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Recent find, and what to do with it

Jim1

Member
Hi all,

Happy belated Thanksgiving to the American boys out there. We headed from Minnesota down to my Grandfather's house in Iowa this weekend for the holidays. I swung into an antique shop that is my kind of antique shop. Drafty, cold, dusty, messy. Items set haphazardly on any free counter space available (or on top of other items). The owner sat by the door with an oxygen tank. My kind of antique shop owner. These are the kinds of places where you find the true overlooked gems, in my experience.

So, I find myself browsing with my hands in my pockets to keep the sting of the cold air away. I noticed a longish honing stone at about eye level back behind some junk. To my surprise it has a dark blue label on one end which reads "Blue/Green" and "E. and Co." or something to that effect. A blue green Escher. Better yet, for $5.00.

Let me start by saying that I've never had any intention of owning an Escher. My two coticules have been a Godsend and I am not wanting for more rocks (at least for utility purposes). BUT...for the price of a happy meal I thought it might be worth a shot! Now, I want to see if this stone will be useful for honing razors.

I typically do a Unicot. I can get razors 99% to where I want them doing dilucot, but I just haven't been able to hit that last bit. I think I need to get my hands on one of these hair bundles you guys keep talking about for HHTs. I will continue to practice this, but in the meantime I need razors that shave!

Long story short, I get the razor really close to shaving sharp and add a layer of tape to finish it off. I'm looking for any help with how the Escher could fit into the equation to see if my edges improve using it. If they don't improve, then I'm left with a few decisions (e.g., sell, keep, give away, etc), but I will cross that bridge when I come to it. Does anyone use an Escher just for the after-tape phase? Should I try a few laps with just water on the coticule then move to the Escher? I'm just looking for help on whether (and how) anyone uses an Escher in conjunction with adding a tape layer.

Thanks in advance, hope you all had a relaxing weekend.
 

BlueDun

Well-Known Member
Jim,

first of all, congratulations on that nice find. If you don't keep it you can always get rich on ebay:rolleyes:
Just a few things on the Escher that come to my mind:
- They are intended to be used with slurry. Although, you may also dilute down towards the end. Same story as with the coticule: Get to know your hone.
- When I get a new hone and want to really assess its finishing potential, here's what I do: I hone up a razor without any tape to a HHT (or better: Shave Readiness) as good as possible. THEN I add one layer of tape and finish on that particular hone. I'ts similar to unicot with two differences. By honing the razor to the best possible keenness before, you have a benchmark, something to compare to. And by taping the razor for the last step and then switching to your test hone you make sure that the very edge is 100% finished by your test hone. You may even shave before that last step in order to assess shaving performance too.
Hope this helps... And I'm curious about your results. I once faced the same "problem" when I stumbled over my first Escher and was all excited ....


Cheers
BlueDun
 

Emmanuel

Well-Known Member
I never apply a unicot on my honing routine ,even on coticule. But of course i have ,and some times i use an Escher. For me gives an excelent smooth edge as well.It works only on slurry. On water i don't thing that cuts as expected. If you have a good edge from coticule ,Escher would not give a better edge on clear water ,but if you go with a full dilucot on Escher is easier to get a decent edge.( for them that they haven't enough coticule experience )
Finally i thing Escher is one of the best natural hones with coticules and jnat.
Best regards
Emmanuel
 

tat2Ralfy

Well-Known Member
I get good results coming off water with mine, the secret I found was to get it as best as I can on ever lighter slurry, then finish on clear water, but make sure to rinse the water every 10 sets of strokes for 30 strokes, then do 3 lots of 3 (yes just 3!) rinsing the stone every 3 strokes, it made enough of a difference to me, and I get better edges than I ever did off slurry

Regards
Ralfson (Dr)
 

Jim1

Member
Thanks for the replies! Obviously the best way to learn is to test it out for myself, I was just hoping for some good information to use as a jumping-off point. I think I got it, and I appreciate the helpful feedback.


BlueDun said:
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I think I will try this, it seems like a good idea. Does the Escher have enough "bite" to increase keenness from an edge that is almost there? My thinking is yes, especially with the addition of tape, but I don't want to just polish--or insufficiently sharpen--a razor that is not quite there keenness-wise.

Is anyone else perplexed by the slurry/no slurry opinions you see regarding these stones (Thuringians)? I've read dozens of threads about these stones over the last few years and it seems that some people swear by finishing on slurry, some swear by finishing only on plain water, and some swear by some sort of stepwise dilution. I know that every hone is different and you'd have to figure this out for yourself, I just find the variation interesting, if only for academic reasons. :huh:
 

Snuff

Well-Known Member
Jim said:
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I had trouble also, I asked Gary for a hair sample and he send me 3 different ones from pretty thick to very thin, has helped me a lot in the the assessment of my HHT.
 

BlueDun

Well-Known Member
Jim said:
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It should. Certainly when you work with slurry.
But be careful. The point I was making above is that you should start with an edge as keen and as good as possible to your own standards. Only then you will have a true reference to compare against.

And regarding the slurry/no slurry, here's my humble opinion:

In the early days there were people that made a living out of honing things. Even so there were people that made a living producing and selling hones. I would consider it very arrogant to not assume that those people - or at least some of them - were pursuing their profession with some pride and seeking for the best. Call it professional evolution if you will. But what emerged is the recommendation to use these hones with slurry. The instructions are clear on that and some Thuringian hones were usually shipped with a slurry stone.
I think that's a valid standpoint.

On the other hand ... were would we be if everybody always does as said an as it "has been done forever before". We'd probably still hang out in trees - unshaved! If you don't try new things you never succeed in improving. So why should one not use these hones with water only. If it works for you - fine. If you find that you can improve the edge that way - even better.
I think that's a valid standpoint too.

Jim said:
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Yes, my friend. And don't forget to enjoy it!

Cheers
BlueDun
 

BlueDun

Well-Known Member
Post updated and poltically optimized :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
And yes, you are right, those small boxed ones did not come with a slurry stone.
 
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