10-15-2012, 04:09 PM
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Just as the title says, I'm looking for a skilled, trustworthy honemeister in the Baltimore/Washington metro area - seeking someone local to cut down on shipping turnaround. Haven't been able to find anyone based on location...

Also, if I was to learn how to hone, what is essentially needed. I'm talking barebones minimum that is required for maintaining a shave ready edge.

Thanks Smile

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 10-17-2012, 06:45 PM
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dolla make me holla honey boo boo??

1 94
 10-17-2012, 07:03 PM
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Ron Herstra, aka utopian is in Baltimore last I heard. he's only on one board anymore, but if you look hard enough maybe you can find him.

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 10-20-2012, 08:01 PM
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(10-15-2012, 04:09 PM)dashmaverick Wrote: Also, if I was to learn how to hone, what is essentially needed. I'm talking barebones minimum that is required for maintaining a shave ready edge.

That seems like such a simple, innocent question - but it isn't...

It really depends on whether you have future plans to go beyond simply 'refreshing' an edge to actually restoring one... and how much time and patience you're willing to spend learning to use the hone.

Any hone that is 10,000 grit or higher (if synthetic) or considered a 'finisher' (if natural) will work just fine for refreshing an edge.

The least expensive route would be to pick up a decent 'barber's hone' off eBay or from a forum sale. It would also be the most limiting since the only thing it would be useful for is refreshing an edge (e.g. It'll bring back a slightly dull edge but not a very dull edge).

A pasted strop would also serve the same purpose and cheaply, but CrOx (the 'paste') tends to make a blade feel harsh after a few uses making a more serious refresh on a hone necessary.

Synthetic hones in the 10k to 12k grit range - such as a Naniwa 12k Super Stone - can be found for around $70. Synthetics tend to be a little easier to learn to use because they are very consistent. However, they tend to wear quicker, need to be lapped (e.g. flattened) more often, some need to be soaked in water a while before use, and if you ever want to do more than 'refresh' a blade you will need to buy several other grits.

Then there are natural hones. I won't get into Thuringians/Ecshers or Japanese natural (j-nats) because they're very pricey and quite complicated. That leaves a Chinese natural (aka a C12), or a Belgian coticule...

A Chinese 12k can be picked up from somewhere like a Woodcraft store or online for about $25-$30. It's a bit of a 'slow' stone and so takes a little more time to use. And it is only one grit so other hones will be needed if you ever wish to revive very dull blades.

A nice coticule can be had for around $70 - $110. It can be used as a 'finisher' with just water. Or, you can vary it's grit by 'raising a slurry' on it - thereby having 'multiple hones' from just one stone. However, since the slurry dilution (thickness) can be varied so much by how consistently/inconsistently you add drops of water, it has a longer learning curve. (A good place to learn a little more about them is http://www.coticule.be).

Natural hones do not need to be soaked in water prior to use (some synthetic hones do). And they wear much slower than synthetics. But they still need to be lapped (flattened) before their first use. If you get decide on a natural stone, a Chinese 12k from Woodcraft, or a coticule from The Superior Shave or Ardennes Coticule will most likely already be lapped for you. Just ask to make sure.

Last but not least, you can try something like the micro abrasive hone at Whippeddog.com for around $15, or Lapping Films. I have no experience with either so cannot really comment on them.

Bottom line: There are many 'bare minimum' roads that will lead you to a shave ready edge. You'll have to take a glance at each to decide which one feels like the best fit for your current needs, pocket book comfort zone, and future goals.

Happy hunting and enjoy the journey!

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