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Black Vermont slate test hone

This was 50/50 boredom/curiosity-fueled. I've been in touch with someone who owns several quarries with a huge variety of vermont slates and ny red slate. He agreed to hand pick and personally cut a hone(s) for me that he felt had potential as finishing stones out of his material. I am going to test a purple/green mottled one at a later date when it warms up and he can get to the type he figures would be worth testing as he has four different types/hardness of that one, but for now, I just received this bench stone-sized slab of Vermont black along with quite a generous slurry stone. Just got home and was greeted with the box so any time spent with it so far has been limited to tiding it up and smoothing the surface to the maximum. The piece he selected seems dense, with pretty decent hardness for a slate. It's glittery, and had a bit of a metallic craze to it that reminds of some other stones. Some white inclusions which cannot be felt. Feels very fine indeed. Might test it tomorrow on a go to tester blade, but probably saturday most likely. Even if it ends up being a bust for honing, it was way cool of him to be so accommodating.


 
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That's awesome! That guy is pretty cool. That does look similar to one of my found slates, if you could find more of that one people would love it!
 
It would be pretty cool if he had some genuinely good/consistent veins suitable for razors, just from a sheer value pov. A bench stone of VS wouldn't put someone in the poorhouse.
 
The structure reminds me a bit on the fine UK Slates we talked about several times.....
iam interested what results you get :)
 
Had a little time this morning so I did a very preliminary test. Brought a solingen blade I am very familiar with up to a known, shaving sharp point and then moved onto this stone with slurry, making dilutions along the way. It deleted the scratches of what came before leaving its own tidier pattern. I don't really like the feedback, but it is providing data as it is doing its thing and you can feel it mellowing out at each stage. I stopped on the water when I was not getting any differences with tactile feedback and the water was riding over the edge. HHT was about a 4 off the rock and improved a bit off the strop. Didn't have time to shave, but it definitely will, it just remains to be seen if it is comfortable. At least it didn't kill the edge, so it's encouraging so far...
 
I'll be following this with interest. I've got samples of the purple-green and red slate and have used them with oil. Feels great when honing and the bevel/edge seems smooth, but I have yet to obtain an edge I like there. Came close the other night with the purple-green, but still not quite enough.
 
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I think I am going to add some glycerin to water to try to calm down that feedback on water and see if it gets me a bit more refinement. I think some ppl may have been hasty to dismiss this material outright. According to him, the play in properties can be considerable so if ppl were re-purposing tiles, roofing, and whatnot, I can see some of the bad experiences happening since they just bang that stuff out to meet demand.
 
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I'll be following this with interest. I've got samples of the purple-green and red slate and have used them with oil. Feels great when honing and the bevel/edge seems smooth, but I have yet to obtain an edge I like there. Came close the other night with the purple-green, but still not quite enough.
What have your outcomes been like? Feedback is unsettling, but it is not doing harm. Not everything can have the gelatinous velvet feel of a thuri I guess..
 
I've recently tried adding glycerine to water for a "Vosgian" stone that's on loan to me. With water and a drop of soap, it seemed aggressive and felt a little gritty. Following a recommendation to use 8 pts. water to 1 pt. glycerine with a drop of soap, the feel was much smoother. So I imagine the same would hold true for your piece, and would seem an improvement, if that's how it was feeling before.

My recollection from trying Vermont slates with water and slurries a couple of years back was that the scratch pattern seemed fine but the bevel was dull. Oil seems to brighten this up, but then you've got an oil-stone on your hands.

Edit: Just now read your second post. Feedback on the purple-green stone seems smooth, and visually, the surface seems smooth, with the purple areas bordering on bronze/metallic like a Vosgian stone (hence my original interest). The red has some sort of pitting on the surface and one can feel this as a kind of pebbly/mild cobblestone sensation when honing, although that doesn't seem to affect the edge. Red is the rarest (I believe my red is from Vermont, not NY, but could be mistaken) and black is the hardest from what I understand, so you would think that I would have wanted to try black as well. Oh well, silly me.

By coincidence, I had what looked to be a nice edge off the purple-green stone a few nights ago. But when I shaved with it, the edge tugged a bit, so I still wasn't quite there.
 
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Yeah, the bevel is gleaming on the test razor, though I must admit, I don't really put huge stock in that. My trans ark leaves a sort of haze and the edge is phenomenally sharp. Well, I really gave it a shot to kill a nice edge as I used slurry, water and a lot of laps yet it didn't, so that's a positive.
 
No, red is from NY. It's quarried upstate near the border with vermont. The red is the hardest. He has four different hardnesses of the mottled. He said he has one mottled that is similar in hardness if not a touch moreso than this black is.
 
Post some photos when you have a chance and add in your experiences. There is a pretty poor amount of data on the forums about these slates and what they can/cannot do
 
From the view i will tell you it will be one of your favourite prefinisher ,may be a finisher. The way it reflect thelight tells me that is a softer and fast stone i think .Enjoy and what is the prise of it .
 
Well, all slate is sort of dense and soft. This one is quite dense and harder than a fair number of slates I have encountered, but it is still slate.
 
I was finding stones that looked just like that one in a little stream in Putney VT. One in particular was a triangular shaped stone (~8 inch sides) that had a flat surface ready to lap.Too bad it's presently a door stop at my ex's. :mad3:
 
I can get some red as well. IDK if I am yet. I am home now and just finished getting another solingen import blade up to shave ready with a plain coti edge. I am going to try a water mix this time and see where it gets me.
 
Well, now I have two blades I can test, one done on slurry to water, and one where I buffered the water a bit. The bevels on both are absolutely gleaming and both are giving off strong hht results.
 
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