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Damnit, I messed up my edge.

So I am very new to straight razor shaving. Only 3 shaves in. But third shave I shaved my neck as well as the sides of my face. Gonna wait before I try my chin. I am on a monthly budget. So right now I only have the 2in wide leather strop that came with my Dovo Bismarck. I am getting ready to order a 3 inch wide strop and some diamond paste. Gonna get some balsa wood as well. I want to try the "balsa/paste" method as described by Slash McCoy. I even watched his youtube video. To get to the point. I dulled my edge somehow. It may have happened when I was stropping or maybe when I was trying to remove some small bloodstains? that stained my razor immediately the first time I shaved with it. I was using toothpaste being careful not to get any on the edge. At some point I will order some stones. Thinking about the Norton Set. Anyhow the razor fails the treetop and hanging hair test. It was passing this test before. It could be worse because it will shave my arm hair at skin level. But since I am still enjoying My Meiji adjustable razor there is no rush to get back to my straight. So, I have a question [Slash McCoy are you out there?]. Have any of you been able to bring a somewhat dulled edge back by using the Balsa method without having to take it to the stone? If so, did you have to use all 3 grits of paste. .50,.25, then .10u ? Were you able to go straight to the fine .10 and fix it? And I know that of course this all depends on just how dull the razor is. But I was just curious. My razor was supposed to come with a free honing coupon. I did not get it. I emailed the seller about a month ago. No response! So no way in hell am I going to ever send my razor to him. Won't ever order from him again either. Horrible customer service! And to think I was maybe going to have him do a custom piece in the future since he is a bladesmith. Anyhow, next time I strop it will be on 3 in wide leather instead of 2. I just think that it is easier for a newbie like me. In the future I may have to buy a cheap straight to practice with stones. I won't even attempt to hone my Dovo any time soon. Also I am going to get some never dull in case I get any more stains. I used it many years ago when I used to have samurai swords. It worked great. Also, I know that many say that other polishes are better than never dull, however I am concerned about the gold plating. Also I used straight rubbing alcohol on my blade before I shaved. I did not do that again. Now I dip the razor in a mix of about 4 parts alcohol to 1 part mineral oil. I wipe it of the blade before I shave. But I feel that there is enough of a oil residue left to give the steel some protection. Of course the best thing is to not cut myself! Now back in my days of practicing Iaido [samurai sword] I would wipe my blade with a silicone treated cloth before practice cutting on wet straw mats or bamboo. This would help from getting stains on the blade. I may try that as a alternative to mineral oil when storing my straight for any length of time. Sorry for such a long post. But any advice related to straight razors will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
 
I would bet if its not chipped, you can bring it back with abrasive stropping, no problem. Look carefully at the edge to determine if there are any defects. Start with the finest abrasive and see what it does. Go down from there.
 
Get yourself a set of lapping film and an acrylic block and you will be able to fix pretty much anything yourself. Very cheap, easy and effective. It’s a good idea to order three spare acrylic blocks as you will need them later for the balsa strops.

Then, as soon as your budget will allow, get yourself some balsa and diamond paste. With that setup you will always have a screaming sharp edge.

You can probably skip the synthetic stones if money is tight. They are good for low level grunt work. Useful if you are doing lots of razors from bevel set. Apart from that you won’t have much call for them day to day.

Try to resist natural stones until you have plenty of money.
 
First,try to break up paragraphs a little. Makes your post easier to read. Second, you can prefix a member's User ID with an ampersand and it will get their attention. Like this:
@Panzermeister Dave
See how that works?

Now as for your questions, do you want sharp, or are you just messing around? Is "good enough" good enough for you? Or are you chasing the dragon? If the former, just do whatever. If the latter, then here is what you do, without fail, without changing anything and without compromising on anything. Get a 1" thick, 12" x 3" piece of cast acrylic sheet from TAP Plastics website. 1" is better for this. Get some 1u lapping film from nanolaptech.com and get plain back, not PSA. You want their 26M Aluminum Oxide, 8-1/2" x 11" sheets, and remember, plain back. You will have to email the guy, there is no buy button stuff on his site. Then read the lapping film thread, beginning to end. Can't be bothered? Fine. Don't worry about it. Just do whatever you like. I'm telling you how to do this right, with guaranteed results. Try to use just the 1u film. That's one micron, just a little finer than 12k grit. Refresh the edge on the film and do not accept results less than treetopping at least 1 or 2 hairs per pass at 1/4". Shave. If you can't shave off your 1u edge then you are wasting your time and money with balsa and paste.

Got it? Okay now set up your balsa. Yes, run the full progression, AFTER ensuring that you have a proper 12k or 1u edge to begin with. Yes, some guys are jumping right from a stone to .1u diamond on balsa. I am telling you the right way to do this. There is no point in asking "can I do THIS?" or "Can I do THAT, instead?" You can do whatever you like. I am telling you how I would see you do this, if you expect to get great results right out the gate. Do it exactly like in the pasted balsa thread. Exactly. Can't follow instructions exactly? Then you aren't going to get best results exactly, either.

Everything is here or in the threads linked therein. Newbie Honing Compendium | Badger & Blade EVERYTHING.
 
I would bet if its not chipped, you can bring it back with abrasive stropping, no problem. Look carefully at the edge to determine if there are any defects. Start with the finest abrasive and see what it does. Go down from there.
Thank you sir! I have looked at it with my Mighty Sight glasses. I can't see any chips.
 
Get yourself a set of lapping film and an acrylic block and you will be able to fix pretty much anything yourself. Very cheap, easy and effective. It’s a good idea to order three spare acrylic blocks as you will need them later for the balsa strops.

Then, as soon as your budget will allow, get yourself some balsa and diamond paste. With that setup you will always have a screaming sharp edge.

You can probably skip the synthetic stones if money is tight. They are good for low level grunt work. Useful if you are doing lots of razors from bevel set. Apart from that you won’t have much call for them day to day.

Try to resist natural stones until you have plenty of money.
Thank you sir! I was planning on getting some balsa and diamond paste next week.
First,try to break up paragraphs a little. Makes your post easier to read. Second, you can prefix a member's User ID with an ampersand and it will get their attention. Like this:
@Panzermeister Dave
See how that works?

Now as for your questions, do you want sharp, or are you just messing around? Is "good enough" good enough for you? Or are you chasing the dragon? If the former, just do whatever. If the latter, then here is what you do, without fail, without changing anything and without compromising on anything. Get a 1" thick, 12" x 3" piece of cast acrylic sheet from TAP Plastics website. 1" is better for this. Get some 1u lapping film from nanolaptech.com and get plain back, not PSA. You want their 26M Aluminum Oxide, 8-1/2" x 11" sheets, and remember, plain back. You will have to email the guy, there is no buy button stuff on his site. Then read the lapping film thread, beginning to end. Can't be bothered? Fine. Don't worry about it. Just do whatever you like. I'm telling you how to do this right, with guaranteed results. Try to use just the 1u film. That's one micron, just a little finer than 12k grit. Refresh the edge on the film and do not accept results less than treetopping at least 1 or 2 hairs per pass at 1/4". Shave. If you can't shave off your 1u edge then you are wasting your time and money with balsa and paste.

Got it? Okay now set up your balsa. Yes, run the full progression, AFTER ensuring that you have a proper 12k or 1u edge to begin with. Yes, some guys are jumping right from a stone to .1u diamond on balsa. I am telling you the right way to do this. There is no point in asking "can I do THIS?" or "Can I do THAT, instead?" You can do whatever you like. I am telling you how I would see you do this, if you expect to get great results right out the gate. Do it exactly like in the pasted balsa thread. Exactly. Can't follow instructions exactly? Then you aren't going to get best results exactly, either.

Everything is here or in the threads linked therein. Newbie Honing Compendium | Badger & Blade EVERYTHING.
Thank you sir! Sorry about my post not having paragraphs. I will start using them when needed. Did not even think about that when I was typing. I will take your advice. I am a firm believer in the phrase, "If you are going to do something, you may as well do it right. You give really good advice.
But, I hope that you will do some more youtube videos in the future on straight razor stuff. I looked at some of your other videos. I like the Japanese girl band, the 5 6 7 8s. I first heard them in the movie Kill Bill.
 
Get yourself a set of lapping film and an acrylic block and you will be able to fix pretty much anything yourself. Very cheap, easy and effective. It’s a good idea to order three spare acrylic blocks as you will need them later for the balsa strops.

Then, as soon as your budget will allow, get yourself some balsa and diamond paste. With that setup you will always have a screaming sharp edge.

You can probably skip the synthetic stones if money is tight. They are good for low level grunt work. Useful if you are doing lots of razors from bevel set. Apart from that you won’t have much call for them day to day.

Try to resist natural stones until you have plenty of money.
Thank you sir! I may just hold off on the paste and balsa for now. May as well get the lapping film and acrylic blocks first. But I am in no rush. One step at a time. I think that may have been my problem of going to fast doing a x pattern on my strop. Some things just can't be rushed.
 
@Tomo Do you have a good source for acrylic blocks? Last time I looked, they were rather expensive.

Is $14.28 cheap enough for you? Remember, it is practically indestructible and will last basically until the sun goes nova.

For film, I recommend 1" or thicker. 3" x 12". 1" thickness keeps your fingertips below the path of the razor. For balsa 1" is still better, but you can get away with 3/4".
 
@Slash McCoy Yes that price is reasonable. Do you select the "machined edges" option? And what would you use to glue the balsa, so that you can remove and apply a new piece? Would double sided tape work? Also, I need a better source for the balsa cut to size.
 
No need for machined edges.

Balsa (of the correct thickness) can be easily cut to size with a box cutter and steel straight edge. As for glue, I use rubber glue. Don't know about using double-sided tape, never tried it and will not as I know that the rubber glue is cheaper and works well.

For balsa thickness use 6mm (preferred), 8mm or 10mm. Do not go thicker than 10mm or you will be getting warping problems.
 
I would give you the link but my computer is going bananas ever since I spilled an old fashioned on it. I think it is still drunk on about 3oz of Old Overholt. Look for the thread named "How to Use a Pasted Balsa Strop" or something like that. You don't need to have the edges machined. 3M spray adhesive works fine. Do NOT use double sided tape! It is too compressible. Glue it, Let it sit overnight. Turn it upside down on a flat surface and the weight of the acrylic should be clamp enough. Then lap it. Then paste it. Then do two more because you need .5u, .25u, and .1u. Read the balsa thread cause I left a lot of stuff out rather than turn this post into a booklength manuscript.

Buy your balsa in 3" wide, 1/4" thick, 36" long plank. Cut it into three pieces. It will be a long time before you have to remove and replace it. You can lap it about a dozen times before it starts to get thin. Then just peel it off and use acetone to clean up the old glue. I usually lap mine about every two months. You basically just lap it when it is loaded completely with swarf.

Read the thread. Get your head in the thread. The thread in your head. Then go ahead.
 
Spray adhesive sounds good! Thanks.
I’ve tried a few different glues. Spray contact adhesive is the go. No bubbles, nice even application, glue goes right the the edge without getting squeezed out and it doesn’t slide around on you while it sets. If you sand the acrylic a bit first, it sticks like buggery. It’s worth doing a few light coats on the balsa in line with the instructions for porous surfaces. Tape the sides before you spray if you are anal like me. I generally clamp two strops together overnight in a balsa sandwich with the balsa in the middle and the acrylic on the outside. Works great.
 
Dammit I messed up my edge too.

I’ve been playing around with a hybrid and edge. A natural finisher touch up followed by 10-15 laps on a 0.1 micron diamond strop. The results have been great. Sharp and smooth.

Today I stropped and then thought; what the heck I’ll do another 20 laps on the balsa. Well 20 turned into 30 and now my nice coticule edge is tree topping like a laser beam. I think I’ve overdone it.
 
Dammit I messed up my edge too.

I’ve been playing around with a hybrid and edge. A natural finisher touch up followed by 10-15 laps on a 0.1 micron diamond strop. The results have been great. Sharp and smooth.

Today I stropped and then thought; what the heck I’ll do another 20 laps on the balsa. Well 20 turned into 30 and now my nice coticule edge is tree topping like a laser beam. I think I’ve overdone it.
Yeah, you screwed up and made your edge get too sharp. Lesson learned.
 
Yeah, you screwed up and made your edge get too sharp. Lesson learned.
Pretty much. The good news is that I’m sure it’ll still shave well tomorrow.

I still can’t understand how such a fine grained diamond can change the edge characteristics so quickly. I’ll have to get a microscope to see what’s happening.
 
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