presence of the stone. It’s currently on it’s third soak which should take care of most of the rest of it. Attached is an image of the first alcohol wash, you can see what came out of it.

    It seems like a good stone! The lines are closed mineral lines and do not absorb water, and it’s quite fine. There’s more info about the honing characteristics in the honing thread.
     
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  19. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    Looks like Urine.

    ..
     
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  20. Steve56

    Steve56 Well-Known Member

    Yes it does, I hate it. And smells like kerosene. But I know how to deal with it, and good Japanese stones are getting rarer, so I’m glad to have it.
     
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