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Thread: Use lather as lubricant for honing (w/ Charnley Forest, Llyn Idwal novaculite-type)?

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    Senior Member benhunt's Avatar
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    Question Use lather as lubricant for honing (w/ Charnley Forest, Llyn Idwal novaculite-type)?

    I've been curious about pros/cons of using lather as a lubricant with my Charnley Forest, Llyn Idwal stones - I've seen it mentioned a few times. I've been using Smith's honing oil (which seems to work well), but using lather as a certain attraction.

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    Senior Member Brontosaurus's Avatar
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    I've used lather on a coticule to up edge a little, and it seems to help there. A CF used with oil usually gets me there, ditto with Welsh purple slate, so I haven't felt the need to try lather with them.

    In honing with lather, there is a sense of cushion from the start. I try to maintain this as much as possible. As the lather is continually wiped off the surface with each pass, I then place it back on the surface again and again. From this, I think it is lessening the pressure at the end; something that is often advocated with coticules and hones in general.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Some of the old razor hones said to use lather in the instructions.

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    The Hurdy Gurdy Man thebigspendur's Avatar
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    Over the years we've had many a discussion about shave soap as a honing aid and many do it.
    No matter how many men you kill you can't kill your successor-Emperor Nero

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Yea, I have tried it and it is ok.

    Probably it became a thing, because if your razor needed a bit more, a guy had the lather at hand, so slapping it on the stone and giving it a few laps was a no brainer.

    If the razor feels the slightest bit lacking, and stropping does not improve it enough, I just grab another one. I’m not honing it at the sink.

    Ballistol or Smith’s and water is just a bit smoother for me. You can use oil on a clean stone and if you wash it right away with dish soap it will all come off.

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    Tradesman s0litarys0ldier's Avatar
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    It has worked for me.

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    Hones & Honing randydance062449's Avatar
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    Has anyone noticed a difference between a tallow based soap and a glycerin based soap?
    benhunt likes this.
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    Senior Member benhunt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Euclid440 View Post
    Yea, I have tried it and it is ok.

    Probably it became a thing, because if your razor needed a bit more, a guy had the lather at hand, so slapping it on the stone and giving it a few laps was a no brainer.

    If the razor feels the slightest bit lacking, and stropping does not improve it enough, I just grab another one. Iím not honing it at the sink.

    Ballistol or Smithís and water is just a bit smoother for me. You can use oil on a clean stone and if you wash it right away with dish soap it will all come off.
    Plus on CF & LI, oil doesn't seem to absorb much into the stone.

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    Senior Member benhunt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randydance062449 View Post
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    Has anyone noticed a difference between a tallow based soap and a glycerin based soap?
    This was my going-to-be follow-up question: if lather, is there much difference between soaps?

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    Senior Member Brontosaurus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randydance062449 View Post
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    Has anyone noticed a difference between a tallow based soap and a glycerin based soap?
    I've only honed with lather on a few occasions, but in doing anything with lather beyond shaving, I usually resort to a Stirling puck, which is tallow-based. Still, my sense is that it is the cushion which is helping things; so if I were to, say, want to hone the edge in the middle of a shave session to improve or restore an edge, I would probably use whatever lather I had whipped up for shaving.

    That strikes me as how barbers "of old" might have used lather too. The question is, what kind of soap were they using? Another question that comes to mind is if the said barber was using lather each time to hone and was leaving the lather to dry on the stone afterwards each time, would that have a mitigating effect on the stone's surface?
    Last edited by Brontosaurus; Yesterday at 03:09 PM.
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