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Jared, if you don't mind my asking, and you know why I am asking , have you created any database that stores pictures and data from the vault in any more (than how it is now) easily retrievable, quickly comparable form?
No, I haven't created any such database. I'm still in the stage of trying to understand what characteristics differentiate the stones, wanting to develop in the future text descriptions to help someone with identifying. This is different from the hone gallery that has been mentioned by others in the past. I am hoping that Bart is successful tomorrow in convincing Ardennes to start providing him with cross-sections of the currently available layers, which I think may in some ways be more useful than the previous ideas for a hone gallery (though they are certainly both very helpful towards cataloguing these wonderful stones). Hopefully these cross-sections can be preserved for future generations, too.
I've spoken with Maurice and Rob about a picture of each layer in full Blue-to-Blue cross section. They found it a good idea and said they'd try to come up with something. They also told me there were once boxes sold that contained a small sample of each layer, as a sort of collector's gadget.
You'll like using that La Grise. I really like the edge off mine, and I also like the honing characteristics. :thumbup:
If you're using it for personal razor honing, it will last several lifetimes, as Jared said. I'm estimating that it's in the range of 1cm thick, so even if you become a razor collector, it should still be more hone than you'll need in your lifetime.
If you start honing knives on it, then perhaps it will wear down quicker. However, I do hone knives on some of my coticules, and I've yet to make much of a dent in them. I do find myself re-honing my knives pretty frequently, though - so they're bound to wear down the stones quicker.
I do love using it already. It is a slow one from my use and comparison with another #10 bout I own which darkens with slurry in a hurry. The La Grise is buttery smooth! I'm so glad I got this as a first hone.
You won't regret it. I agree with Bart in saying that La Grise is an underrated layer. I enjoy touching up razors on my La Grise bout with plain water as I love it's suction feedback and extra smooth edges it gives.