My Charnleys. I think I may have one more somewhere in my basement.
Top is a standard matte green variety. Very soft. Chews away knife steel, but I'm not overly fond of the shape, a bit too square for me. So it doesn't get much use.
Next was my second charnley. Again standard matte green. Substantially harder, but still brutally fast on knives. Use this one a TON on my harder steel knives, where I sometimes find my arks too hard. Perfect medium of hard/soft for most of my knives.
Third is my "fancy" charnley. Complete with extremely well made mahogany coffin, and a century old note that was stuffed under the stone detailing it's immigration from the UK in the 19th century. Hardest Charnley, but not notably finer than the others.
My most recent pickup. Another Matte green, but actually blue-green (haven't seen this on a Charn before, but it's definitely a Charn). Not done a ton with it (as you can see, lapping isn't even fully done), but substantially harder than my other two greenies (maybe as hard as the fancy, but not worn/broke in yet, though I suspect it's softer than it). Also much slower than the other two greenies. My testing suggests it's finer than even the fancy, but my experience with Charnleys + razors makes it very low priority (it's still no finer than my muuuuuuuuch faster Thuri's), so I've not done much with it beyond initial testing.
Yeah. It's written on some old land survey or something from a really old pamphlet Gimme a sec and I'll take a shot of the other side.
Probably haven't touched the stone before today in three years, but it'll stay in my collection because it's so interesting.
I have read alot about them being crisp, but mine is more smooth and mellow than my coti, or my thuri. I do go from coti to thuri to CF in my honing progression. Not sure if that makes any difference. I also only hone with water on mine most say to use oil. Mine feels like the back side of a butter knife just sliding over my face, but nothing is left behind and no irritation tested with Alum block after my shave. I think I can actually go an extra day without shaving off this stone. I did describe this in annother thread and someone said they got that same sensation off of their ark.
+1 ON THE COOL factor of the note on the third one.
Charns are a type of Novaculite, but they're a bit different than Arkansas stones. They can be softer, or very hard - and the resulting edge from either is very different. I'd assume that the person honing has a bit of influence on the edge also. I prefer the hardest types, and the edges off of the one I have now are as keen as it gets. Smooth too. Not quite as smart of an edge though, so it'll bite faster if you blink.
Feel of the edge - well, that's up to whoever is shaving and the stone in question and who honed it. I'd have to assume that some do very well on Charns, while others might not get 'there'.
With the one I have now, I get an accurate type of edge, rather than a sloppy one - not Jnaty but not Coti either - like a 'Super Thuringian' feel, maybe, but that's relative to how I use and shave off a Thuri.
Honing on it is like using a very dense Ark to some extent, but there's more expression off the stone where the Ark can be more 'dead' or skatey/glassy.
I've never had a very soft Charn, but Ian has I think. I've have shaved off of what you might call an 'acceptably hard' one that I couild only ever get a very sharp albeit teensy bit toothy edge that reminded me of a 'too many strokes' 12k SS edge.
After getting a few tool grade CFs I finally scored a finisher. I agree with Gamma, the edges are very maxed out Thuri/Escher like. I don't use it with oil, I like the edges off of water or glycerin/water mix.
OTE=Bayamontate;7724986]After getting a few tool grade CFs I finally scored a finisher. I agree with Gamma, the edges are very maxed out Thuri/Escher like. I don't use it with oil, I like the edges off of water or glycerin/water mix.
Frustrating stones to buy as they have no reliable tells for razor fitness. I think the safest way to buy one may be going by the box style, wear, and overall tidiness of the complete package vs just the stone. Someday I will test the idea.
Here's a shot of what I think is a piece of Charnwood. Bought from a UK seller, if that's any provenance.
It's sort of a cross between a Turkey stone (without the fissures) and a Dan's "true hard" Arkansas. Nice bit of novaculite streaking in the very upper left corner.
This thread has inspired me, so I took a blade that was shaving smooth off a narrow Lombard > coticule > Thuri water-stone progression and then tried coticule with water to this stone with oil, circles leading to a few Xs at the finish. Resulting shave today was very nice. The edge was a bit keener, which I prefer to smoothness, without lapsing into harshness. Overall dimensions of the stone are ~30 x ~135 mm. I'm starting to appreciate using a paddle (or a boxed wooden support) of late, as they allow me to use narrower stones. Handheld, with just the stone in the palm, I would need it to be a little wider, more like ~40 mm.
Very nice. It seem like most are in old cool boxes too. From what I have noticed from the ones here out of the box, is most seem smooth and flat on sides and bottom. Mine is not. It looks hand cut. Is that a possible indication of age?
Ok added info from Grinding and honing pt.3
Some CFs can provide a very sharp edge. They can be used for grinding or polishing of a cut with a light oil, but preferably with water. Yes that is right the experts say preferably water.
Next it states that The best stones came from Whittle Hills and is also the oldest quarry. The old stones are recognizable by their irregular shape and are usually somewhat rounded at the bottom. This is because they were moulded by a driver blade. I am thinking this is why mine looks rounded almost hand cut on the bottom.
Obviously I will never truly know, but this may be where I read this before.
Also there seems to be 5 types
*Green with black dots or lines
* Bright olive green.
* Green with 1 layer. Dry you only see one direction of the
stripes, but when it gets wet you can see that there is
another layer appearing with a direction of the stripes.
* Green with more layers.
* Green / Blue