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Pierre La Lune Impressions

I just snagged my fifth? Or sixth? Vintage La lune. I've been trying to like them for 12 years. Never got an edge out of one that would make me put away a coticule, much less a Thuri. Les Lat's (A good, usable one that isn't covered in edge-damaging flaws) are much better. But maybe this one will change my mind.
Try leading into it with a bunch of different edges? They seem sensitive to that.
 
Try leading into it with a bunch of different edges? They seem sensitive to that.

I mostly do 2 types of tests. The first is refinishing to see if it degrades a finished edge. La Lune made almost every edge I tried this with worse. Thuri, Coti, High end synth, etc. The second test is finishing off 8k (mesh). La Lune gave me an identical edge to the first tests, worse than most of my finishers (not objectively bad, mind you, better than most barber synths, etc, but not on par with a good finish).

I use these two tests because if the results are the same shave, I've ruled out most variables and ensured I've gotten close to the stones practical max performance (without using 37% glycerin and 43.1% dolphin tears and 11 and 37/i85s unicorn farts mix as a honing medium and only honing on the waxing moon when Osirus is in alignment with Ursa Major) as I consider fair and reasonable to judge a stone.

I also always take with a grain of salt every stone that proponents pitch as needing ONLY x number of passes and not more. That in every single case I've ever looked at under a scope is a stone that damages an edge and limiting passes limits that damage. Another reason I've always been pretty lukewarm on La Lunes... they're the poster child for that policy.

But they are definitely a cool branded, often cool looking, dark sheep hone, and I love the other french hone (PDSO)... so I keep trying them when I can snag them at a price I'm not going to lose money at.

Honestly, they feel to me like they should be in the same camp as Yellow Lake (the black ones, not grecians)... where if you find the right razor (steel, angle, etc all perfect for the stone/finish), the edge will be top notch (ballpark 10% of razors I've tried perform great off (Vintage, I don't use the modern welsh hones) Yellow Lakes)... and the whole "only for good razors" schtick on the special stones seems to agree with this... BUT, I just haven't found that razor yet. Everything I've put to a La Lune and/or special stone is pretty consistently (and noticeably) worse off for it than just finishing it on a Thuri.
 
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When testing mine years ago I found that with water alone 10-15 strokes would improve almost any edge in keenness while maintaining whatever smoothness was there.
More strokes would still leave a beautiful looking edge but it would loose smoothness. A very sharp but unforgiving edge.
Coming off a Thury, Gokumyo, whatever, just a few strokes would improve it.
 
I tried water, a few different oil mixes and a glycerin/water mix. If I recall, water actually gave the best results, but oil was close. Glycerin was too much hassle for me and didn't beat oil.
Does it have kind of a magnetic feel on water? Mine does and my thuri is really the only other stone I've got that had that pronounced feel. My black one is a weird size but it came with a couple purple ones that looked like a decent match. It may not be the same material but it feels/ chips like it so I assumed it is when several people said most likely. The descriptions I've read on how it behaves is what sold me on the idea. Always love a good mystery.
 
Does it have kind of a magnetic feel on water? Mine does and my thuri is really the only other stone I've got that had that pronounced feel. My black one is a weird size but it came with a couple purple ones that looked like a decent match. It may not be the same material but it feels/ chips like it so I assumed it is when several people said most likely. The descriptions I've read on how it behaves is what sold me on the idea. Always love a good mystery.

Under a hollow ground razor that's near finished, my Lune feels almost fuzzy on water... like felt. Sounds like it too. Hard to describe. I wouldn't call it sticky or magnetic.
 
Under a hollow ground razor that's near finished, my Lune feels almost fuzzy on water... like felt. Sounds like it too. Hard to describe. I wouldn't call it sticky or magnetic.
Interesting, my stones may not be la lunes. Interesting rocks though. I enjoy playing the mystery hone game, you never know what you're going to get. Kinda like playing scratch offs but actually useful.
 
So first shave off my latest vintage la lune.

I did everything I could to advantage this shave:
Cleaned up the stone and lapped it to an immaculate surface.
Took a well finished ark edge razor and touched up.
Had not shaved for a few days so nice beard and rested face.
And only shaved my neck so if edge damage/degradation is an issue, it was avoided.
Honed on water.

The shave was good. Better than I recall past Lune shaves being. I would say it feels just a hair less close / similar closeness vs a Thuri shave, and while the shave, especially the WTG pass had that nice light saber edge a high grit synth and a few other stones can give you... I think I'd still give the nod to a Thuri shave in all respects. That said, I could see someone who really appreciates that "sharp" feeling on their face liking this edge. And the shave was definitely not bad. It's good and close and there was minimal irritation.

Next shave will be a properly finished edge and probably a full shave... but so far I'm a little less down on La Lunes (but still not enamored by them).
 
So first shave off my latest vintage la lune.

I did everything I could to advantage this shave:
Cleaned up the stone and lapped it to an immaculate surface.
Took a well finished ark edge razor and touched up.
Had not shaved for a few days so nice beard and rested face.
And only shaved my neck so if edge damage/degradation is an issue, it was avoided.
Honed on water.

The shave was good. Better than I recall past Lune shaves being. I would say it feels just a hair less close / similar closeness vs a Thuri shave, and while the shave, especially the WTG pass had that nice light saber edge a high grit synth and a few other stones can give you... I think I'd still give the nod to a Thuri shave in all respects. That said, I could see someone who really appreciates that "sharp" feeling on their face liking this edge. And the shave was definitely not bad. It's good and close and there was minimal irritation.

Next shave will be a properly finished edge and probably a full shave... but so far I'm a little less down on La Lunes (but still not enamored by them).

My razors never get the sticky feeling when honing.
I don't know why anyone would want that anyway.
You pretty much need a perfect edge to begin with, then, with just a few on the lune the keenness will be bumped up without loosing smoothness. Too many strokes and the smoothness diminishes.
 
I have to say, I continue to be impressed by the Lune as a hone in general. I sold a smaller variant, and I lucked into a large 7x2x3/4 inch brick of the original blue. I could not pass it up, there will always be space in my arsenal for one of these really unique rocks. How it looks and what it does to an edge is pretty unique of all of the stone I have owned. In my experience with glycerin and water, it leave a highly keen / polished and comfortable edge. And it does so with speed and efficiency. I think this one will be a permanent fixture in my rotation.
 

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By the way, anyone ever see one of these old Blue La Lunes with out the typical heavy saw marks and or heavy bevels? I know this is a Lune, but thought it odd to be missing some of these other tell tale marks. Thoughts??
 
By the way, anyone ever see one of these old Blue La Lunes with out the typical heavy saw marks and or heavy bevels? I know this is a Lune, but thought it odd to be missing some of these other tell tale marks. Thoughts??
I got a couple and almost all the saw marks are lapped out but just a little bit like 1cm. It was one of the things that made me lean towards them being la lunes but they were barely there.
 
I know special stones were often, maybe usually, lapped on the sides (and usually stamped with things like "Fine" "Extra Fine" "Extra Extra Fine", etc... though those stamps rarely survived. Never been 100% sure what distinguishes the special stone rock from la lune... as my understanding is there's a few different rocks under the labels (there are actually carborundum/synthetic "La Lunes"... one came up on eBay a couple years back). I personally have had at least two VERY distinct rocks (in appearance) with the la lune label in the past, though they did perform basically identically. Those being the porous, almost scaly looking rock like pictured above, and another fairly indistinct black stone with just a faint metallic sheen. And I've had a black stone I'd guess is the same exact rock as the "black" la lunes with a Special Stone label before as well.
 
@SliceOfLife Porous you say?? I have not run across one like that yet, the one above is really very heavy and dense. Almost hydrophobic if I had to describe it. It is hard, but nothing crazy. It was in good shape when I got it, so the lapping took about 15 minutes to get truly flat and chamfered. Does anyone know what these stones consist of geographically speaking and or what gives them their unique appearance?
 
@SliceOfLife Porous you say?? I have not run across one like that yet, the one above is really very heavy and dense. Almost hydrophobic if I had to describe it. It is hard, but nothing crazy. It was in good shape when I got it, so the lapping took about 15 minutes to get truly flat and chamfered. Does anyone know what these stones consist of geographically speaking and or what gives them their unique appearance?
La Lune" stone is a sedimentary slate which has undergone a mineral transformation called Redox. It is quite possible on certain hones to observe green mineral spots in the form of dots or oval shape which are natural material pockets which does not represent any danger or toxicity for steel, this color is due to conditions where more “reducing” has occurred causing Clinochlore (Chlorite)
The exact mineral composition of "La Lune" hones is: Chlorite, quartz, sericite also composed of microlites of rutiles and tourmaline.
 
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