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A couple of q.s about honing

I started 12 years ago with honing SR, knowing little about knife sharpening, only the basics. I later got into knife sharping, and had to learn the importance of the lower grit stones and the use of pressure (knifes only).
So you have a much better starting point then i did. You will probably find you way quite fast:)

I made allot of mistakes in the beginning.
My first razor was a smiling Hart Steel 7/8 razor. My first mistake was to start with an expensive "happy" razor, but at least i did not do much damage to it with the 12k.
I got a Naniwa 12, a flattening stone, a strop and some the green stuff.
The razor was more ore less shave ready when i got it, but not grate. I probably rounded the edge quite good on the strop after a few attempts. Tried to get it back to shape on the 12k. Lets just say i did not improve the edge that much, despite spending some time on it. One bad stroke lifting the spine off the finishing stone was all it took to set it way back.
I also nicked the strop a few times. I have hit the faucet once, and needed to get the ding/chip out.
I then started to figure tings out, but i a still learning.

I did not have an reference point for what was a good edge was suppose to feel like. If you have one razor you practice on, and one that is honed by someone who with a good reputation to compare with, this would probably have helped me.
There is probably people that will do this for free.

The most difficult part for me has been to fine tune the edge to make it smooth on the skin, while still efficient at cutting the beard without tugging. There should be enough information knowledgeable people on this forum to get you started an going (maybe confused to:))
Just keep the thread alive:) Hopefully you will make fewer mistakes then i did.
 
This is probably a little off the OP subject.
I have never tried mastro livi's way of honing and stopping, but it sure is entertaining to watch him hone and beat the razor in to shape on his strop. Can this simple progressing really be useful? I have heard someone really likes the edges he puts on his razors.

(2) SnakeRazor - YouTube
 
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What is the rounded white stone in the front row?

Sorry D, I missed this!

It's a very hard sandstone, I think. That and the one on the back row at the top (slate), are two I've found and flattened myself. I don't really use the sandstone tbh, it's not desperately easy, though can work well enough @ circa 1 - 1.5k: Natural Sharpening Sandstones - https://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/threads/natural-sharpening-sandstones.53166/

Found some other interesting things while at a friend's place for lunch yesterday, and just tried a bit out this evening - it has potential (this is a shale):

IMG-2292.jpg



[EDIT - Though actually, I remember now that @bluesman 7 made a very good point about that rounded 'sandstone'... it's probably actually metamorphosed to some degree on its way to becoming 'quartzite'... It's hard!]
 
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Is there a problem with not stropping?
you will probably find that stropping before shaving vastly improves the shave. I'd go so far as to say that stropping is mandatory.

[/quote]Will you need to hone below a finisher?[/quote]

Ask 100 people this and you get 1000 answers. Me, here in my house, zero razors wear evenly from heel to toe so, periodically, I need/want to re-hone from bevel-set to finish so I have the best geometry possible. After many years of many hones and shaves I find this process to deliver the best and most consistent shaves for me. Constant 'tuning up' falls short for me. I can extend edge longevity with pastes and such but only for a while, it's not indefinite. So bevel resets are part of my regular honing work.

FWIW, if the edge doesn't get too far 'out' then the bevel reset is easier, it goes fast and there is only a barely perceptible amount of steel to remove. A bevel reset might not require a 1k stone - if it's close then a 3k-5k can suffice.
 
  1. 50 to 60 laps on a clean leather strop.
  2. Shave.
  3. Wipe dry with toilet paper (not touching the edge).
  4. 5 to 10 laps on a clean cloth strop (I prefer chamois) to clean the edge.
  5. 50 to 60 laps on a 0.1μm diamond pasted hanging balsa strop.
  6. 15 to 18 short X stroke laps on a 0.1μm diamond pasted balsa strop.
  7. Put SR away until next time it is used.
With this regular maintenance, the blade need never touch a whetstone/lapping films again.
That is a lot of stropping... Or am I just lazy....... I strop 25 to 35 times before a shave and thats it.. I use a different razor each night of the week. Have I been taught wrong?
 

Steve56

Ask me about shaving naked!
you will probably find that stropping before shaving vastly improves the shave. I'd go so far as to say that stropping is mandatory.
Will you need to hone below a finisher?[/quote]

Ask 100 people this and you get 1000 answers. Me, here in my house, zero razors wear evenly from heel to toe so, periodically, I need/want to re-hone from bevel-set to finish so I have the best geometry possible. After many years of many hones and shaves I find this process to deliver the best and most consistent shaves for me. Constant 'tuning up' falls short for me. I can extend edge longevity with pastes and such but only for a while, it's not indefinite. So bevel resets are part of my regular honing work.

FWIW, if the edge doesn't get too far 'out' then the bevel reset is easier, it goes fast and there is only a barely perceptible amount of steel to remove. A bevel reset might not require a 1k stone - if it's close then a 3k-5k can suffice.
[/QUOTE]

^^^ What he said, and said very well.
 
That is a lot of stropping... Or am I just lazy....... I strop 25 to 35 times before a shave and thats it.. I use a different razor each night of the week. Have I been taught wrong?
No, you are not lazy nor were you taught incorrectly. Each person develops a stropping routine that suites the edge they prefer to shave with and their stropping technique. I just stared my preference.
 
That is a lot of stropping... Or am I just lazy....... I strop 25 to 35 times before a shave and thats it.. I use a different razor each night of the week. Have I been taught wrong?

up your laps on the strop to at least 50. I used to do 25-30 laps when I didn’t know what I was doing. The razor edge died after not many shaved. I started going to 50-60 laps on the strop and it was a revolution for me.
 
You should experiment and see what differences you find for yourself. Try more, less, none, excessive. Find your own sweet spot. It will probably be in the range most suggest, but prove it to yourself by trying different things.
 
I started 12 years ago with honing SR, knowing little about knife sharpening, only the basics. I later got into knife sharping, and had to learn the importance of the lower grit stones and the use of pressure (knifes only).
So you have a much better starting point then i did. You will probably find you way quite fast:)

I made allot of mistakes in the beginning.
My first razor was a smiling Hart Steel 7/8 razor. My first mistake was to start with an expensive "happy" razor, but at least i did not do much damage to it with the 12k.
I got a Naniwa 12, a flattening stone, a strop and some the green stuff.
The razor was more ore less shave ready when i got it, but not grate. I probably rounded the edge quite good on the strop after a few attempts. Tried to get it back to shape on the 12k. Lets just say i did not improve the edge that much, despite spending some time on it. One bad stroke lifting the spine off the finishing stone was all it took to set it way back.
I also nicked the strop a few times. I have hit the faucet once, and needed to get the ding/chip out.
I then started to figure tings out, but i a still learning.

I did not have an reference point for what was a good edge was suppose to feel like. If you have one razor you practice on, and one that is honed by someone who with a good reputation to compare with, this would probably have helped me.
There is probably people that will do this for free.

The most difficult part for me has been to fine tune the edge to make it smooth on the skin, while still efficient at cutting the beard without tugging. There should be enough information knowledgeable people on this forum to get you started an going (maybe confused to:))
Just keep the thread alive:) Hopefully you will make fewer mistakes then i did.

Yes, I think you're right that I'm probably lucky in a couple of regards... beginning with something that had been properly honed by someone here, to have both a good starting point, and a reference point / benchmark. And also - I do kinda sharpen and restore blades as a living, so have a reasonable understanding of geometry and how edges work (and a lot of stones :)).

It still certainly feels a bit alien though, so I'm going slowly!
 
Cheers! Yep - this was certainly a theoretical question, with another assumption being I don't ding it or anything. I do have a load of various coarser stones too. I suppose the q. I was trying to ask was: is the design and construction of a razor such that with normal honing on a fine stone it will continue to maintain its bevel geometry, without needing to be reset?

And yes - the comparison I was making with kitchen knives was to highlight (and help me understand) the differences. When I spoke about the ura of a single-bevel knife; that was a comparison based on the idea that you remove metal from all around the uraoshi, but not the concave middle of the blade, to maintain the original geometry. To take the comparison ad absurdum - a straight razor might be like a yanagiba or takohiki with two ura, and no wide-bevel side. Or something... ;)

[p.s. I am absolutely the kind of person who will drop my razor in the sink, probably slicing my hand open in the process, so I'm certainly not under the impression that I won't need other stones. I was just checking that until that time inevitably comes I should be fine just on finishing stones.]
A coticule is a cheaper(relatively) and somewhat easy way to learn honing. Im pretty sure you can even remove chips with them. Fairly new to them, I've used arks my entire life, but I've really enjoyed using mine and those finger length bouts make great travel hones when you get good at honing in hand. I bought a cheap set of chinese synth waterstones from ebay for less than $50 to reach myself how to hone razors from start to finish, then i switched to doing most of it on my arks.
 
Narrower strops were quite popular in Europe ands many brands from there were mostly around 2" with some even narrower. I have made and used a few narrow ones but narrow ones just have not caught on here in the US very much
I use a 2" english bridle leather strap flesh side and then 2" herman oak strap smooth side. This had been my stropping routine for knives for years before i started shaving with straight razors and it's worked well with razors too.
 
A coticule is a cheaper(relatively) and somewhat easy way to learn honing. Im pretty sure you can even remove chips with them. Fairly new to them, I've used arks my entire life, but I've really enjoyed using mine and those finger length bouts make great travel hones when you get good at honing in hand. I bought a cheap set of chinese synth waterstones from ebay for less than $50 to reach myself how to hone razors from start to finish, then i switched to doing most of it on my arks.
Coticules have been the most rewarding stones, but have also cased allot of frustration for me. I guess if you get a razor grade stone and learn how to use it, you are golden. I am not sure it is the easiest way to start, but it can be a budget friendly way to start. I am not sure how common the really great stones are. I have three, and one is on knife duty:)
 
Yes, a properly honed razor can easily be maintained for years with just a fine finish hone and a strop.

Stropping is key, stropping is way underrated, especially linen. Flax linen is/can be aggressive, and quality clean leather can finish and edge to a much higher level than a stone. Until you perfect your stropping, the quality of the strop, does not matter much.

The trick is, it can take a year or more to perfect stropping technique to the level where you are continually improving an edge. More edges are damaged by improper stropping techniques and or contaminated strops. An edge can be trashed with a single stroke.

Pick a fine finisher, (Jnat), lap it flat and use it just for razors. With a few nagura you can create a range of aggression and finishes on the same base stone.

Get some decent lighted handheld magnification, (60X) and look at your bevels and edges to understand forward progress, damage repair and edge quality, (straightness of the edge). Confirm your visual impression with shave quality.

It is all about the edge, but we polish the bevels to polish the edge. So, what happens to the bevels affect the edge, but the look of the bevels does not always equate to edge performance. Study the bevels, learn to identify and understand what you see through the loop/scope, and causes.



The biggest difference in knife sharpening and razor honing are the goals. For a knife Sharp clean cutting is the goal.

Sharp is easy, Sharp, (cutting hair) and smooth shaving, (not cutting or removing skin) is the goal of a properly honed razor, a keen, comfortable shave.

Edge comfort for knife honing is never even a consideration.
 
Coticules have been the most rewarding stones, but have also cased allot of frustration for me. I guess if you get a razor grade stone and learn how to use it, you are golden. I am not sure it is the easiest way to start, but it can be a budget friendly way to start. I am not sure how common the really great stones are. I have three, and one is on knife duty:)
Yeah they are frustrating but at least they don't eat the edge if you make a mistake making them forgiving for newbies as opposed to an ark or something. Even the slow ones help learners work on technique and build muscle memory. They aren't the easiest for a learner but i think they're the best because they will facilitate you sticking technique. I learned to sharpen knives on arks, razors on synth waterstones(i honed 3 razors) then went to arks. Even though i got decades of experience with arks i still fed them an edge a lot when i started with razors on them. I think learning on a softer stone might save learners some razors too.
 
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