11-05-2014, 03:19 AM
#1
  • MikekiM
  • Senior Member
  • Long Island, NY
User Info
We don't get much chatter about honing, strops or rocks. I suppose most of the talk ends up on the forums with a bias towards straights.

I have honed on a lot of rocks considering I am at it only a few years. Coticule, J-Nat, Norton 4/8, Chosera, Zulu Grey, Arkansas Black Surgical, King.

Recently I migrated over to the Shapton Glass stones for a number of reasons. I had been finishing on SG 16k but found it was quite easy to overhone on it. The edge would be wicked sharp but would quickly break down part-way through the shave. I tried replacing the 16k with the Zulu Grey, but that stone never really caught my heart and edges were...meh (YMMV).

I got caught up in the chatter about the new finisher mined here in the US.. the Apache Strata. Didn't take long for me to cave in and buy a smallish stone that I've begun using in my progression. SG 2k, 4k, 8k and the Apache for finish.

I have say it's an awesome finisher and the progression is quite simple. I am getting the speed and repeatability of the synthetic with the final smoothness of the natural and while I love the sensory rich experience that is J-Nat's, this progression is so easy and seemingly faultless.

Others have been using this stone with similar results and some have done full Nagura progressions on it. That said, the best results seem to be from 50 or so x-strokes on water only, which is how I am using it. Feedback is fantastic and make the stone a great mate to the Shapton Glass stones which also tend to be very communicative.

The stone needed to be flattened when I received it as it had a fairly high crown to it. Given how hard it is, this took some time.

I've done five razors on it plus a bunch of playing on practice blades. So far all have come out virtually the same. I've done a Brian Brown and Robert Williams custom, a W&B FBU wedge, a Japanese Towa and a Dovo Flowing. Shaved with all but the Towa and the shaves are crazy smooth with no degradation like I was seeing with the 16k. All are stropped on a Kanayama board strop post honing and a Tony Miller Hearloom Horsehide pre and post shave. No pastes or sprays for me.

I've already given thought to selling the Zulu and buying a larger Apach Strata.

If you're looking for a nice, simple natural finisher that won't break the bank, this might a stone for you...

I have no relationship to the manufacturer or incentive other than to foster the art of honing among my fellow wet shavers!

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 11-06-2014, 11:39 AM
#2
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Mike, thanks for the information and I hope the Towa works out well for you. Biggrin

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 11-06-2014, 12:25 PM
#3
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Nice one Michael sounds like you are really enjoying the results you are getting from that stone, I'm one of those die hard synthetic freaks I love my Chosera's my Snow White and I've always loved the edges of the Naniwa Super stone 12K.

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 11-06-2014, 12:39 PM
#4
  • MikekiM
  • Senior Member
  • Long Island, NY
User Info
(11-06-2014, 11:39 AM)celestino Wrote: Mike, thanks for the information and I hope the Towa works out well for you. Biggrin

Yes, that is your Towa.. Looked like it had a J-Nat edge on it and though it passed HHT, I couldn't resist putting it on the Apache. Really awesome shave with it!

(11-06-2014, 12:25 PM)Jamie Mahoney Wrote: Nice one Michael sounds like you are really enjoying the results you are getting from that stone, I'm one of those die hard synthetic freaks I love my Chosera's my Snow White and I've always loved the edges of the Naniwa Super stone 12K.

Jamie, I tried the Chosera 1k and was quite happy with it, but I had to include it in trade to close the deal. The Shapton 2k is an aggressive stone and by all rights, I could have done without the 1k. I did just buy a 1000. I am finding it super easy to stay on all SG as they seem to 'speak' with me in similar ways. That said, I've read tons on the Snow White and my curiosity is peaked for sure.

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 11-06-2014, 07:20 PM
#5
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Mike, great to hear you enjoyed the Towa! Biggrin

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 11-06-2014, 07:24 PM
#6
  • gijames
  • Mile High Soldier
  • TN, USA
User Info
(11-05-2014, 03:19 AM)MikekiM Wrote: We don't get much chatter about honing, strops or rocks. I suppose most of the talk ends up on the forums with a bias towards straights.

I have honed on a lot of rocks considering I am at it only a few years. Coticule, J-Nat, Norton 4/8, Chosera, Zulu Grey, Arkansas Black Surgical, King.

Recently I migrated over to the Shapton Glass stones for a number of reasons. I had been finishing on SG 16k but found it was quite easy to overhone on it. The edge would be wicked sharp but would quickly break down part-way through the shave. I tried replacing the 16k with the Zulu Grey, but that stone never really caught my heart and edges were...meh (YMMV).

I got caught up in the chatter about the new finisher mined here in the US.. the Apache Strata. Didn't take long for me to cave in and buy a smallish stone that I've begun using in my progression. SG 2k, 4k, 8k and the Apache for finish.

I have say it's an awesome finisher and the progression is quite simple. I am getting the speed and repeatability of the synthetic with the final smoothness of the natural and while I love the sensory rich experience that is J-Nat's, this progression is so easy and seemingly faultless.

Others have been using this stone with similar results and some have done full Nagura progressions on it. That said, the best results seem to be from 50 or so x-strokes on water only, which is how I am using it. Feedback is fantastic and make the stone a great mate to the Shapton Glass stones which also tend to be very communicative.

The stone needed to be flattened when I received it as it had a fairly high crown to it. Given how hard it is, this took some time.

I've done five razors on it plus a bunch of playing on practice blades. So far all have come out virtually the same. I've done a Brian Brown and Robert Williams custom, a W&B FBU wedge, a Japanese Towa and a Dovo Flowing. Shaved with all but the Towa and the shaves are crazy smooth with no degradation like I was seeing with the 16k. All are stropped on a Kanayama board strop post honing and a Tony Miller Hearloom Horsehide pre and post shave. No pastes or sprays for me.

I've already given thought to selling the Zulu and buying a larger Apach Strata.

If you're looking for a nice, simple natural finisher that won't break the bank, this might a stone for you...

I have no relationship to the manufacturer or incentive other than to foster the art of honing among my fellow wet shavers!

Sounds like a stone I would like to try Smile

Where are the reputable vendors that carry it?

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk

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 11-07-2014, 04:46 AM
#7
  • MikekiM
  • Senior Member
  • Long Island, NY
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(11-06-2014, 07:24 PM)gijames Wrote: Where are the reputable vendors that carry it?

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk

James, only one that I know of... naturalhones.com

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 11-07-2014, 08:10 AM
#8
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I tried it and it is a nice finisher but nothing special for me. My edges were no better then those coming of a C13K or a Welsh purple with light slurry. Both cheaper options by far. Its all subjective and if your curious it's worth a try. As they say though no matter what you finish on all edges eventually become stropped edges Smile

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 11-07-2014, 09:22 PM
#9
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(11-07-2014, 08:10 AM)SteelTown Wrote: I tried it and it is a nice finisher but nothing special for me. My edges were no better then those coming of a C13K or a Welsh purple with light slurry. Both cheaper options by far. Its all subjective and if your curious it's worth a try. As they say though no matter what you finish on all edges eventually become stropped edges Smile

Another good perspective to hear on these stones. Thanks for sharing. Smile

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 11-08-2014, 04:09 AM
#10
  • MikekiM
  • Senior Member
  • Long Island, NY
User Info
(11-07-2014, 08:10 AM)SteelTown Wrote: I tried it and it is a nice finisher but nothing special for me. My edges were no better then those coming of a C13K or a Welsh purple with light slurry. Both cheaper options by far. Its all subjective and if your curious it's worth a try. As they say though no matter what you finish on all edges eventually become stropped edges Smile

I agree about the stropping, though I would let that lead one to think the finisher doesn't make a difference. I am comparing the smoothness and ease with which it was obtained. My prior finishers were the Shapton Glass 16k and/or the Zulu (not counting the time I spend on Coti, Ark or J-Nat, I am comparing the 2/4/8 Shapton progression finished on either the 16k or the Zulu). The Shapton 16k needs careful attention to strokes so as not to overhone and end up with a brittle tin-foil edge. The Zulu was the exact opposite.. it needed a month of Sundays to make a difference unless you used slurry, which I didn't. Why is another story...

I had numerous edges coming off the 16k that passed visual, HHT and TPT and shaved like a laser...for half my face, only to break down as the brittle overhoned edge gave up. And, I'm not talking about going crazy on the 16k. Rather I am referring to less than ten strokes. The margin for error was huge.

On the other hand, take the blade through 2/4/8 and then to the Apache is turning out to be a very consistent progression. I haven't had a mis-step yet.

I dare not say this is the only way.. we know this is far from true. All I can tell you with confidence is this progression, and the Apache Strata as a finisher is working extremely well for me. Beats honing on a brick...



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