Sharpening Pierre Thiers 1884 difficulties

Discussion in 'Hones/Honing' started by kingreverent, Jul 30, 2007.

  1. Hi,
    I've difficulties sharpening an historical Pierre Thiers due to his typical curved edge.
    How do we sharpen this razor?
  2. ouch

    ouch Moderator Contributor

    I think that one falls into the "expert" category. I'd look to Lynn or Joe, or another very experienced honemeister.
  3. You use a side-to-side rocking motion on the hone, and you must make sure to use your lightest touch because all the pressure is focused on the tiny part of the blade that is in contact with the hone.
  4. Well, I had one of these as my second razor and it was the first razor I tried honing myself.

    The hone I used was a Norton 4K/8K and I can honestly say there was nothing special or difficult about honing this razor. Despite the odd shape, it lays flat on a 3" wide hone just like most "normal looking" razors do. Mine didn't take many strokes to get it shave ready, just a small pyramid and it was fine.

    Maybe I was lucky with mine but IMO there's nothing difficult about honing one of these. Of course you can ruin the edge or scratch the side of any razor while honing it, and these are rarer and more valuable than most, which has to be considered if you aren't a competant/confident honer. I just taped the spine and went for it with mine. :biggrin:
  5. I have one and my experience is similar. No difference than honing any other razor. Just be careful not to scratch the finish. You may want to try using a diamond pasted strop if it worries you to use a hone.
  6. You just do it as with any other razor.
    I just finished three of them today.

    It doesn't matter if the edge is curved or not. Just go with the steel and take care that the edge is always on the stone.

    Hope this helps.
  7. Perhaps a clarification is in order on how "every other razor is honed" may help.
  8. When I got my 1884 it was really shave ready out of the box. It just took some tweaking on the coticule to get it to its optimal point. I used about 15 strokes on the coticule with no pressure using a straight up the hone motion heel leading a bit. I know they say curved blades don't sharpen well thet way, you have to use a rocking motion or X honing but I guess they are wrong eh?
  9. Hi,
    I want to thank you all for the advices I got.
    As I "did what I could", i.e., honing on the hard Arkansas, then on the yellow Coticule until it sucked on the stone, then stroping and nothing helped...I let the blade rest for a couple of days.
    Then I honed it a couple of times on the red side of the DOVO paddle, then a couple of honing on the other side treated with TI Paste, then a couple of strokes on a cromium strop, finally 40 strokes on the untreated leather and sharp as all my other straight razors.
  10. I thought I'd briefly revive this thread. As it happens I recently bought another (2nd) TIPTLE and started trying to use it. Unlike the first one, this one was nowhere near shave ready and after 3 sessions I still haven't gotten it right.

    It actually gives quite a close shave, but it feels rough as hell with serious amounts of pulling. The annoying thing is it was like that 2 days ago, and yesterday I did a semi-aggressive pyramid as prescribed by Randy (from SRP's help files), and afterwards it felt exactly the same!

    I might have another go at it tomorrow, I'm not ready to give in and send it to Lynn quite yet!

    FYI I used a Norton 4K/8K and did the pyramid below.

    4K 8K
    1 5
    1 5
    3 5
    5 5
    3 5
    3 5
    1 5
    1 5
    1 5

    I also followed up this with about 15 strokes on a yellow coticle.

    Any suggestions what to try next? I have a 4K/8K and a yellow coticle at my disposal but nothing else.


    Iwan :smile:

    Edit: I should add that there's a decent amount of metal being removed on the Norton 4K/8K and I can see the hone wear increasing on the razor, so if I can avoid turning it into an expensive toothpick that'd be good!
  11. Iwan,
    Send it to me... and if you thought your first TI LE Hammer was sharp, you'll get rid of the rest of your Maestro and your beloved duck... and in a damn hurry :wink:
  12. Have you tried the magic marker trick? I was working on mine awhile back with my shiny new 30k shapton and was having trouble getting it to respond. A quick dab of the marker and it turns out one patch on one side in the middle of the blade wasn't touching the hone. I don't know if Pierre hit it a bit hard there or what... I had never noticed it before because I used to finish on a chrome oxide board that was slightly bowed and was able to get up in there. Once I fixed that it honed up right beautifully.
  13. In my experience TI razors need much more that 5 passes on the 8K to make it sharp enough. Why don't you try to work just on the 8K for a while and do sharpness tests and test shaves between. See if that gets you anywhere. If not, then you might have to go back to the 4K to establish a better bevel. FWIW I use about 40-50 passes on the 8K to get a TI close to shave ready. It might take even more though. My approach would be to do 40-50 on the 8K then test shave. If it still is not where you want it then do another 25 passes on the 8K and test shave again. If you the razor is still not where you want it then do 25 more passes. If you are not where you want to be in 3 test shaves then you did not establish a good bevel with the 4K and you must go back to the 4K to establish a uniform scratch pattern. Make sure to refresh the surface of your Norton so that it cuts well because it can become loaded and glazed with use. I also go to a coticule or escher after the Norton 8K for a slightly smoother edge but you don't need to.
  14. years ago I had a similar problem with a TI. I got pissed off and stropped with more pressure than usual (alot). That seemed to do it. I never had to do it again and its been a great shaver.
  15. LOL my TI Spartacus was also a pain at first. This was the blade that forced me to learn all the advanced honing voodoo. I don't regret the experience, cause without it I'd still be doing pyramids and wondering why my blades aren't passing the HSBT (hanging stick of butter test)
  16. Thanks Joel, I might just take you up on that! Any suggestions of what I could try here first before I started shipping the razor half way around the world?

    It's frustrating as I can get some razors as sharp as some of the pro's, but not all razors, I have trouble with a few. :frown:
  17. Iwan,

    I'd stay with the coticule - but only if you have a good bevel. As Michael suggests - try the marker first. If it comes off uniformly on boths sides in several passes (depending on roughness of hone and pressure) - I'd recommend just coticule. No 4K, no 8K.

    Use the coticule with thin (not thick! slurry). Maybe even just wet (starting w/o slurry, then the stone will release some as you progress). Use light passes. I would try HHT or TPT every 50-90 passes. Don't let the stone get dry.

  18. Right, I'll give that a try in a minute. Thanks. :smile:

    Just one thing, is a magic marker a 'permanent' marker or the type you can write with on a white board and it wipes off again?
  19. 9 micron diamond paste on the TI paddle strop (as it has some "give" to it, as it is hollowed under the leather).

    I almost never touch hones now, unless the edge is really, really dull, or has a chip. 9 micron diamond will put a norton to shame.

    Hit it with 9 micron. 3 micron, 1 micron, .5 micron, and then .25 micron and it'll be a gnat's fanny away from feather straight razor sharp.
  20. Hmmm, I don't currently own a paddle strop but I've been thinking of buying another one. Thinking back, I sharpened my last TIPTLE on a paddle using 1uM and 0.5uM pastes so that could be the difference.

    Annoyingly I have a package on the way from Tony right now, if I'd thought earlier i'd have been able to combine postage, oh well!

    I tried the magic marker yesterday, and the bevel was definately making contact with the hone at all points on both sides. So I gave it about 100 passes on a yellow coticle without slurry. The sharpness was pretty much the same, it was shaving (just) but was pulling a hell of a lot just as before.

    I'll look into the paddle option. If I went for a 4 sided paddle what would be the best combination of pastes? You mentioned 5 above so I'd have to leave one off, I guess the 9uM or 3uM since I have a 4K/8K and coticle anyway?

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