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Fnat

4 years ago I was visiting family a long drive away. During those trips I can't help, but to set off early on sundays to visit local and unknow boot sales.
In a tinny traditional village, the the sole main street, surrounded by old and worn stone made houses, hosted 4 or 5 sad looking stands. This is depp down in rural France where sometimes you are not sure in what century you are walking. And there was this old man with a grim set of unlucky objects laying on a tarp. On one corner I could see a box with the too familiar rusted wedges and decomposing paddle. But my heart was racing because between the box and a pile of rust that at better times may even have resembled some tools, there was a rougth but flat cut of stone.

It didn't look like anything I knew. The stone wasn't even shaped like the normal commercial products, just a flat stone with obvious signs of honing sitting next to worn razors. Enougth to get me excited any day... yeah, don't judge!
Upon conversation and inquiry, the old men confirmed it was used for the razors by his father, and pointed to me how all the houses around where mostly made of that same stone. Is the second time someone has identified a local sourced stone as used for razors.

I didn't think much of it at the time, but did purchase the lot.

That stone was cleaned, surfaced, and better shaped. I don't have pictures of how it look since I didn't expect much.

Tried, but didn't seem to do anything. I had recently found a butterscotch, and I was enjoying the edges. So my attention was elsewhere.

For a while it was one of those stones that I keep triying for sentimental reasons, but with out getting much out of it.

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But as time passed, and technique improved, I ended up noticing, first on razors under magnification, then on a yanagiba bevel, how the stone was indeed a very fine polisher.

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It took a lot of trials, because is so dam fine. I can't say is slow, since it does modifies surfaces relatively fast. But because is so fine, it only really works at his best if the edge is already top notch. Otherwise you are baffled by the revealing of deeper scratches hidden by lower grits.

I use it mostly after a fully maxed out la lune purple edge. Sometimes after very hard and old green/blue thuri. Triying lately after the blue la lune.

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Feel back doesn't feel like much until you hit it, and ride it. Very solid and clean. Starts smooth almost glasy, until it grabs. Then you ride it using pressure and touch to keep it honing effortlessly until even with the ligrhest hand, the razor wants no more.

Shaves are the sharpest and smoothest of all my hones. It has the singing laser sharpness with out the aggressity. Still need a light hand, otherwise it can obviously misbehave.
Thinned out filas cut hair at any length with barely the faintest sound, and that lovely effortless fell.
After honing, 15-20 palm strops and it gently pops arm air at any length.
One pass head shaves (some small patches see corrections), and I don't really feel I've shaved, just the fresh and clean feel we love.

The stone measures 18x6.5x2,3cm.
Very very hard, a nightmare to lap.
No discernable grain.
It polishes up with use, and I keep it that way. Rigth now is halve way, as sadly I had to lap a scratch.
I have a small off cut piece, but is almost impossible to raise a slurry, and when I do it changes from whitish grey to clear while sharpening. Very odd. Rubbing does open the grain, speeding up a bit the cut.

This was the hone where i started to feel the steel differences. Most filas do great, so many grelot and TIs. Solingen are a mix lot. Old soft razors don't often get quite there. Is like grain matters...

Love this stone to bits. I've shaved almost exclusively for 2 years with it. The size, the look, the feel, the story, the shaves: it is golden and lack of a proper name, I call it my fnat!

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I will eventually go back and see if I can find some other pieces. With luck the men was right, and the houses are really made of shaving dreams...
 
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Thanks to all, love this hone and the whole story. Glad you enjoyed! I'll drop some edge pics when I pull out the scope

Fries are not French, but from Belgium :001_smile is an old sore topic between both countries!

Not a Turkish at all, I had plenty of those, not even a novaculite. No idea what it is. More of a slate related stone, but chunkier. Looks black, but weathered surfaces have a hint of dark green.
If forced, It would break apart on those surface lines. I had to loctite some on the edges that where retaining water.

I use to drive a lot all over this country, so I spend a lot of time hunting for hones, even wild ones. I have a couple more with a history to show. I had more, but my work keeps me moving every few years, and most of those experiments ended up in the dump... worse than moving a library, try a hone collection!
 
Thanks to all, love this hone and the whole story. Glad you enjoyed! I'll drop some edge pics when I pull out the scope

Fries are not French, but from Belgium :001_smile is an old sore topic between both countries!

Not a Turkish at all, I had plenty of those, not even a novaculite. No idea what it is. More of a slate related stone, but chunkier. Looks black, but weathered surfaces have a hint of dark green.
If forced, It would break apart on those surface lines. I had to loctite some on the edges that where retaining water.

I use to drive a lot all over this country, so I spend a lot of time hunting for hones, even wild ones. I have a couple more with a history to show. I had more, but my work keeps me moving every few years, and most of those experiments ended up in the dump... worse than moving a library, try a hone collection!

I see. So the French stole the idea and put their name on it.






LOL Sorry I know where "pommes frites" come from. Just pulling your chain. I do the same with Canadians and their Canadian Bacon.
 
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